Gymnasts lose close dual after two-week layoff

Monday, March 10, 2008

The gymnastics team lost its dual match at the Pizzitola Center on Sunday afternoon to Bridgeport, 189.25-184.325.

The Bears entered their match with two weeks of rest since their last successful meet at the Ivy Classic.

“The time off helped us rest our bodies, but the entire team was sick in one way or another,” said Head Coach Sara Carver-Milne. “Considering the circumstances, I was pleased with the team’s performance.”

Although sickness was a major problem for the team, there were some solid performances.

Chelsey Binkley ’11 led the way for the Bears, finishing sixth on the vault (9.30), fourth on the bars (9.425), second on the floor exercise (9.55) and second in the all-around (36.975). She emerged as a solid contender in the all-around for the remainder of the season.

Carver-Milne was very pleased with Binkley’s performance.

“We put together some good routines on the beam,” Carver-Milne said. “Chels overcame a lot on the beam, adding a new layout that she nailed. It was nice to see her come back strong on the floor, where she’s a dynamic performer.”

Stephanie Albert ’10 finished in fifth place with a strong performance on the beam (9.55), while both Vida Rivera ’11 and Izzy Kirkham-Lewitt ’10 finished right behind her (9.45), tied for sixth. This was Kirkham-Lewitt’s first competition since she injured herself after the Bear’s first meet of the season. Carver-Milne said it was one of the best performances of her career.

“It feels really great. It was frustrating to sit back and not be able to help out my team,” Kirkham-Lewitt said.

Binkley and Vicki Zanelli ’11 struggled on the beam, but came out strong on the floor exercise, showing they were capable of overcoming little mistakes.

“It feels good bouncing back from my beam performance,” Binkley said. “It was frustrating to have some falls, but it motivated me more to hit my routine on floor.”

Whitney Diederich ’09 also finished well in the floor exercise in sixth place (9.375). Hannah Goldstein ’08 led off the event with a solid routine (9.25) that helped the rest of the Bears to great performances.

Rivera was the next best finisher for Bruno on the bars (9.375) after Binkley, and Goldstein then followed with a 9.3. Zanelli tied Binkley for sixth place on the vault as the Bears’ other top scorer.

“We’re hoping to see incredible improvements the next few weeks before we travel to compete at” the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships, Carver-Milne said. “Some of our injured girls are coming back to the lineup and are making great progress.”

Carver-Milne said Sarah Durning ’08 has competed in the vault the past few meets and is getting stronger with every performance. Her score (9.15) was much lower than what Carver-Milne had expected because of the routine’s degree of difficulty. Kirkham-Lewitt also showed that she is back and ready to help out her team in any way possible. Jen Sobuta ’09 is planning to return to the lineup next weekend after three weeks of rest after suffering an ankle injury.

The season is winding down, and there are only two home meets for the remainder of the season. The Bears face Southern Connecticut State and the University of Rhode Island on March 14. They will then face Yale on March 21 at 6 p.m.

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