Gymnastics Visits No. 17 Maryland for Friday Night EAGL Quad-Meet

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New Hampshire (6-1, 3-0 EAGL) at No. 17 Maryland (4-1-1, 2-1-1 EAGL), w/ N.C. State (3-3-1, 0-1-1), Towson (4-4, 0-0 EAGL)
Feb. 8, 2013 • 7:00 p.m. • Comcast Center • College Park, Md.

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Jen Aucoin

LAST TIME OUT- DURHAM, N.H. (Feb. 3) – Hannah Barile tied for first place on floor exercise and placed second on vault Sunday to lead UNH to its second consecutive tri-meet victory with a score of 195.425, which bested George Washington (194.750) and Yale (191.225) at Lundholm Gymnasium. 
   The Wildcats improved their record to 6-1 and 3-0 in East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) competition by topping the Colonials (5-5, 1-2 EAGL) and the Bulldogs (0-6).
   Barile, who received the Katie Baldwin Expression Award for her performance, guided the Wildcats to a strong lead in the first rotation by recording a personal best 9.825 on vault to finish behind GW's Elena Corcoran (9.850). Austyn Fobes and Courtney Connors registered matching scores of 9.800 to share third place. The team amassed 48.725 in its first event of the day.
   Jen Aucoin and Fobes tied with an event-best score of 9.825 on uneven bars to highlight the second rotation. Erika Rudiger followed the pair with a score of 9.775 for third place, as the 'Cats amassed a team mark of 48.775.
   Kayla Gray paced New Hampshire on balance beam with a meet-high score of 9.875, tying her season high. Fobes notched a 9.800 for third place, followed by Elissa Solomon, who set a personal best with a 9.775 for a share of fourth place. The Wildcats registered a total of 48.875 in their only runner-up placement of the meet; the Colonials posted a 48.900.
   In the final rotation, Fobes and Barile registered equal marks of 9.850 on floor exercise to share the event victory. Gray followed the duo by recording a score of 9.825 for fourth place, Rudiger claimed a share of fifth place with a 9.775 and Jannelle Minichiello tied her personal best with a score of 9.750 to finish in a deadlock for seventh place. 
   Fobes made it back-to-back first-place scores in all-around with a 39.275 to edge GW's Stephanie Stoicovy (39.000).

UNDEFEATED IN EAGL – The Wildcats are the last remaining EAGL squad without a loss in league competition, but that 3-0 mark will best tested Friday night on the road against the two schools ahead of the 'Cats in the EAGL standings. UNH's average of 194.575 trails 17th-ranked Maryland (195.275) and North Carolina State (194.725), though the 'Cats already have a win over the then-19th-ranked Wolfpack under their belts (193.850-193.525) from Jan. 18 at Lundholm Gym. UNH and Towson have not squared off yet this season, but the Tigers will join the Wildcats in a quad-meet at West Virginia on Feb. 24 and will invade Durham for the Senior Day UNH Invitational (with Yale, Brown) on March 2.

AA-USTYN FOBES – Senior Austyn Fobes, who already owns two EAGL Gymnast of the Week awards this season, is the league's fourth-ranked gymnast with an average all-around score of 39.035. Her personal-best 39.425 in a victory against Rutgers on Jan. 6 is league's high mark of the season.

RAISING THE BAR – Senior co-captain Jen Aucoin leads UNH's uneven bar lineup with an average of 9.820, ranked third in EAGL, and a season-high and personal-best 9.875 from a tri-meet over Temple and Brown on Jan. 26. She brings a streak of back-to-back first-place finishes on bars to Friday night's quad-meet at Maryland.

AWAY FROM HOME – UNH hasn't competed on the road since sustaining a 195.050-193.100 loss at now-21st-ranked Central Michigan on Jan. 11 in its only away meet of the season. That represented a season-low score for the Wildcats, who kick off a difficult three-week road trip with Friday night's EAGL quad meet. Looking ahead, New Hampshire must travel to Colorado Springs for a tri-meet against Air Force and Lindenwood on Feb. 16 before an even stiffer challenge at West Virginia on Feb. 24 for a quad-meet against the Mountaineers, Towson and No. 3 Michigan. 

SCOUTING THE TERRAPINS – The No. 17 Maryland gymnastics team is coming off its first loss of the season at North Carolina last Saturday. Senior Kesley Cofsky scored a personal-best 9.850 on uneven bars, and Maryland gymnasts placed first in four of five events, but the Tar Heels put forth a great effort on floor and beam to seal the win.
   Maryland remains first in the EAGL with an average of 195.275 points per meet. Junior Katy Dodds ranks fourth nationally and first in the conference on vault. Dodds was named EAGL Specialist of the Week for her performance at North Carolina, where she had two first-place finishes, including a 9.900 on vault.
   Sophomore Stephanie Giameo ranks third nationally and first in the conference on balance beam. Senior Ally Krikorian ranks 12th nationally on floor exercise and 19th nationally on vault.

SCOUTING THE WOLFPACK – The Wolfpack (3-3-1) is coming off of a solid performance at the University of Denver this past weekend, competing in its first quad meet of the season. The Pack finished second at the meet with a score of 194.925, just behind 13th-ranked Denver who won the meet with a 196.050. NC State picked up wins over San Jose State (193.425) and Air Force (192.675). 
   Junior Diahanna Ham scored a season-best 9.925 on vault, the highest score of the season by a Wolfpack gymnast. Freshman Brittni Watkins has been a mainstay for the Pack on floor exercise, posting a 9.850 at the meet. The Albany, N.Y., native has now recorded State's top score in the event each of the last four meets.    
   Friday's meet will mark the second time this season the Wolfpack has competed against conference opponents Maryland (4-1-1, 2-1-1) and New Hampshire (6-1, 4-0). State tied with the Terps at home, Jan. 11, with a score of 195.000, while the Pack fell to New Hampshire on the road, 193.850-193.525, Jan. 18. The Wolfpack will be competing against Towson (4-4, 0-0) for the first time this season. 

SCOUTING THE TIGERS – In its first season as returning members of the EAGL, the Towson University gymnastics team will compete in its first league competition of the season.
   Towson was a charter member of the EAGL from 1996 to 2004, along with Maryland, New Hampshire, North Carolina, NC State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and West Virginia. Towson left the EAGL after the 2004 season and was replaced by George Washington. When West Virginia left for the Big 12, Towson returned to the EAGL.
   The Tigers, who defeated Cornell in a dual meet last week, are hoping to improve upon their seasonal best 193.00 team score, a mark that they earned in a home meet two weeks ago.
   Vault and floor exercise have been the Tigers' strong points this year. Led by freshman Katie Sassa, the Tigers are averaging 48.356 on vault.  On the floor, the Tigers have a 48.328 team average. Senior Britney Russell has led the Tigers on floor with a 9.71 average.

SENIOR DAY COMING MARCH 2- UNH will return to Lundholm Gymnasium to take on Towson, Yale and Brown in the annual UNH Invitational on Saturday, March 2, at 4 p.m. That will be the Senior Day meet for Aucoin, Connors, Fobes and Becca Marrama. For more information, visit, or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.

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