The gymnastics team tumbled into the new season over winter break, placing third in its home opener against Towson University and the University of Bridgeport. The Bears also traveled to Rutgers University, where they notched 184.725 points in a fourth-place finish against the host Scarlet Knights, Penn and the University of North Carolina.
In the first meet, Emily Lutfey '13 scored 9.800 in floor exercises and co-captain Victoria Zanelli '11 scored 9.600 in the beam, but the team still fell three points short of victory. The Bears also saw strong performances from Lauren Hall '13, who scored 9.500 in the uneven bars, and Katie Goddard '12, who scored 9.750 in floor. On the vault, Lutfey and Goddard led the team in scoring with 9.450 and 9.400, respectively.
Lutfey also represented the Bears in the all-around competition, in which the scores of the four routines are added together. Her tally of 38.300 was good enough for second overall.
"Lutfey has just been an incredible asset to the team," said Head Coach Sara Carver-Milne. "She's a really great competitor."
Carver-Milne also said she was impressed with the improvement of the young team, especially Madeline Benz '14, who placed third for the team in the beam during the first meet.
"Benz really surprised everyone," said Carver-Milne. "To see her come out for the team and really nail all of her events was impressive."
At Rutgers, Lutfey again led the team's scoring, posting a 9.700 in the floor exercises. Despite her strong performance, the Bears again finished last.
Lutfey and Carli Wiesenfeld '12 competed in the all-around, finishing third and ninth, respectively.
Though positive about the young team's work ethic coming into the season, Carver-Milne said the team needs to stay focused for its next meet at Arizona State this weekend.
"We had a rough competition at Rutgers," she said. "Our goal is to hit our season high" at Arizona State.