The Quakers’ competitive side showed last weekend, as Penn topped Yale 181.475 to 184.900 in women’s gymnastics. This close meet proved heartbreaking for the Elis, given they won three of the four events and Alina Liao ’09 won the all-around individual title.
The loss, however, was a good meet, Sherry Yang ’11 said. The team’s overall vault total increased by more than a point from their last competition, and the score differential between the two squads was less than 3½ points. Considering that much of the Eli squad has been sick or injured in the early season, Yang said that there can only be improvement as the season progresses.
On the bars, currently the Bulldogs’ weakest event, Liao placed first with a 9.575, and Sarah Hughes ’09 finished third with a 9.25 (Margaret Greenberg ’12, Allison Mak ’10 and Claude de Jocas ’09 rounded out the Elis’ five). The team has experienced many injuries on the bars, yet the freshmen have stepped up to fill the gaps in the roster.
“Margaret’s routine was much better than the one last week,” Liao said. “I’m not sure if the score reflected that but [the routine] was more aggressive.”
“My release move was a lot better,” Greenberg said. “My dismount also improved.”
Lauren Tatsuto ’09 and Mak performed strongly on the vault as the pair tied for second, each with a 9.575. Liao placed just after the duo in third with a 9.55. Yang and Micaline Tomeo ’12 filled out the top five.
On floor exercises, the Yale ladies outscored Penn 47.125 to 44.25. Brigitte Kivisto ’10 won the event with a 9.65. Yang and Hughes each debuted double back tumbling passes to great effect, receiving a 9.475 and 9.35, respectively. Mak opened the event with a 9.175 and Tatsuno tied with Yang for a shared third place.
Liao also competed in the floor exercises, making it the only event in which the Elis fielded a full squad. Each team can enter up to six players in each field, but due to injuries and illnesses, the Elis have been able to field only five athletes in most events. This has given their opponents a decided advantage because only the top five scores are counted in the official score while the sixth is dropped. When competing with five gymnasts, all scores count.
“By the time we got to beam, we were all really tired,” Yang said. “It is usually our strongest event. There were many abnormal falls — falls that don’t even happen in practice.”
This scoring disadvantage came to life as Yang, Mak and Liao all brought about uncharacteristic falls. Tatsuno, however, won the event with a strong 9.7 and Kivisto placed a solid third with a 9.6.
“If we were really on top of it, we could have beaten them,” Yang said. “At Ivies it’s a big possibility that we could take them.”
Liao won the all-around competition with a 37.125. Mak’s all-around score totaled 35.825.
Yale heads to Bridgeport next Saturday for a 1 p.m. tri-meet against the University of New Haven and the University of Bridgeport.