Yale gymnastics started its season with a sweep of three teams at Springfield College last Saturday.
The Bulldogs finished with a sore of 189.475 to beat Southern Connecticut State University (188.825), Brockport (186.475) and Springfield College (184.55). The team’s score bested last season’s high by more than two points. Freshmen Joyce Li ’15 and Morgan Traina ’15 provided hope that the season opener might be a sign of things to come for the Elis when they finished first and second in the all-around with scores of 38.05 and 37.8 respectively.
“It was a good start, getting the first one under your belt.” head coach Barbara Tonry said.
The team started off on bars, an event in which teammates said they are much improved from last year.
Both scoring 9.775 out of 10, Lindsay Andsager ’13 and Morgan Traina ’15 tied for second in the uneven bars. Despite this success, the event was not without its share of mistakes. Of the top five Yale competitors for bars, two fell during their routines, Traina said.
Tara Feld ’13, who competed all four events, said the sweep on the bars helped the team start off on the “right foot.”
When the gymnasts finished on bars, the team moved to beam, an event which caused several mishaps for the Bulldogs. After watching her team swallow two more falls into its overall score, Tonry said the team will need to train harder on beam in the future.
But even beam was not without its bright spots Tonry added. Feld started the team off with a bobble-free routine that earned her a score of 9.55, good enough for fifth place in the event. Li and Traina followed later with first and third place finishes. Li scored 9.7, while Traina earned a 9.65.
Although the team was not completely satisfied with its performance on these first two events, the Elis excelled on the floor exercise. Four of the six competitive routines earned over a 9.6. Feld took first with a score of 9.775, while Stephanie Goldstein ’13 came in close behind with a second place score of 9.75. Li and Nicole Tay ’14 took fourth and sixth with scores of 9.7 and 9.65 respectively.
On vault, the Elis were not advanced or ambitious enough to compete routines that would score high if executed successfully. As a result, the Bulldogs did not earn any places in the top three spots. But Traina placed fourth with a score of 9.525.
Li and Traina had an impressive one-two finish in the all-around competition.
“Joyce’s face was sheer shock when they called her out [as the all-around champion]” Tonry said.
Li scored a 38.05 to beat out her teammate Traina, who scored a 37.8. Traina said she did not find out she was competing in the all-around until a few days before the meet, but added that she was excited about the result.
Katherine Lucas ’15, who is out with a shoulder injury but attended the meet, said she was enthusiastic to see her teammates continue to improve in the future.
“The most important thing is helping the team win,” she said. “But first and second as freshmen is totally awesome. I’m so proud of them, and even with some mess-ups, imagine what they could do if they hit [their routines] perfectly.”
The team is preparing to tackle its next challenger, reigning Ivy League Champions Penn. While Penn has about 20 healthy gymnasts, Yale only has 12, Tonry said. But she added that even with that disadvantage, she thinks her team has a good chance to win.
“We know that we have to hit [the routines],” Tonry said. “Penn’s not going to give us anything.”
The Bulldogs will take on Penn this Saturday at home at 1 p.m.