September 24, 2018 | ° F

Rutgers hosts quad meet at RAC


Knights to honor 3 seniors after match


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Photo by Jeffrey Gomez |

Coming off its tough loss against No. 16 Auburn last Friday, the Rutgers gymnastics team heads back to Piscataway this Saturday to host a quad meet at the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC). 

The meet will include Towson, Ursinus, and Western Michigan and will be the Scarlet Knights’ first time back at the RAC since the 2017 Big Ten Championships. 

It will be somewhat of an emotional night in Piscataway, as the program will honor its three seniors Jenna Crisalli, Libby Groden and Makenzey Shank following the fourth rotation. 

"It is always a special day," head coach Louis Levine said, according to scarletknights.com. "A little bit different being in the middle of season compared to towards the end. These girls have competed a lot over the years and have been a big part of our success."

The event will begin at 7 p.m. and will be streamed online via Rutgers Athletics Facebook Live.

All three seniors have contributed to the team with impressive performances over their careers as members of the Rutgers squad.

"They continue to be that same way this year, being an experienced voice of having been through it," Levine said. "That's helped us along. They all will move on and graduate, but a piece of them will always be here as part of our program and a piece of the program will continue to go with them. That's a special thing. It is a day you never forget."

Still looking for their initial first-place finish of the season, the Knights are poised to break through this week, having an extra day's rest after last Friday’s meet against the Tigers.

Last week Rutgers performed extremely well, tallying its second highest point total of the season with a 194.225, and looks to build on that in hopes of making the post-match ceremony even better. 

“I thought we did a good job down there. We have injuries that are keeping our numbers down in terms of people, we put up five on bars and vault," Levine said. "I thought all of them did a really good job and we had a good meet. The team continues to fight and trying to take a tenth here and a tenth there to add to the score. I thought they did a really good job last weekend."

The Knights will lean on junior Jenna Rizkalla this weekend, who has all around been the most consistent performer throughout the entire season. Last week, she led Rutgers on floor with a 9.825 and seemingly has been front and center for the team in every meet this season. 

Another standout for the Knights has been freshman Belle Huang, who has performed much beyond her small amount of experience, putting up big numbers week in and week out. She has truly forced herself into the lineup and is a very valuable member of this squad now and moving forward. 

Shank has also thrived so far this season and looks to have her best performance yet on Saturday to close out her final home regular season meet on a good note. Last week against the Tigers, Shank put on a show, putting up a season high of 9.825 on the uneven bars to spark Rutgers in that event. 

If this Knights squad wants to make a push for the Big Ten Championship in a few weeks, these three girls will undoubtedly be major pieces to the success of the whole team. 


For updates on the Rutgers gymnastics team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.


Stephan Zatz

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