Sabriyya Rouse beamed as she danced her way across the floor. Her high level of energy and impressive landings earned her a score of 9.90, tying her career high. It also propelled Maryland gymnastics to its only 49 of the day.
The Terps struggled to replicate that success on the other apparatuses, forced to count a fall on bars while having just one gymnast record above a 9.8 on vault. And ultimately, it was those mistakes that kept Maryland from hitting 195 for the second time this season, posting a 194.925 score against Rutgers Saturday afternoon.
Still, despite falling short of the 195 mark, The Terps enjoyed a successful afternoon. They swept Rutgers for first place in every event Saturday, and a Maryland gymnast recorded the highest score for each event, despite a disappointing showing in several areas.
“It is definitely that bittersweet feeling. Wins on the road in the Big Ten are always great, and we’re never going to be disappointed in leaving the road with a win,” coach Brett Nelligan said. “We’re happy with the win and we know there’s room where we can make some improvement.”
The Terps started the afternoon off on the uneven bars, where Olivia Weir made her first appearance in the lineup after Sanya Glauber was ruled out with a tweak in her hip. Weir registered a fall and only scored an 8.825, but Maryland’s Big Ten gymnasts to watch, Emma Silberman and Audrey Barber, anchored the lineup solidly and helped the Terps get off to an early lead against Rutgers with scores of 9.80 and 9.90, respectively. Nelligan’s squad earned a 48.275 during its first rotation, a far cry from its season-best 49 showing in last week’s tri-meet.
The Terps were able to widen their gap on the vault despite only registering one score greater than a 9.80 on the apparatus. Some missteps in landings left some points on the table for Maryland as only anchor Alexsis Rubio scored higher than 9.80.
“For me, it’s trying to maintain that role of keeping my scores consistent and being that person in the vault lineup that can bring the energy,” Rubio said.
Despite a focus on the details in practice this past week, most of the rest of the lineup could not get some of the crisp landings they have been accustomed to early on and had to take some small hops to stay on their feet — dragging their scores down.
“I think working on those details this week did [still] help us. If you look at the routines we hit, they were cleaner, they were sharper,” Nelligan said. “[And], if you eliminate one of those two falls on bars, you’re looking at an eight-tenths jump. We would have put up a 195.70.”
Rutgers suffered some wobbles on beam, putting the Scarlet Knights out of reach. Meanwhile, Maryland entered the meet ranked No. 10 in the nation on floor, and it was able to continue its early-season success.
The Terps registered a 49.00 on that apparatus for the third time in as many meets. Rouse and Barber led the way, launching themselves off the floor with energy and excitement. Barber notched a 9.825, her tenth 9.8 in 12 events this season.
But Maryland found more success in the second half of the meet, posting its highest score of the season on the beam with a 48.825. Rouse rebounded from a fall last week, hitting another season high on the apparatus with a 9.775.
“It’s definitely always really good when someone gets a career high or matches their career high. It brings up the whole team,” Rouse said. “The scoring can be tight, so when we get that score that we feel like the routine deserves, it brings up the whole team and carries out through the rest of the lineup.”
Barber and Collea Burgess also recorded season highs in the process, helping Nelligan’s squad finish its mixed performance on a high note.
Saturday’s meet ends Maryland’s streak of away contests as the team prepares for its home opener against Penn State on Friday. The Terps will continue to strive for consistency as they look to get their first 196 of the season after a small step backwards this afternoon.