Bar struggles result in season-opening loss

Friday night’s season opener at Eastern Michigan provided a measuring stick for the women’s gymnastics team. After four mock meets in the fall, the Owls finally got to match up against another school, but fell short against the Eagles, 193.925-187.200.

Temple lost four points on the uneven bars as Eastern Michigan outscored the Owls 48.400-44.300 in that event. However, coach Aaron Murphy believes his team’s potential in the uneven bars will eventually show.

“[Those scores are] totally not reflective of what we can do in that event,” Murphy said.

Temple scored more than 47 in the vault, floor exercise and balance beam. In the vault, each of Temple’s six competitors scored above a nine. Senior Lauren Capone scored a 38.075 in all four of the events.

Temple’s best event was the balance beam as the Owls scored a 48.225 in that category. While the team had some concerns about the beam entering the season, Capone acknowledged the Owls were able to feed of each one of their teammates good scores.

“I think people were just confident because of the numbers everyone else was putting up there,” Capone said.

While sophomore Mikaela Postlethwait’s 9.550 on the beam and 9.500 in the floor exercise counted towards the team’s total, Postlethwait was able to compete in exhibition competitions on the vault and uneven bars. Postlethwait said it was a different feeling in the vault and uneven bars, but still felt the need to produce.

“It still puts pressure on because you’re really close to making the lineup in those events,” Postlethwait said.

Murphy acknowledged the team’s goal was to score 47.500, and said the Owls’ struggles on the bars were certainly a disappointment. Additionally, Temple fell just short of Murphy’s benchmark in the floor exercise, finishing with a 47.075.

However, for Murphy, he wanted to use Friday night as a way of seeing what he had to work with as his ninth season as Owls coach kicked off.

“At this point we’re trying to soak things in and then we just go back to the drawing board on Monday,” Murphy said.

Capone tried to spin the result in a positive way following the defeat.

“For our first meet you have to work the kinks out,” Capone said. “Being on the road for the first meet is awesome. It’s good for team bonding.”

Temple will now have a week of practice before heading to Washington D.C. next weekend for the George Washington Invitational on Jan. 18.

Greg Frank can be reached at greg.frank@temple.edu or on Twitter @g_frank6.

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