PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Jan. 3, 2013) – The Rutgers gymnastics team, led by second-year head coach Louis Levine, begins the 2013 season at New Hampshire on Sunday, Jan. 6 at 1 p.m. in Durham, N.H., in Lundholm Gymnasium. The Scarlet Knights will open the season with the Wildcats for the 13th-straight season.
The Scarlet Knights return 10 letterwinners while also bringing in six freshmen, allowing for leadership and fresh faces to add to the pieces already in place. The team returns four seniors from a squad that progressively got better as the 2012 season went on, capping the year with its best-ever score at the Eastern Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) Championships, tallying a 193.850.
Senior Jenna Zito (Rockaway, N.J.) and juniors Alexis Gunzelman (Tabernacle, N.J.) and Alyssa Straub (Nazareth, Pa.) are the 2013 captains.
Top returning performers include Gunzelman, who participated all-around in every meet in 2012 with a 38.955 RQS, qualified for the NCAA Regionals in Raleigh, N.C., after staking claim as the EAGL Team MVP for being the most consistent performer throughout the year. She led the team in RQS in all four events – vault (9.770), uneven bars (9.775), balance beam (9.840) and floor exercise (9.840).
Gunzelman also earned First Team All-EAGL All-Around and Second Team Uneven Bars and Floor Exercise to add to her accomplishments. Straub additionally had a solid season in 2012 (37.560 RQS) all-around to take home Second Team All-EAGL All-Around honors. Seniors Danielle D’Elia (Colts Neck, N.J.) (9.815 RQS) and Zito (9.825) also picked up accolades as Second Team All-Floor Exercise representatives a year ago.
Rutgers holds a 3-11 record all-time against New Hampshire. Last season, the Scarlet Knights fell to the Wildcats (191.050 – 189.575) in the Livingston Recreation Center on Jan. 7, 2012. Rutgers last beat UNH on Jan. 12, 2007 in a tri-meet at the University of Rhode Island.
Led by Gail Godspeed, now in her 34th season, New Hampshire qualified for the 2012 NCAA Regional Championships, finishing sixth at the NCAA Fayetteville Regional. The Wildcats finished sixth at last season’s EAGL Championship.
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