Today: May 22, 2024

Gymnastics loses nail-biter in home opener

Pat Longobardi, Sports Writer-
Gabriella Hude won the floor exercise and Justine Basley won the uneven parallel bars events, but Southern Connecticut State University gymnastics was defeated by Temple University, 186.425 – 185.375, on Jan. 29 at the Moore Field House.
Southern placed second out of four teams in their last competition on Jan. 22 in Brockport, NY. Southern defeated SUNY-Brockport (placed third) and Springfield (placed fourth), but lost to Cornell.
Southern competed on the vault and the balance beam first. Temple competed on the uneven parallel bars and floor exercise first.
Southern’s order of competition included the vault, the bars, the balance beam and the floor exercise. Temple’s order of competition included the bars, the vault, the floor exercise and the balance beam.
Temple placed first through seventh in the vault event. Temple junior Kaitlyn Watson won the event with a 9.550. Temple junior Alexandra Uscatu placed second with a 9.475. Southern’s Rebecca Brady came in third, tied with Temple junior Corrine Williams, with a 9.450. Southern placed eighth through twelth. Temple scored a 47.275 in the event, with a score of 92.825 overall. Southern scored a 46.125, with a score of 46.125 overall.
Temple placed first through third on the balance beam. Temple’s Williams won in the event with a 9.650. Freshman Sylvie Borschel placed second with a 9.600. Senior Marissa Oxenford came in third with a 9.550.  Southern’s Brianna Ecklof and Basley came in fourth and fifth. Temple scored a 46.875 in the event, a score of 186.425 overall. Southern scored a 46.275, a score of 138.500 overall.
“On the beam we had a little trouble,” said Basley. “We picked it up on the floor and we didn’t quit, which is important in gymnastics that it is never really over until it’s over.”
Southern came in the top two on the uneven parallel bars. Basley, a senior, won the event with a 9.475. Hude placed second with a 9.350. Temple freshman Heather Zaniewski came in third with a 9.300, and sophomore Ebone Grant came in fourth. Mallory Miller came in fifth. Southern scored a 46.100 in the event, a score of 92.225 overall. Temple scored a 45.550, a score of 45.550 overall.
Southern and Temple tied for first on the floor exercise. Hude and Temple’s Williams both had a 9.525. Ecklof came in third with a 9.500. Oxenford placed fourth. Brady came in fifth. Southern scored a 46.875 in the event, a score of 185.375 overall. Temple scored a 46.725, a score of 139.550 overall.

“I had some trouble early on the beam, but I pulled myself together for the sake of the team,” said Brady.
Brady said the goal of the team going forward is going to nationals.“We need to keep hitting, keep up the energy, and we can’t let mistakes get us down.”
“Today, we played a strong division one team, which had seven full scholarships,” said Southern head coach Jerry Nelson.
Nelson credited the bars and floor exercise events as Southern’s positives of the day.
“We actually beat them in two out of four events. I think it says something that we can hang
with strong opponents,” he said.
Miller, a junior, competed all-around, receiving a 36.325 overall.
Temple moved to 3-5 on the season. Southern moved to 5-2 on the season.
Southern’s next competition is on Saturday, Feb. 12 against Rhode Island College and SUNY-Brockport at Moore Field House.

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