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Rutgers gymnastics to host 3 teams for quad-meet

The Rutgers gymnastics team returns to Piscataway this Saturday — after two straight weeks on the road — to host a quad-meet with Ohio State, West Chester and Wisconsin-Whitewater. 

Coming off their highest output of the season, the Knights look to use their success as fuel to put on a show in front of a sold-out crowd at the Livingston Recreation Center. This marks the 12th consecutive sellout at the gymnasium since 2014. 

That sold-out crowd is sure to be a rowdy one, as Saturday's meet will be the annual “pink out” in support of breast cancer awareness. Rutgers will look to make the charitable night into a victorious one as well. 

Last week in East Lansing, Michigan, the Knights were doing a solid job going into the final two rounds — scoring a 47.875 in the uneven bars and tip-toeing to a 48.275 on the balance beam — but probably not exactly how they wanted things to go. But, they finally found their groove in the last two rounds. 

Junior Jenna Rizkalla lit a fire under the squad after recording an astounding 9.900 in the floor exercise, her career best. Meanwhile, seniors Libby Groden and Makenzey Shank each racked up scores of 9.850, while freshman Belle Huang chipped in a 9.800 in an impressive showing as well. Collectively, it was Rutgers’ best floor mark since March of 2016, approximately two years ago. 

The vault exercise was also rather impressive last week, as the team racked up a score of 48.925 in that portion of the meet. 

Promising freshman Sophia Atienza put on a worthy display as she scored a 9.825, which is the best vault score of the season for the Knights to date. But Atienza wasn’t the only one atop the leaderboard for long, as junior Michelle Amoresano matched that score almost immediately after. 

Freshman Toni Williams performed in her first college meet on Saturday, posting a 9.775 score on the vault.

In addition to the floor and vault exercises, the uneven bars lineup hopes to help carry the team as well. 

Sophomore Shannon Farrell has established herself as the leader of the group early on this season, as she has accumulated a 9.733 average through the first three meets. As Farrell leads the uneven bars, Huang is the leader on the balance beam with her 9.775 average. 

Rizkalla leads the floor team, as she has tallied the only 9.900 or above for Rutgers in any routine all season. 

With this core lineup of leadership and consistency, the future looks bright heading into the quad-meet on Saturday. Be on the lookout for a Knights victory in Piscataway. 

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

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