UNH hosted Towson this past weekend in a highly anticipated East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) matchup. Coming off several road trips, the ‘Cats looked to dig in coming into the heart of their schedule. Head coach Lindsey Bruck Ayotte was absent due to family emergency, propelling Steve Avgerinos into the acting head coach role.
On Saturday, UNH quickly gained the lead as they would display a very solid performance on the vault in the first rotation. First-year gymnast Kylie Gorgenyi was a standout as she had the best performance on the night, scoring a 9.850. This was also her career best. Seniors Emma Winer and Riley Freehling both tied for third overall in the event with scores of 9.775. With good performances from the rest of the squad, UNH held a 48.800-48.325 lead after the first event.
In the second rotation, the ‘Cats would move to the uneven bars. Freehling continued to dominate as she has the best overall score in the meet with a score of 9.800. Junior Clare Hampford had another notable performance as she took third place outright on the uneven bars in the meet. The ‘Cats cooled down in the second rotation, leaving the door open for Towson to close UNH’s margin of victory. UNH led 97.125 to 96.975 on their way into the third rotation.
Feeling the pressure, the ‘Cats were able to maintain course and dominate the third rotation as they took to the beam. Worthington was able to pull out the best performance of the night, scoring a 9.900, marking her career best. Behind her, Freehling was able to keep her momentum going, placing second in the event with a score of 9.825. Sophomore Hannah Baddick and first-year gymnast Robyn Kelley were able to complete the sweep of the podium for UNH, tying for third with a score of 9.800. UNH was able to capitalize and extend their lead to 146.200-144.975 over Towson heading into the final rotation.
UNH looked to close strong in the fourth rotation. The ‘Cats would do just that on the floor exercise. Winer would take the top of the podium for UNH, scoring a 9.850. Right behind her was Freehling, who finished off her unbelievable meet with a score of 9.850. Sophomore Hailey Lui and senior Ava Watkins would tie for third place with another Towson gymnast. UNH just missed sweeping the event but left no doubt who the better team was for the night.
UNH moved to 4-2 overall and 2-0 in the EAGL, as they beat Towson with a final score of 195.125 to 192.175. The score would match the ‘Cats season high set last week at WVU.
After the match Avgerinos placed the success on the team’s flexibility. “Quite a few people have stepped up and pushed their gymnastics to new levels to help this team succeed this weekend.”
Among many quality gymnasts on his team, Avgerinos certainly had praise for Freehling, who had a career night.
“Riley, in particular, has really pushed herself mentally and physically in the gym, and it showed up tonight in a big way”.
For her efforts, Freehling was named the EAGL gymnast of the week, the first time she has achieved this in her career.
The ‘Cats will look to keep the momentum going next week as they host WVU, George Washington, and Brown on Saturday, Feb. 8 in their “Stick it for the Cure” event at 7 p.m. in the Lundholm Gym.