PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania gymnastics team opened its season with a second-place showing at its home quad meet Saturday night at Hutchinson Gymnasium. Defending ECAC champion Towson edged the Quakers for the overall team victory.
The Quakers (2-1) scored 186.500, just 0.725 off of Towson's (3-0) total. Ursinus (1-2) scored 173.275 points for third while Wilson (0-3) had 162.475 to come in fourth.
The meet pitted the last two ECAC champions in Penn and Towson. The Quakers led after the first rotation with a 48.075 on vault. That vault result was the fifth-best in program history, matching the team's performance at last year's ECAC championships.
"That was a tremendous effort," said Head Coach Tom Kovic of his squad's first rotation. "The team was really fired up going in and it showed."
The vault was highlighted by Jordan Brewer's 9.725, Lauren Markowitz's 9.675, and Stephanie Ortiz setting a new career-high with a 9.600.
The Tigers, however, regained the lead with the next rotation and never looked back, scoring 48.3 on vault, 45.7 on bars, and 47.000 on the floor. Penn, meanwhile, posted scores of 46.075 on bars, 46.2 on beam, and 46.150 on the floor.
"Towson is a very formidable opponent," said Kovic. "But if any year in my 19 years, this is the year we can compete with those type of teams."
Ortiz was the all-around leader with a 37.900. Penn's Emily Petkun was second with 37.875.
Penn returns to action next Saturday when it visits arch-rival Yale for a 1 p.m. meet.