After impressing throughout her beam routine, all that was left for sophomore Sabriyya Rouse was the dismount.
The sophomore relaxed, exhaled, and stepped towards the edge of the beam before her sticking her roundoff one-and-a-half, letting out a yell as she threw her arms back to present for the judges.
Rouse’s 9.875 was the first of five huge beam performances that included three personal bests and pushed Maryland past 49 on the event for the first time since 2016.
With the Terps finally getting their beam routines where they want them, coach Brett Nelligan’s squad shattered its previous season-high and posted the fifth-highest score in program history, winning a quad meet on Senior Day with a 196.525.
“That needs to become the tradition,” Nelligan said. “When it’s [Senior Day], you take it up another notch.”
Rouse’s beam routine helped make up for a rare misstep from a senior Sunday. Shynelle Agaran opened on beam and had some wobbles that led to a 9.55, but the rest of the lineup made up for it.
“Getting up there and being able to hit the best routine of my college career,” Rouse said, “I’ll never forget it.”
After Rouse’s 9.875, four more Terps scored at least 9.75, with sophomores Audrey Barber and Emilie Leblanc earning career-best 9.9s to post a 49.2, the team’s best beam score since 2004.
Maryland hadn’t gotten over the 196 hump before Sunday, but by setting new season-highs on three of four events and breaking 49 on all four for the first time this year, the team left nothing in doubt.
“For everything to finally come together and everyone to do their best at once,” senior Megan McClelland said. “We really came together as a team, and it shows.”
Four vault scores of at least 9.825, led by junior Alecia Farina’s 9.875, started the Terps with a season-best 49.125, and 9.825s on bars from sophomores Audrey Barber and Emilie Leblanc gave the Terps a 49.025 on the second event.
The bars performance affirmed Friday’s return to form. Early in the year, bars had been Maryland’s strongest event, but the Terps struggled on the apparatus in two meets early this month, failing to break 49.
“I don’t think we changed much on bars,” Nelligan said after Friday’s meet. “Deep down [we] know that [we’re] a really good bar team.”
In a quad meet Friday, Maryland bounced back with a 49.05, part of a then-season-best 195.975 team score. On Sunday, the Terps backed up that performance and then some.
Maryland hadn’t earned a 49 on beam in either of the past two seasons. But the team’s electrifying performance on the beam Sunday broke that streak and also meant it moved to floor with a 196 nearly guaranteed.
The Terps weren’t content to merely sneak across the 196 barrier, though. Rouse and Barber posted 9.875s on floor, and three more Terps scored at least 9.8 to power a third season-best event score of the meet, a 49.175.
“This was great timing for us to finally hit like we needed to,” Rouse said. “Now we can go [into] our last couple meets with confidence.”
After a rocky start to the season and more recent struggles, the Terps completed their best weekend of the year, hitting the type of scores necessary if they are to avoid being one of the final eight teams into the NCAA tournament and therefore earn a spot in the second day of regionals.
“We’re peaking at the right time,” Nelligan said. “Friday night we had a big season high, and then to follow it up with another season high two days later — it means we’re peaking at the right time. We’re getting ready for the postseason.”