The Maryland gymnastics team flourished on floor against Rutgers on Saturday, claiming four of the top five scores in the event. But even after the strong performance, the Terps have spent the past couple of days working to minimize mistakes in their floor routines.
And after breaking 195 last weekend for the first time this season, Maryland is hoping the work in practice will result in an even better performance against Ohio State on Friday at Xfinity Pavilion.
Coach Brett Nelligan has emphasized the importance of keeping mistakes in check, and that has been the focal point of practices this week.
“We just want to keep tightening things up,” Nelligan said. “We want to get as close as we can [to perfection].”
Against the Scarlet Knights, the Terps used a balanced team effort, posting new season highs on floor and vault as they cruised to victory. And despite the errors that much of the Terps’ practice time has been devoted to, Saturday’s performance was a promising sign of progression.
The Terps have been impressive on the bars, ranking 19th nationally after finishing No. 14 in the event a season ago. But Maryland will face some of its stiffest competition yet in the Buckeyes, who rank No. 13 on the bars.
Meanwhile, Maryland looks to continue its development on the vault, where the team has steadily improved its scores over the past two meets. Last weekend, sophomores Audrey Barber and Collea Burgess and junior Alecia Farina posted their season highs in the event, and all six gymnasts scored a 9.7 or above.
While the Terps were happy with that performance, they want more.
“We’re just hoping for improvement in any way possible,” sophomore Sabriyya Rouse said. “We want to keep focusing on the details.”
The Terps also found consistency on beam last weekend, with five gymnasts earning a 9.7. The Terps are hoping to cut little mistakes out of their beam routines, particularly in regards to their landings.
And even though Maryland shined on floor against the Scarlet Knights, the Terps recognize there is always room for improvement — and it starts with tightening up the endings of their routines.
“We focused a lot on our landings [in practice],” Burgess said. “Just making sure [we’re making] absolutely no deductions on our landings.”
Maryland enters its meet against Ohio State hoping to ride the momentum from its solid showing against Rutgers. With strong team spirit and a good week of practice, the Terps are confident they can post a higher score on Friday.
“We want to … be louder, be there for each other,” Rouse said. “Just keep growing as a team and perform like we know we can.”