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UNH, Yale, and UB meet on a cold day in Bridgeport.

By David F.P.
(Scores from Troester and Eyewitness Account) [ Image Gallery ]

BRIDGEPORT, CT- An interesting mix of New England teams assembled in the Wheeler Recreation Center within a stone’s throw of Long Island Sound down in Bridgeport.

For the University of New Hampshire, each week was part of the ongoing battle to stay within the top 36 teams in the country and earn a return to regionals. For Bridgeport, they were building towards not only a run at the ECAC D2 title, but potential regional attendee slots, and overall prestige boosts. For Yale, who always contends for an Ivy title, and sends a few gymnasts to regionals usually, it has been a tough year due to injury which has given the Bulldogs some lineup holes despite having an overall talented roster available.

It was an interesting meet in which two Bridgeport squads took to the floor, one competing for score, the second an exhibition group who would compete on the fourth event since judges were available. This proved to be an exciting meet which gave every team something to be happy about as well as scores that were less than their usual.

UNH picked up the meet win but the all important score of 192.9. They were able to do so off 48.825s on their strong Vault lineup, a 48.75 on the Bars, another major strength, their eclectic floor group got them a 48.7 and the lone sore sport would be Beam with a 46.625, but still a solid score that keeps them up in the rankings.

On the Vault Helena Diodati led the team with a 9.85, Justine Turner followed with a 9.8, and Katie Caliendo, Danielle Reibold, and Diane Grey filled in close behind, as UNH remains very consistent on the runway.

On the bars, Diodati took the top score again of 9.85, with Ali Carr’s 9.825 second among Wildcats. Reibold, Grey, and Katie Lawrence also were close for the counted scores.

UNH’s beam would be their lowest score of the day but Taryn LaFountain still scored a 9.775, with Diodati a few tenth’s behind, and the other scores were solid but lower than usual.

On the Floor, Turner put up her second 9.8 of the night, with Julie Sauchuk scoring a 9.775 in her lone event, and LaFountain notching that score as well. Keeley Smith flipped to a 9.725, and Katie Caliendo and Helena Diodati were not far behind.

Diodati put in an all around appearance and notched a 38.75.

The Yale Bulldogs only fielded five gymnasts per event which is an inherent disadvantage taking away a margin of error teams usually have available to them. Additionally the team only had Brigitte Kivisto’s services for one event, where she usually is available for more.

The gymnasts left to compete still put up solid numbers however as the team managed 47.05’s on Vault, and 47.125’s on Floor. The beam was rough with a 45.85, though the Uneven Bars proved to be harder on the scoring with a 44.575 coming their way.

Even with the scoring issues on the Bars, Alina Liao posted a 9.65, Allison Mak had a 9.325, Sarah Hughes narrowly missed 9, and Claude De Jocas set a new personal high on the event.

It has been a difficult event all season for the Bulldogs. On the Beam, Kivisto made her lone event count with a 9.5. Lauren Tatsuno , Liao, and Mak all had lower scores than usual, but still kept them solid. Sherry Yang narrowly missed 9 as well. Beam remains the event Yale has the highest top score of the season in.

The good news is on Vault, the blue and white hit a season high of 47.05. Allison Mak took the top team score of 9.6, Tatsuno had a 9.575, Liao a 9.425, and Micaline Tomeo had a season high 9.275. Sherry Yang added a 9.175 as well.

On the Floor, Liao took the lead with a 9.675, Tatsuno a 9.6, Hughes a 9.4, Yang a 9.3, and Mak a solid 9.15. Liao continues to utilized hard rock as her backdrop and Tatsuno has brought back her orchestral version of “Istanbul, not Constantinople.”

Liao had a solid 37.9 day in the all around and Mak had a 37.1. The team as a whole put together a 184.6, their best score of the season. If they can match that performance and their anchors hit on Beam the score will jump again as well.

Bridgeport picked up the second place score of 186.975, good enough to top Yale which generally is an upset, but all the same the Purple Knights had their good events and not as good events. The Floor was their big score when they posted a 48.025. Vault came in with a 47.15. The Bars and Beam did not result in as fortuitous scores though as a 45.95 occurred on the Unevens and a 45.85 came on Beam.

Despite the lower scores, Caroline McAvity set the pace on beam with a 9.475, Lorraine Galow was right behind her, Miranda Der had the third highest team score just above 9, and Emily Repko, Yvonne Scott, and Breanna Collins were just below the 9 mark. Collins and Repko would both have better scores on the Floor though. On the Bars side, Galow picked up a 9.625, Carissa Huggins a 9.375, and Der a 9.3. Hannah Forti and Shannon Cain added counted scores as well.

On the Vault Galow led the way as well with her 9.65. Amanda Goodman picked up a 9.475, and Hannah Forti, Kat Reitz, Der, and Niki Calderon all had 9.3 or above for an overall solid outing.

On the Floor, UB ended things with a bang. Repko picked up a 9.35, Reitz 9.5, Der a 9.65, Collins a 9.75, and Galow anchored the rotation with a 9.775 set to “Nour el Ain” a world music piece that moves slowly but purposefully.

In the All Around Galow posted a 38.5, and Der a 37.275.

It was actually a fairly active day in the all around with Diodati capturing the AA win but Galow was right behind her and Liao close as well. Der and Mak also put in solid performances too.

More in depth coverage will follow as tape is analyzed and the like. But early on in the season the reports will be focused on scores until more color and be worked in. Plus following three teams at once often forces there to be a focus on just observing and trying to make sense of it later.