Sometimes you have to celebrate the small victories.
After a third-place finish last week at Maryland to open the season, Penn gymnastics looked to bounce back when it faced Yale, its first Ivy League opponent, in New Haven, Conn. The Bulldogs came out on top on Saturday, as they bested the Red and Blue, 193.775 to 192.350.
Although they weren’t able to oust Yale, the Quakers improved their point totals in three of the four events.
Penn started off the afternoon on the uneven bars, where it struggled the most last weekend. The event was led by sophomore Allison Frommer (9.775) and junior Caroline Mitsch (9.700). After scoring 46.950 last weekend, the Quakers finished with a total of 48.200 points today.
The Red and Blue then moved on to the vault, where freshmen Sydney Kraez and Ava Caravela showed off during their first taste of Ivy League competition, and the pair led the team with a 9.825 and 9.700, respectively. Kraez’s score was a career best, and it gave her first place in the event.
“We are so proud of the freshman class as a whole,” senior captain Caroline Moore said. “It’s not always easy coming out of the gate from high school, but they are really transitioning well, so we couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Kraez continued to impress with a solid performance on her first collegiate floor exercise with a score of 9.700. Sophomore Jordyn Mannino led the Quakers with a 9.800 and was third place overall. The floor exercises were their best event of the day, as they ended with a score of 48.375.
The Red and Blue then moved on to the balance beam to finish the day. Freshman Natalie Yang and senior Nicole Swirbalus led the team with scores of 9.825 and 9.725, respectively. Yang placed first in the event and Swirbalus was not far behind in third place. Penn was able to finish with a score of 47.675.
Despite not winning an event, the entire team was energetic throughout the competition and kept a positive attitude.
“Having the team behind me made it a lot easier, and I could just go out there and have fun,” Kraez said. “We did a really good job keeping the energy up.”
“We’re really proud of what we did this weekend,” Moore added. “It wasn’t even our best showing, so we are excited for next weekend because we can really build off of what we did this weekend.”
Penn hopes to take the improvements from this meet and build on them as it competes against host Temple, as well as Ithaca and Ursinus, next weekend.