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SCSU Gymnastics faces RIC on Senior Day

By David F. Pendrys {Official Results from SCSU Athletics]

NEW HAVEN, CT – It was senior day at SCSU as the four Seniors on the gymnastics teams were given their honors. Though it will not be their last meet in their home gym as ECAC Division 2 Championships will be held there in March. As it would turn out, seniors Alexandra Avendano, Kasey Kilmurray, Tiffany Elliot and Kathleen Aberger all would have a role to play in the meet vs Division 3 Rhode Island College in addition to their ongoing service to the team over their time at Southern.

“It’s a great bunch, they’ve been here all four years,” SCSU Head Coach Jerry Nelson said of the four seniors. We’ve broken records on every event while they were here. It’s bittersweet watching them grow up, and meeting them as high schoolers and them watching them leave. They’re all very strong athletes, very strong people. They’re going to have great success when they leave here.”

The end result would be Southern picking up a 189.525 to RIC’s 177.550, though as always the two teams are participating in different standings score wise Southern looks to achieve in the USAG Collegiate and ECAC D2 rankings and RIC participates in the NCGA East.

“I think we’re ahead of the same point last year,” Nelson said. “And I think we’re on our way to much better things. We had an awesome meet last week. This week we struggled on a couple of events. A little room for improvement. We’ll take care of that.”

“We have a new Floor coach this year [Abigail Bensley],” Aberger said. “So a lot of our floor routines have gotten better. It’s really exciting to watch. We had a really good floor day today, so we’re just trying to carry that…into all the other events as well.”

Avendano led the meet on Vault sticking her way to a 9.625, trailed slightly by teammate Alexandra Lesperance’s 9.6 and fellow Owl Melena Ristenblatt’s 9.4. Erin Shea had RIC’s best score of 9.325

On Uneven Bars, Aberger swung to a 9.6 for first in the meet, followed by Kilmurray and Cadi Borsellino’s 9.575. Kilmurray had an especially noticeable stick to her dismount. Keylea Brothers rounded out the top 3 scores for Southern. Miranda Murphy led RIC with her 8.850.

The Balance Beam, was not kind to either team, but Kylyn Dawkins and Emily Balasco held steady for the Owls notching 9.65s. Grace Davis had the second highest score of the meet to lead RIC with her 9.450.

Over on Floor, Southern went out with a bang, as Aberger scored a 9.8 to lead all gymnasts, with Dawkins putting up a 9.725, Avendano a 9.675, Brothers a 9.625, and Borsellino and Elliot each had 9.55s for a solid rotation overall. Murphy led RIC with her 9.4 and Davis had a 9.3.

“[Aberger] does our choreography. I think It’s really important that your routine goes with your personality, so she definitely takes that into consideration. Imagine showing it off, imagine where the judges are supposed to be, smiling, keeping our energy up,” Avendano said of their routines.

“I try to incorporate each individual’s personality into their floor routine so that it’s just natural for them to go out and compete and show off. I think that really happened today, that’s why we had a great floor day,” Aberger said.

Murphy compiled a 36.525 for an All Around score, and fellow Anchorwoman Kaela Skerl had a 34.925.

The four SCSU seniors all had different thoughts on the mid-season final regular season home meet.

“I think it’s very bittersweet. Being part of this team for the past four years has just been amazing, and I can’t wait to finish out the season with all of them,” Elliot said. “Definitely a lot of mixed feelings, but excitement was there,” Kilmurray added.

“It was definitely a really exciting day today. We had a lot of alumni come and support us. It’s nice being home, so other student athletes can come and support as well. It was definitely fun,” Avendano said. “I think we all had really high notes today,” Aberger agreed.

Routines and Interviews Playlist

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