PHILADELPHIA (January 20, 2012) – Rutgers University gymnastics improved its team score once again, but suffered a narrow defeat at the University of Pennsylvania by the count of 191.975-191.925 on Friday night inside Hutchinson Gymnasium. The .050 margin of defeat was the smallest since dropping 190.900-190.875 (0.025) to Bridgeport in a quad meet at the Livingston Recreation Center on Feb. 27, 2010.
“It was obviously disappointing to lose by such a small margin, but we can pull positives out of this meet,” said first-year head coach Louis Levine. “We were able to stick all six beam routines for the second-straight week and improve our overall team score. I believe we are getting better each week, but still need to continue to improve on all four events.”
Junior Danielle D’Elia (Colts Neck, N.J) won the all-around title with a career-high score of 38.800. She tied for first in the floor exercise (9.750) and uneven bars (9.775), while notching a career-best score and second-place finish on the vault (9.700).
Rutgers (0-3) scored best on the floor exercise (48.250), taking four of the top five spots with D’Elia and sophomore Alexis Gunzelman (Tabernacle, N.J.) tying for first at 9.750. Gunzelman (38.475) was one of three all-arounders used by the Scarlet Knights.
Sophomore Alyssa Straub (Nazareth, Pa.) won the top spot on vault podium (9.725), while freshman Tasia Halbig (Schwenksville, Pa.) shined in first-career appearance on the balance beam with a tied for second-place finish (9.700).
Penn (3-2) was led by Kirsten Strausbaugh and her top finishes in two events, uneven bars (tied for first, 9.775) and floor exercise (9.750). The Quakers evened the all-time series with the Scarlet Knights at nine, ending a five-meet losing streak to RU.
Rutgers will next return home to the Livingston Recreation Center on Saturday, Jan. 28 for a quad meet versus Temple, Ursinus and Southern Connecticut. The meet is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
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