One of the hardest aspects of gymnastics is getting back up after you fall.
This weekend, that’s exactly what Penn’s gymnastics team will try to do.
Coming off an underwhelming performance in a loss to Yale last weekend, the Quakers will look to rebound this Saturday at the Ken Anderson Memorial Invitational hosted by Temple. The five-team invitational will feature Penn, Temple, Cornell, Ursinus and West Chester.
This won’t be the first time Penn has seen Temple or Cornell in action this season — the Red and Blue finished behind both the Big Red and the Owls at the George Washington Invitational earlier this month.
The Quakers will also get a third look at Temple the following Saturday at Hutchinson Gymnasium.
“I think that we have the ability to beat them,” sophomore Carissa Lim said of Penn’s cross-city rival.
Based on recent practices, Lim — who has been relatively consistent for the Red and Blue this season — and coach John Ceralde are both optimistic about the Quakers’ prospects going into the meet.
“It’s just a matter of going there and doing what we do in practice,” Lim said.
However, so far this season, that’s been easier said than done. The problem for Penn — which has lost its first two dual meets of the season for the first time since the 2007-08 season — has been consistency.
At the GW Invitational, bars were the problem. Against Illinois State, the Quakers shored up their bars performance, but stuttered on beam. And against the Bulldogs, the bars plagued Penn again.
With that said, the Red and Blue are a fairly inexperienced team, as Ceralde noted. And thus far, they’ve been plagued by a couple key injuries.
Sophomore all-arounder Elyse Shimberger remains out. Meanwhile, senior captain Diana Moock is questionable for Saturday, after competing in a limited capacity against the Bulldogs in Penn’s last meet due to a hamstring injury.
“We’ll have to see. It’s a day-by-day basis on her,” Ceralde said.
Looking ahead to Saturday, if the Quakers manage to put together a complete performance, none of the competition is theoretically out of reach for Penn. Only one of the teams present will have hit the 190 threshold this season: Cornell, which did it once so far against Penn State.
Who knows? Nothing has been certain for the Quakers so far this season.
“If they’re ready to go, mentally prepared, they’ll have a great day,” Ceralde said. “You just can’t predict it.”
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