PHILADELPHIA – The Penn gymnastics team will be back in a familiar place on Sunday afternoon, when it hosts Bridgeport at The Palestra for a 1 p.m. meet. This will be the only home competition of the season for the Quakers, and thus will serve as Senior Day to celebrate the careers of the five seniors on Penn’s roster.
The Red and Blue are coming off their second dual meet victory of the season when they scored a season-high 191.625 at West Chester on Feb. 8. Despite being without Dana Bonincontri due to injury – they will most likely be without her once again against the Purple Knights – the Quakers depended on a younger lineup, and came out with the win. Freshmen Carissa Lim, Amber Hu and Elyse Shenberger dominated for Penn, combining for five career-highs and three first-place finishes.
Shenberger will most likely compete in the all-around for the second consecutive meet, filling in for Bonincontri, but following up her performance against West Chester will be a task in itself. The freshman earned her second ECAC Rookie of the Week award after setting a career-high in the all-around with a 38.675.
Other gymnasts that will be counted on against Bridgeport will be seniors Megan Milavec and Kirsten Strausbaugh – the two other all-around competitors for Penn. Wynne Levy, Amber Woo, and Makeda Constable will contribute as well for the Quakers. Strausbaugh and Milavec will have special motivation on Senior Day, and are coming off second and third-place finishes in the all-around against the Rams, respectively. Levy set a season-high last week on vault to place second. Woo is continuing to get healthy and will most likely compete on bars and beam. Constable had a successful day against West Chester, tying her career-high on beam to place second.
While Strausbaugh and Milavec are competing in the all-around, fellow seniors Kristen Hughes and Haleigh Zillges will compete in individual events as well – Hughes on bars and Zillges on beam.
The last time Penn met the Purple Knights was back on Jan. 19 in New Brunswick, N.J. in a quad meet hosted by Rutgers. The Quakers placed third with a 190.525 and Bridgeport took the top spot with a 194.100. Bonincontri dominated the day for Penn, scoring a 39.125 in the all-around, which was just .015 off her career-high.
The Purple Knights enter at a high level, averaging 193.755 in their overall scores. They are led by Sasha Tsikhanovich who scored as career-high 39.375 in the all-around against Brown, and has averaged 39.160 throughout the season.
The meet will be broadcast live on Penn Sports Network and can be found here.