The Maryland gymnastics team entered Friday’s home opener against Penn State searching for their first meet win of the season, having posted second and third-place finishes in their first two outings.
The Terps used season-high scores on floor and bars and a standout performance from freshman Audrey Barber to earn a 195.550-195.025 home-opener win over the Nittany Lions, their first conference and meet win of the season.
Barber led the team with an all-around score of 39.275 and placed or tied for first among the Maryland (4-3, 1-1 Big Ten) athletes in all of the rotations except for floor. She scored 9.8 on vault and bars, a 9.825 on beam and a 9.85 on floor, besting her all-around score from last weekend’s Minnesota Quad Meet by .45.
Sophomore Alecia Farina also showed improvements from that meet, finishing just behind Barber with an all-around score of 39.150. After falling on floor last weekend, Farina won the event Friday with a 9.9, matching the highest score of the meet on any event.
The Terps continued to rely heavily on their underclassmen against Penn State (1-2, 0-2). Of the team’s 24 routines, just three were performed by a junior or senior. The freshmen and sophomore classes have infused new life into a team that has missed the NCAA tournament each of the past two seasons.
The Terps scored better on every event Friday than they did in their second-place finish at the Minnesota Quad Meet. The Terps scored a season-best 48.925 on bars and 49.025 on floor — their best score on any apparatus this year — and added a 48.725 on vault and 48.875 on beam.
Penn State’s 48.975 on beam bested Maryland’s beam tally, but the Terps outscored the Nittany Lions on the other three events, securing their third-ever win over Penn State and first since moving to the Big Ten.