PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Feb. 7, 2014) – Continuing its three-meet road swing, Rutgers gymnastics is set to compete at George Washington on Sunday, Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. The meet will also include William & Mary.
RUTGERS MEET PREVIEW
The Scarlet Knights are coming off their first loss of the season, maintaining a team average of 194.410. Rutgers remains in the top 20 on floor exercise, tied for No. 20 nationally with an average of 48.875. In its last time out, the team had at least one member place in the top three on each event. RU is 6-1 on the season and 2-0 against East Atlantic Gymnastics League competition.
Senior Alexis Gunzelman (Tabernacle, N.J.) continued her consistency at Texas Woman’s by going for at least a 39.000 all-around score for the third consecutive meet, putting up a 39.050. She had at least a 9.750 in every event. Classmate Alyssa Straub (Nazareth, Pa.) tied her career-high (9.800) on the balance beam, pacing the Scarlet Knights with a second place finish.
George Washington holds a 192.750 team average. The Colonials are coming off a third-place finish at West Virginia, with a score of 191.825. Head Coach Margie Foster-Cunningham is in her 29th season at George Washington.
The two teams last met earlier this season in a quad meet at Kent State, where Rutgers took the victory, 195.250-193.400.
William & Mary is registering a team average of 190.242. The Tribe enters the meet after posting a season-high 191.300 its last time out in a tri-meet against North Carolina State and Texas Woman’s. William & Mary is led by 20th-year head coach Mary Lewis.
Rutgers took the win (195.975-191.100) when the team hosted George Washington last season.
HEAD COACH LOUIS LEVINE Q&A
On moving forward: “It has to be about consistency day to day. We are really trying to look for better practices and a little bit more renewed vigor in what we want to be doing. Everybody has got to step up and play their part.”
On the team’s depth: “We will see how the week goes. I am not exactly sure who will be ready to go and who will not be ready to go for the end of the week. We have been talking about it and we have been working on our depth. Hopefully, we will get some of the girls who have been injured back and healthy and just keep moving forward. Overall, the girls know and we have talked about it. It is part of gymnastics. It is next man up and who is ready to step up on the events. I thought the people who had to step in did a pretty good job last weekend. They may have to step in and actually step up and make [elements of their routines] a little bit bigger and a little bit higher to get better scores than we got this weekend, but we are up for the challenge.”
On the team’s overall performance at TWU: “I think it was a very emotional meet. It is hard when you see your teammates go down, but I think we did a good job in stepping up. Obviously, we had too many falls to win a meet and to be where we want to be. Unfortunately, we didn’t get beat – we beat ourselves. I think that is the way it is this year. I think when we lose it’s going to because of the way we do it. It is not going to be because of what anybody else does. We can beat any team we face, it is just we have to do our part and unfortunately the last two weeks we haven’t. We got one win and we got one loss. Let’s get back in here and keep moving forward. It is a long season. It’s just the beginning of it.”
On facing a conference opponent: “It is nice to go against conference teams, especially when you win. It’s not nice when you lose. We had a conversation, it doesn’t matter who you go against. We talked about it last week that TWU could beat us and look they did. We have to hit routines and if we’re not hitting routines it doesn’t matter who we go against. If we are hitting routines, it doesn’t matter who we’re going against. Either way you look at it, it is all about what we’re doing and not who we’re facing. That is what the team is working on, realizing that it’s not about what your competition is, it’s really just about you doing your job.”
INTERVIEW WITH JUNIOR SARA SKAMMER