Donning a pink leotard as a part of Nebraska gymnastics’ annual “pink meet,” freshman Aleka Tsiknias missed a connection during the first bar routine of the evening. Tsiknias scored just a 9.200 to open the rotation for Maryland gymnastics, kickstarting its worst effort on bars this season.
Without junior Audrey Barber at the end of each lineup, the Terps struggled to recover from their 48.075 in the first rotation. On top of Barber’s absence, Maryland was also without senior leader Kirsten Peterman.
The struggles on bars percolated into the team’s other events, too, ensuring coach Brett Nelligan’s squad never surpassed 49.000 in an event. On the road against No. 14 Nebraska, the Terps posted their lowest score of the season (193.525-196.175) on Saturday.
“We were just a little bit off, and it started to build,” Nelligan said. “In gymnastics, being a little bit off can turn into a big deduction. It just wasn’t our night.”
[Read more: Without two key pieces vs. Nebraska, Maryland gymnastics is focused on what it can control]
Maryland came into the night ranked 10th in the nation on bars and previously averaged 49.150 in the event. But the Terps totaled a score of just 48.075 Saturday night. They were forced to count senior Tiara Wright’s 9.325 after Tsiknias’ missed connection.
“We need to work on leaving the result of each event where it is,” sophomore Alexsis Rubio said. “It’s about continuing on to the next event and taking it from there.”
Nelligan’s squad recovered on vault with a score of 48.900 on vault. Freshman all-arounder Emma Silberman landed a unique spin, giving her a career-high 9.825.
Rubio went on to match Silberman’s score, which brought the Terps within a point after two rotations.
[Read more: Focusing on details in practice, Maryland gymnastics hopes to earn extra tenths in meets]
Junior Sabriyya Rouse led the way on floor during last weekend’s meet. She scored a team-high 9.900 against the Illini, and this weekend, she followed it up with another team-leading 9.850.
Thanks to Rouse’s leading number and a 9.775 from freshman Reese McClure, the Terps posted another solid score of 48.725 on floor.
After three rotations, Nelligan gathered his team on the floor in preparation for the final rotation. Maryland went into the balance beam with a score of 145.700, relying on a high mark in the last event.
“I always want them to pull together when times are tough,” Nelligan said. “It’s easy to be a team when everything’s going right, but I want them to pull together when we have a tough night.”
Before her dismount, McClure executed a split-jump, and the freshman opened up floor exercise with a solid 9.750. But Maryland faltered down the stretch on beam with two straight 9.025s in the fourth and fifth slots, dropping it to its lowest score of the campaign.
“We’ve had four great meets, and this was the first meet that we really weren’t happy with,” Nelligan said. “We said at the end that we’re going to move on and get ready for Rutgers next week.”