Gymnastics Holds Fitness Day/Meet of Champions (March 8, 4 p.m.)

Adrienne Hill

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New Hampshire vs No. 19 Penn State, George Washington, Bridgeport
  Fitness Day/Meet of Champions
  March 8, 2014 • 4:00 p.m. • Lundholm Gymnasium • Durham, N.H.
Live Stats:
http://www.unhwildcats.com/sports/gymnastics/2013-14/files/20140308.htm 
Video Streaming: http://unhwildcats.tv/
Video Commentary: Courtney Connors

DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire gymnastics team plays host to the Fitness Day/Meet of Champions quad-meet at Lundholm Gym on Saturday, March 8 (4 p.m.) against 19th-ranked Penn State, George Washington and Bridgeport.

The Wildcats (194.085 Regional Qualifying Score) have strung together eight straight wins to improve their season record to 10-3, 4-2 in the East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL).

 
LAST TIME OUT: (March 3, 2014) - WASHINGTON, D.C. – Meghan Pflieger (Barneveld, N.Y.) tied for first place on balance beam and earned a share of third place on floor exercise to help UNH score a season-high 195.925 to complete Monday night's come-from-behind tri-meet victory against George Washington and Maryland at GWU's Charles E. Smith Center.

GWU (195.650) finished in second place and Maryland (195.425) placed third.

Erika Rudiger (Slidell, La.) led UNH's vault lineup with a 9.825 to earn a tie for fourth place, and Kelsey Aucoin (Double Oak, Texas) scored a 9.800 to tie for seventh place as the Wildcats totaled a 48.875 for second place on that apparatus.

Rudiger notched the Wildcats' top uneven bar score with a 9.825 to claim a share of fifth place. Pflieger and Jannelle Minichiello (Tewksbury, Mass.) scored matching marks of 9.750 to tie for ninth place, and the 'Cats compiled a 48.725 (second place) on that event.

New Hampshire turned things up on balance beam with a first-place 49.075, led by Pflieger's 9.875 to tie for first place. Kayla Gray (Buffalo, N.Y.) finished third with a 9.850, and Minichiello tied for fourth place with a 9.825.

Erin Machado (Swansea, Mass.) and Pflieger tallied equal marks of 9.875 on floor exercise to share third place. Aucoin and Hannah Barile (Sinking Spring, Pa.) tied for sixth place (9.850), and UNH posted a meet-high 49.250 to complete the victory. 

SCOUTING THE NITTANY LIONS: No. 19 Penn State (195.910 RQS) closed out its regular season home slate with an impressive victory over Bridgeport, Western Michigan and Yale last weekend. The Nittany Lions swept the podium in all four events and compiled a score of 196.600, their second-highest score of the season, to improve to 15-2 on the year.

Penn State ranks among the Top-20 in overall team score and on all four events. The Blue and White currently rank 15th on the floor exercise (49.120), are tied for 15th on the vault (49.095), sit 18th on the balance beam (48.875) and are tied for 20th on the uneven bars (48.985).

Senior Kassidy Stauder continues to lead the Nittany Lions in the all-around and on the uneven bars and balance beam. She currently ranks 20th in the NCAA in the all-around with a RQS of 39.245 after posting a career-high 39.425 on Senior Night last weekend to win the competition. In the final home quad meet, Stauder won the uneven bars and tied for the balance beam title. She finished among the top-four on all four events, as well.

Freshman Emma Sibson was honored as the Big Ten Freshman of the Week after a solid showing last weekend.

Penn State will host the 2014 Big Ten Women's Gymnastics Championships on March 22 and the 2014 NCAA Regional Championships on April 5.

SCOUTING THE COLONIALS: George Washington (193.435 RQS) scored a season-high 195.650 with season-best marks on both balance beam (49.075) and floor exercise (49.250) en route to a second-place finish at Monday's Pink Meet, which was won by UNH at the Charles E. Smith Center.

Five Colonials' gymnasts earned spots on event podiums led by freshman Chelsea Raineri, who tied for first on floor exercise with a career-high 9.90 and tied for second place on vault with a 9.85.

Raineri entered this week of competition ranked second in EAGL on vault with an RQS of 9.875. She also leads the conference with an average vault routine of 9.879 and ranks eighth with a floor exercise RQS of 9.810.

Senior Kiera Kenney is ranked seventh on uneven bars (as of March 3) with a RQS of 9.770.

SCOUTING THE PURPLE KNIGHTS: Bridgeport (12-6) opened a busy few days of action with an impressive 194.675-191.025 home dual-meet victory over visiting Brown on Thursday night.  The 194.675 is a season-high team score for the Knights, who possess a 191.785 RQS.

UB won all four events, posting a 48.450 on the vault, a 48.850 on the bars, a 48.250 on the beam and a season-best 49.125 on the floor.

Senior Lissette La Fex won Thursday's all-around posting score of 38.750.  Lissette took third on the vault (9.750), first on the bars (9.875), ninth on the beam (9.300) and tied for third on the floor (9.825).

Senior Melissa Doucette (Somersworth, N.H.) took first place on vault (9.825) and tied for first place on floor (9.850).

WHERE THE CATS STACK UP: UNH is currently ranked fifth in EAGL with its 194.085 RQS. The Wildcats are No. 2 on vault (48.870), No. 6 on bars (48.200), No. 5 on beam (48.465) and No. 5 on floor (48.835). Individually, Barile (No. 6), Aucoin (No. 8) and Pflieger (T-No. 9) all rank in the top-10 on vault. Rudiger leads the bar (No. 12) lineup, Gray paces the 'Cats on team (No. 5) and Machado is the top performer on floor (No. 6). 

FITNESS DAY: Anyone displaying proof of a gym club membership will receive the special admission price of $3.00 for Fitness Day. The meet is free for all UNH students. Following the meet, the UNH gymnasts will sign autographs.

NEXT UP: The Wildcats host their Senior Night meet against the U.S. Air Force Academy on Friday, March 14, starting at 7 p.m. The 'Cats will honor seniors Hannah Barile, Erin Machado, Jannelle Minichiello and Jillian Hudson (Sparkill, N.Y.).

EAGL CHAMPIONSHIP AT WHIITEMORE CENTER: UNH will play host to the 2014 EAGL Championship at the Whittemore Center on Saturday, March 22, at 2 p.m. The Wildcats challenge George Washington, Maryland, North Carolina, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Towson. Tickets are on sale now at www.ticketmaster.com.
 
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