Gymnastics Posts Season-High 195.450 to Rally Past Maryland
DURHAM, N.H. – Hannah Barile (Sinking Spring, Pa.) scored a personal-best 9.850 on vault and added a season-high 9.850 on floor exercise to help the University of New Hampshire gymnastics team complete Saturday's come-from-behind 195.450-193.950 East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) victory against Maryland at Lundholm Gym.
UNH scored season highs on vault (49.075), bars (48.400), beam (48.925) and floor (49.050) to improve to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in EAGL competition.
Kelsey Aucoin (Double Oak, Texas) established career highs on vault (9.825, T-4th), beam (9.850, T-1st) and floor (9.800, T-3rd) in her bid to win a second straight EAGL Rookie of the Week award. She will receive solid competition from teammate Meghan Pflieger (Barneveld, N.Y.), who competed as an all-around for the first time in her career and compiled a first-place 39.100. Pflieger started with a 9.825 on vault (T-4th), set a personal best on beam (9.850) to share first place with Aucoin, totaled a 9.625 in her collegiate debut on uneven bars (T-9th) and capped her night with a career-high 9.800 on floor (T-3rd).
"So proud of the team chemistry and determination to hit 23 out of 24 sets," head coach Gail Goodspeed said. "Amazing is the word that comes to mind. Meghan Pflieger was amazing in her first meet as an all-around, the atmosphere of the crowd was amazing with the electricity of the 'I believe in UNH' cheer, and it was an amazing tribute to our honored faculty and staff."
Maryland (1-3, 0-2 EAGL) took command early in the meet on the combined effort of sisters Karen Tang and Kathy Tang. Karen Tang placed first on vault (9.900) and bars (9.800), with Kathy Tang finishing runner-up in both events (vault/9.875; bars/9.775). An injury sidelined Kathy Tang for the final two rotations.
Barile, who received the meet's Katie Baldwin Expression Award, earned third place on vault; Aucoin and Pflieger shared fourth.
On bars, Maryland's Stephanie Giameo (9.750) finished in third place behind the Tang sisters. UNH's top bar performers were Erika Rudiger (Slidell, La.) and Jessica Gracia (Bahama, N.C.), who shared fourth place (9.725) with Maryland's Elizabethe Manzi.
Aucoin and Pflieger ignited the 'Cats beam lineup, sharing first place with Manzi. Kayla Gray (Buffalo, N.Y.) hit for a 9.800 to place fourth.
The Wildcats erased a 0.15 deficit in the final rotation by placing five gymnasts in the top-3 on floor. Barile finished second, and five 'Cats were part of a six-way tie for third (9.800): Aucoin; Rudiger; Pflieger and Erin Machado (Swansea, Mass.) matched UMD's Emily Brauckmuller.
"As we were going to floor with Maryland heading to beam, I said 'Let's compete.' After a fall from our first performer, the rest of the team rose to the challenge and hit great sets," Goodspeed added. "We thank the University and gymnastics community for their outstanding support today."
The Wildcats travel to Yale to take on the Bulldogs on Saturday, Feb. 8 (1 p.m.). UNH defeated Yale, 193.700-187.500, as part of the Wildcat Invitational on Jan. 19. New Hampshire's next home meet is a tri-meet against Centenary and Brown on Saturday, Feb. 15 (4 p.m.). For more information, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000.
UNH will play host to the 2014 EAGL Championship at the Whittemore Center on Saturday, March 22, at 2 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at www.ticketmaster.com.