Maryland women’s gymnastics had already battled through a long road trip, withstood the pressures of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and dealt with the loss of all-arounder Emma Silberman to a torn ACL.
And on March 10, the Terps learned that sophomore Aleka Tsiknias would be sidelined for the remainder of the season after tearing her Achilles in practice.
Still, coach Brett Nelligan’s squad continued to fight, and it has been rewarded with a trip to the NCAA women’s gymnastics tournament after ending the season ranked No. 32 in the nation.
“You’ve seen how challenging this season can be and how much they had to sacrifice,” Nelligan said. “The commitment they’ve made to each other, to the team and to the university — for me, that’s what I’ll remember about this season.”
Maryland cracked the top 36 to qualify for the tournament and will be facing off with No. 31 Eastern Michigan in the first round of the Tuscaloosa Regional on April 1.
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Should the Terps fail to advance to the second-round quad meet with No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 15 Auburn and Missouri, some of their stars will still be eligible to compete individually.
Senior Audrey Barber will be representing Maryland in the all-around competition, where she ranks in the top 25 in the nation.
The Terps will also be well-represented on the vault, taking three of the four spots for individual competition in the Tuscaloosa Regional with senior Collea Burgess, junior Alexsis Rubio and sophomore Reese McClure. McClure will also compete on the balance beam after achieving scores of 9.80 or higher in six of Maryland’s ten meets this season.
The Terps will look to carry their momentum from an impressive showing at the Big Ten Championships on their way to Tuscaloosa.
“I’m so thrilled that they’re going to be rewarded with a trip to the NCAA tournament for all their hard work and commitment,” Nelligan said.