PISCATAWAY, N.J. (January 24, 2013) – After competing at home the last two weekends, Rutgers gymnastics heads back on the road to take part in a quad meet at Penn State Saturday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. inside Rec Hall. RU will also challenge Iowa and No. 22 Pittsburgh.
“This is a big meet for us,” head coach Louis Levine said. “We will be going up against two Big Ten teams and a conference opponent, Pittsburgh. This will be a pretty big test for us and it should be a large, energetic crowd at Penn State. It will really show us where we are and help us take the next step forward.”
The Scarlet Knights (4-2, 0-1 EAGL) put up a score of 192.925 last Saturday to finish second in a quad meet at the Livingston Recreation Center. Freshman Jenna Williams (Bordentown, N.J.) continued to make an immediate impact with a first-place finish on bars (9.850) and a career-high 9.850 on vault. Classmate Claudia Salinas (Allendale, N.J.) also finished first on balance beam (9.850), as RU totaled a season-best 48.225 in the event.
“We have stepped up and have already learned a lot about ourselves the first three weeks,” Levine continued. “The freshmen now have a few meets under their belt and now know what to expect. Overall, we are growing as a team and learning how to deal with adversity, which is only going to make us stronger as the year progresses.”
The Nittany Lions (3-3, 0-1 Big Ten) registered a mark of 194.300 in their home opener last weekend, with senior Sharaya Musser highlighting the efforts with a 38.775 all-around score. The team is led by third-year head coach Jeff Thompson, whose team appeared in the national rankings earlier in the season. It will be the first trip to Penn State for RU gymnastics since 2009.
Iowa (1-1, 0-1 Big Ten), another future Rutgers conference opponent, posted a 194.925 score in a dual meet loss to No. 21 Ohio State in its last time out. The Hawkeyes scored best on vault (49.050), with sophomore Emma Willis recording a career-high 9.900. Led by ninth-year head coach Larissa Libby, Iowa looks to qualify for its sixth-consecutive NCAA postseason appearance.
No. 22 Pittsburgh (2-2, 0-1 EAGL) will be the first ranked and second EAGL opponent Rutgers has faced this season. The Panthers notched their sixth-highest score in school history (195.675) most recently to finish second in a quad meet at home. Ranked first in the EAGL in floor exercise and bars, the program is led by 27th-year head coach Debbie Yohman.