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PHILADELPHIA - After a stellar debut at the Lindsey Ferris Invitational in Washington, D.C., scoring 189.025, gymnastics returns to Philadelphia for the first home meet of the season. Scoring 189-plus in their season debut allowed the Quakers to place third overall, tops amongst all the ECAC schools that competed at the season-opening meet. This Friday's meet with Rutgers will be streamed live on the Penn Sports Network.
The Quakers took the vault by storm this past weekend, scoring the highest of all six teams at the meet. The Quakers new vault lineup featured three freshmen, but it was senior Laura DiPaolo that scored the best on the team at 9.750. Following right behind her were freshmen Amanda Schlaefer (9.7) and Wynne Levy (9.65).
Junior co-captain Kirsten Strausbaugh also scored very well, 9.625. Katie Graham and Amber Woo tied at 9.525, giving Penn all six scores above 9.5 in its first time out. The 48.250 team score on vault was over two-tenths higher than Penn scored at any meet last season.
The uneven bars were the Quakers second-best event of the day last Saturday. With four returnees joining two freshmen in that lineup, Penn scored 47.550. Two juniors, Strausbaugh and Megan Milavec led the way, scoring 9.775 and 9.6 respectively. Both marks nearly eclipsed personal career highs. DiPaolo scored 9.550 to give herself two solid routines. Makeda Constable scored 9.475, while Woo scored 9.150 in their collegiate debuts in the event. Dana Bonincontri competed solely in this event, scoring 9.125 in her first time out.
The Quakers third 47-plus team score came on the balance beam where Penn had three routines score 9.6 or higher. Schlaefer led the way with her 9.650. This score, coupled with her 9.7 on vault was good enough to earn her the inaugural ECAC Rookie of the Week honor. Graham scored 9.625 on beam, giving her two 9.5-plus routines for the invite. Constable scored 9.6, her highest mark of her three events she competed in on the day. Juniors Milavec and Strausbaugh, along with Woo rounded out the beam team.
With three solid scores on the other events, floor exercise was the Quakers fourth-best routine this past weekend. As many followers of gymnastics have grown accustomed to seeing, Strausbaugh turned in her typical strong performance, scoring 9.7. Graham and Constable tied on this event, each scoring 9.2, while Kaitlyn Reszkowski (9.1) and Woo (9.0) rounded out the Penn scorers. Milavec also competed on floor this past weekend.
Only two gymnasts, Strausbaugh and Woo, competed in the all-around. Strausbaugh consistently competed in all four events last season, while Woo made her all-around debut in her first collegiate meet.
Rutgers has competed in two meets so far this season. The Scarlet Knights scored 189.575 in their first meet and followed that up with a 191.650 this past weekend. Overall, Rutgers is ranked fourth in the Northeast Region with an average team score of 190.613 through two meets.
The Scarlet Knights best routine to date has been the floor exercise where they are averaging 48.275. They also average 48.063 on the vault. On bars, Rutgers has averaged 47.275 this season and an even 47 on the balance beam.
This will be your last chance to catch the Quakers at home during the month of the January. They will be on the road the following two weekends before returning home for a quad meet on February 10.