The Rutgers gymnastics team used a second place finish in their home opening quad meet on Saturday, and a third place finish at a quad meet at Georgia on Monday, to earn a .500 record over the weekend. Hannah Joyner was the Scarlet Knights' top all-around performer for both meets tying for top honors on Saturday and tying for fourth on Monday.
Scarlet Knights Set Program Record in Home Opener
The Scarlet Knights led off their weekend slate with a program record, home opening score of 195.550 to place second in a quad meet that included Ball State, Towson, and Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Towson took first place, edging out Rutgers with a 195.850, Ball State took third with a 195.450, and Wisconsin-Oshkosh took the final spot with a 192.425.
Joyner tied for first in the all-around with Ball State's Victoria Henry with identical 39.175s, however Alia Aird scored a personal best, 38.950, on her way to a third place showing in the all-around.
Emily Leese and Emily Wood went one, two on the floor exercise with Leese scoring a 9.875 to take the top spot outright, and Wood scoring a 9.85 to finish in a three way tie with Ball State's Suki Pfister and Towson's Carmella Calafati. Leese also was the top performer for the Scarlet Knights on vault where she scored a 9.875 to place second.
Rutgers showed improvement on the uneven bars and balance beam compared to their first meet in Las Vegas. As a team, Rutgers' beam score of 48.925 was the top score of the four teams gathered at Jersey Mike's Arena. Additionally, two Scarlet Knights, Gianna Ortiz and Aird, tied for first on the event scoring identical 9.85s. While Rutgers did not have any gymnasts place in the top two spots on bars, the Scarlet Knights were able to secure three scores of 9.8, or greater. Avery Balser received 9.875 to place third on the event while Joyner tied for forth with a 9.85 and Aird tied for eighth with a 9.8.
Rutgers Places Third at Georgia
On Monday, Rutgers traveled to Athens, Georgia where they placed third in a challenging quad meet that included No. 10, and Big Ten foe, Ohio State, No. 17 Georgia, and Fisk. The Buckeyes took the top team spot scoring a 196.250 and were followed by Georgia (196.125), Rutgers (194.675), and Fisk (190.100).
Joyner, Aird, and Leese were, once more, the leaders for the Scarlet Knights. Joyner was Rutgers' top all-around performer once again, placing forth in the event. On the vault, Aird, Leese, and Joyner, were all top performers for the Scarlet Knights. Aird and Leese finished tied for sixth with matching 9.775s and Joyner finished eighth with a 9.75. On bars, Aird led the way for the Scarlet Knights, scoring a career best 9.875 to finish tied for third with Ohio State's Nicole Riccardi and Fisk's Morgan Price. Joyner paced Rutgers on both the beam and floor posting a 9.875 on beam to finish third and a 9.825 on floor to finish eighth.
Other Scarlet Knight performances of note from the Georgia meet came from Avery Balser and Stephanie Zannella. Balser scored a 9.825 on bars to tie for seventh and Zannella scored a 9.8 on beam to tie for fifth. Aird also had a 9.8 on the floor to add to Joyner's 9.8-plus score on the event.
The Scarlet Knights will next welcome Illinois to Jersey Mike's Arena for a Big Ten dual meet on Saturday.