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PHILADELPHIA - After two solid meets to begin the 2012 season, gymnastics will look continue its strong start this weekend as the team takes on Ivy League rival Yale on the road this Saturday. In their first home meet of the season, the Quakers scored a 191.975, the highest team score since the 2008 season. Yale just had its first meet of the season and scored 189.475, capturing first place in its home gym. This Saturday's meet with Yale will begin at 1 p.m.
The Quakers' vault team is currently ranked third in the ECAC. After recording the third-best team vault in the program's history, Penn nearly had consecutive 48-plus days on the event, just missing with a still strong 47.925. Laura DiPaolo is currently ranked seventh in the conference, averaging a 9.7 on her two vaults. Amanda Schlaefer is right behind her, ranked tenth, averaging 9.675 after two vaults. Kirsten Strausbaugh has also added two vaults of at least 9.6 in the first two meets this season.
Freshman Wynne Levy scored a season-best 9.65 in her first collegiate meet and followed that up with a solid 9.475 the last time out. Megan Milavec joined the vault lineup for the first time last meet, scoring 9.55. Katie Graham scored 9.525 in her only vault this season. Amber Woo, the reigning ECAC Rookie of the Week, vaulted in both meets, including a season-best 9.525.
Penn has the second-ranked uneven bars team in the ECAC after scoring 48.200 in its last meet. The Quakers have used the same bar lineup in each of their first two meets. Strausbaugh is ranked second in the conference individually after back-to-back 9.775 routines. Those scores were just off her career-high of 9.8. Milavec is ranked eighth in the conference after two straight 9.6-plus routines, including a career-best 9.675 her last meet.
DiPaolo has put up two straight routines of at least 9.5 to start her season, while freshman Makeda Constable has scored at least 9.45 in each of her two times on the bars. Dana Bonincontri looks to be coming back strong after posting a 9.750 against Rutgers, just one-tenth behind her career high. Woo also showed vast improvement in this event the last time out, scoring 9.5.
The Quakers are also ranked second in the ECAC as a team on the balance beam following a 48.125 score in the meet against Rutgers. Penn has also had the same six gymnasts on this event in each of the first two meets. Schlaefer is ranked seventh in the conference on this event after scoring a season-best 9.725 in the meet with Rutgers to secure her first collegiate event win. Graham is ranked 12th in the event after successive 9.625 routines on beam.
Constable scored a 9.6 in her first collegiate meet and backed that up with a 9.525 her last meet. Woo also posted a strong improvement in this event her last meet, scoring 9.675. Strausbaugh scored a season-best 9.575 on beam her last meet, while Milavec has a season-best 9.225 after two routines on beam.
On floor, Penn scored over a point and a half better against Rutgers than in the first meet of the season. Strausbaugh is currently ranked just eighth in the highly competitive event in the conference after going 9.7-plus in each of the first two meets. Two freshmen, Kaitlyn Reszkowski and Constable each added a 9.475 to the team's floor score in their second collegiate meets.
Woo scored a season-best 9.550 her last time out, while Graham scored a 9.2 in her only meet competing on floor this season. Milavec scored a season-best 9.475 in the meet against Rutgers, while Claire Stingley made her season debut on the floor in that same meet.
As a team, Penn is ranked third overall in the ECAC, averaging 190.5 through two meets. Strausbaugh is ranked third in the all-around after scoring a 38.7 in her four events against Rutgers, just one-tenth off her career high. Woo has also competed in the all-around in both meets, scoring 38.2 her last time out, a 1.6-point improvement. Milavec also competed in the all-around for the first time in 2012 against Rutgers. She tallied a 37.8 in her first time this season competing in every event.
Yale comes into the meet as the fourth ranked team in the ECAC after scoring 189.475 in their only meet. The Bulldogs' best performance in their first meet of the season came on the floor where they scored 48.3 as a team. Yale also boasts a strong bars team after going over 47.6 in its first competition.
Individually, Yale has two gymnasts tied with Strausbaugh for the second ranking on bars in the ECAC. They also have the third and fifth ranked individuals on the floor exercise after a very impressive opening score. Three gymnasts competed in the all-around for Yale in the first meet. Joyce Li led the way, scoring 38.050 in her four events.
Last season, Penn defeated Yale in each of the three meets the two schools met, including the Ivy Classic and ECAC Championships. However, the Bulldogs have already scored over three points higher this season than they did in any of those three meets a season ago. After traveling to Yale, Penn will make another Ivy League road trip to Cornell next Saturday, February 4.