PISCATAWAY, N.J. (February 2, 2013) – Riding the energy of a capacity crowd inside the Livingston Recreation Center, Rutgers gymnastics recorded its third-best team score in program history (195.000) on the way to a quad meet victory Saturday. The Scarlet Knights notched a team record in the vault (48.875), while registering the third-highest program marks in both the balance beam (48.850) and floor exercise (49.175).
Rutgers improved to 7-5 overall and 1-2 in the East Atlantic Gymnastics League with the win in front of 1,012 spectators that included dozens of program alums. Following RU in the team standings were Pittsburgh (194.625), Brown (191.850) and Southern Connecticut (188.525).
“There was a lot of energy and consistency out there tonight,” second-year head coach Louis Levine said. “This proves what we have been stressing all along that we have the ability to be great. We are going to keep pushing and know that we can improve off of this.”
Starting on the vault, sophomore Alyssa Straub (Nazareth, Pa.) tied a school record with a 9.875 to lead Rutgers to the 48.875 mark. Straub is averaging 9.720 in the event this season. Also setting career-highs on the vault were freshmen Danielle Verdon (Freehold, N.J.) (9.700) and Nicolette Wilson (Toms River, N.J.) (9.725). The previous team record in the event was a total of 48.825 at the 2011 EAGL Championships.
Sophomore Alexis Gunzelman (Tabernacle, N.J.) and freshman Jenna Williams (Bordentown, N.J.) led RU with scores of 9.850 and 9.825, respectively, on the uneven bars to give the hosts a narrow edge through two events. Williams leads the Scarlet Knights with a 9.835 average through five meets this season on bars.
The balance beam score of 48.850 was the third-best in school history, with sophomore Luisa Leal (Cali, Columbia), senior Emma-Rose Trentacosti (Ridgefield Park, N.J.) and Williams all recording a 9.825. The scores were career-bests for both Trentacosti and Williams. The team score topped a season-high 48.225 set Jan. 19.
Finishing strong, Rutgers posted a 49.175 on the floor exercise – also third-best in program history. Senior Nicole Romano (Livingston, N.J.) started off the event with a career-high 9.850 to set the tone, with senior Danielle D’Elia (Colts Neck, N.J.) notching a 9.900 as the fifth performer. D’Elia was the first Scarlet Knight to reach 9.900 on the floor this season. Following her, freshman Katie Stebick (Waterford, Pa.) clinched the meet win with a 9.875.
It was the first time the Scarlet Knights reached 195.000 in the Levine era and the first time since March 1, 2000 (195.125) in a home meet versus Eastern Michigan.
In addition to it being Alumni Night, the teams sported pink gear in awareness for breast cancer research. Donations were accepted for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Rutgers will look to ride the momentum next week with a meet at Kent State Friday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. It is will be the first of third straight weekends away for the Scarlet Knights.
Top Scores in School History
195.400 – Feb. 26, 2000 vs. Ursinus
195.125 – March 1, 2000 vs. Eastern Michigan
195.000 – Feb. 2 vs. Brown/Pitt/S. Connecticut