After losing momentum this past weekend, Penn gymnastics is looking to spring back against its biggest competition thus far.
This upcoming weekend, the Red and Blue will travel to Brown for the Ivy League Classic. All four varsity Ivy League teams will be at this tournament – Yale, Brown, Cornell, and Penn.
“There’s no one team in particular [we think will be the hardest competition]. It’s a matter of who hits that day,” senior captain Krya Levi said. “We are focused on the fact that we have to be our best in order to beat any of them.”
As the all-important Ivy championship, this weekend will determine who takes home Ancient Eight glory. In order to be successful, the Quakers (3-8, 2-2 Ivy) will have to defeat three tough opponents.
“I think we have a pretty good standing [in the Ivy League],” junior captain Caroline Moore said. “We just have to go in with a confident energy, ready to perform our best.”
The competition will feature one especially familiar foe. This will be Penn’s fourth match this year against Cornell (9-5, 2-1). Heading into this weekend, Cornell has won two of these matches, one of which came last weekend at Penn State, while Penn has only won one.
“We’ve gone in to every meet [against Cornell] thinking it’s a new team,” Levi said. “We’ve seen them before, but Sunday could be a totally different day for them, as it could be for us.”
Additionally, this is the Quakers’ second contest against Yale (6-7, 0-1). Earlier in the year, Penn defeated Yale, but lately the Bulldogs are on a hot streak. Yale is 4-0 in the last two weeks after placing first of four teams at the Don Tonry Invitational, where its score of 194.700 was the best in the Ivy League this season.
“Yale probably will be our biggest competitor,” Moore said. “They’ve gotten some high scores this season, but it’s nothing we can’t beat.”
The host team, Brown (3-11, 0-0), will get its first taste of Ivy League competition so far this season. The program has had a rough start to the year, but a win at this competition could quickly turn the tone of its season around. To this point, Brown’s season high total for points is 193.325, just .400 points off of the Quakers’ season high of 193.725.
This has not worried the Quakers, though, as the team is confident that they are still improving and hitting their stride.
“I have a good amount of faith that we are going to break that [top] score for the season before the end of the year,” Levi said.
If the Quakers can succeed in improving on that score this weekend, they can all but assure a victory at the critical Ivy Classic. This Saturday will see all four teams leave everything in the gym as the Quakers embark on their quest for an Ivy League title this season.