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Senior Elyse Shenberger led the Quakers in her final home meet for the Red and Blue.

Credit: Ilana Wurman

In their final home competition, Penn gymnastics seniors bid adieu to the Palestra.

Unfortunately, it wasn't the sweetest of goodbyes as the Quakers fell to Bridgeport this past Saturday, 193.650-191.825.

This contest would be the Red and Blue’s final before the highlight of their season: ECACs, which are next weekend at William and Mary.

Penn began the meet on the vault with Caroline Moore. Scoring a 9.400, she set the pace for the rest of the day. Seniors Carissa Lim, Emily Paterson and Morgan Venuti all competed on vault for the Red and Blue, helping bring the squad's event score to 47.850. Venuti’s score of 9.725 was enough to place her second on vault of the meet.

Bridgeport scored 48.100 on the apparatus, pulling ahead of the Red and Blue by 0.250.

The two squads then moved to the uneven bars, where Penn’s Kyra Levi tied Bridgeport’s Christine Liautaud for first place on the event with a score of 9.775. The Red and Blue finished the event with a score of 47.275, while Bridgeport scored 48.575, further extending its lead and standing at 96.675 points compared to the Quakers’ 95.125.

Beam was the next event up.

Senior Elyse Shenberger led off for Penn and scored an impressive 9.725, the best beam score for the Quakers of the day. She was followed by Nicole Swirlbalus who, along with Kelly Tan, scored 9.700.

While the Red and Blue had a solid day on the beam, totaling 47.900, it was still not enough to top Bridgeport’s score.

Carol Chiles and Brianna Comport helped Bridgeport log an impressive 48.475 event score, tying for the top score on the beam with scores of 9.875.

Overall, the Quakers trailed by 2.125 going into the last event of the day.

But the Red and Blue saved their best for last. Floor was the Quakers’ highest scoring event and best of the season.

Shenberger once again set the stage for the Red and Blue, leading off with 9.675. Every Penn gymnast after her would either match her score or build on it. Venuti followed and got 9.750, the same score Lim would also post.

The Red and Blue’s top score on the event hailed from the final competitor, sophomore Alex Harke, in her personal best of 9.825.

Penn was able to capture four of the top five scores on the event and finished with a team score of 48.800, beating Bridgeport’s 48.500 by three tenths.

While the Quakers’ floor performance was certainly a capstone finish to the senior’s last home competition, it was too little too late for Penn to overtake and win the meet.

The Red and Blue now turn their attention to their final meet of the season, the ECAC Championship next Saturday.

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