The Penn women's gymnastics team keeps having an unanticipated competitor at its meets this season -- the injury bug. The Quakers (1-1) tried to keep up the momentum they started in a record-setting performance against Cornell two weeks ago, but they ended up losing yet another gymnast to injury. On Saturday, Yale (2-1) defeated the Red and Blue for the third time in the past four seasons, this time by an overall score of 190.425 to 186.625. The Quakers quickly found themselves in a hole, as Yale took a 1.150 point lead after the first rotation. Penn was able to cut that deficit to 0.700 after a solid performance on the uneven bars, but the Quakers got no closer. "It definitely wasn't our best performance," senior tri-captain Sarah Bruscia said. "We have time to get better and we have to move on from there." While they may have come up short in the overall score, there were several bright performances for Penn individually. The Quakers' freshman -- especially freshman Anna Wilson -- had another solid meet. Wilson finished first in the vault (9.775) and the floor exercise (9.750), as well as second in the uneven bars with a score of 9.675. She had previously finished a team-high second in the vault at the George Washington Invitational. Fellow freshman Christy Green pulled in a third-place finish in the floor exercise with a 9.625. "We didn't do as well as we had hoped," Wilson said. "We're still stricken with injuries." As soon as one injured Penn gymnast is able to return to the lineup, another falls prey to injury. Freshman Tricia Chan, who had fractured her ankle in four places, returned to the Quakers' lineup on Saturday. But junior Lauren Hittner, also a Daily Pennsylvanian photographer, went down with an injury during her dismount from the uneven bars. Also sidelined is freshman Sarena Syma, who has a torn ACL. "It's more important to have people back for our championship meets like the Ivies and ECACs, so that's what we're trying to focus on now," Bruscia said. With a seemingly high number of injuries so far this season, the Quakers have had to rely on the freshmen to perform at a high level early on in their collegiate careers. "We need to get the injured and sick girls back," coach Tom Kovic said. "We also need to continue working on making the right decisions." The contributions from the younger gymnasts have been quite evident, as five freshmen and two sophomores were among the 11 Quakers who saw action on Saturday. "The freshmen are stepping up a lot, and it's great for us," Bruscia said. "They're expected to help out, but with the number of injuries that we've had, they're helping out even more than we expected." The Quakers will not have much time to rest their injuries, as they travel up Interstate 95 for a conference showdown with Brown on Sunday. That meet will be followed by a crosstown matchup with Temple on February 9. Looming in the distant horizon for the Quakers is a rematch with Yale at the Ivy Championships in New Haven on February 24.Comments powered by Disqus
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