The Owls were a more relaxed bunch on Saturday afternoon in the 189.9-189.575 victory over Ursinus College.
After a loss to open the season at Eastern Michigan and a last place finish a week ago at the George Washington Invitational, Temple got back on track and got much closer to coach Aaron Murphy’s desired score of 190.
Many of the gymnasts indicated that nerves played a role in the Owls underperforming at Eastern Michigan and in the GW Invitational. Being inside the comfort of McGonigle Hall helped rid some of those nerves.
“[Being at home] definitely helped with nerves,” senior all-around Lauren Capone said. “It’s our equipment and we practice on it everyday.”
Capone had a big day on the vault and bars posting her best scores of the young season so far in each event with a 9.7 in vault and a 9.675 on the bars. For Capone, the mental preparation beforehand made all the difference on Saturday afternoon especially on her vault.
“For vault I know last week I had a huge adrenaline rush and I think I worked this week on trying to calm myself down before I do my vault,” Capone said. “Bars have just been a work in progress. I’ve worked three years on that bar routine so it felt good to finally hit one and really boost that score.”
Saturday’s meet was close during all four events and neither team seemed to pull away. The last event of the day for Temple was the floor exercise. Fifth year senior Jasmine Johnson and senior Stephanie Verry posted scores of 9.8 and 9.75 to seal the deal for the Owls.
After redshirting in 2014, Verry was very pleased to be back with her teammates and help secure the victory in Saturday’s final event.
“I’m just happy to be out there again,” Verry said. “I just think about having fun when I’m doing my routine.”
Murphy felt his team came into Saturday’s meet prepared and ready to go. According to Murphy, the Owls had a very productive week of practice.
“I thought it was a great week,” Murphy said. “We pushed Monday through Thursday, the girls had off Friday and today was the big show. I think the girls were showing consistency in the gym which is key.”
Capone acknowledged that while the season did not start the way the Owls had wanted it to, Saturday’s victory can certainly provide a confidence boost.
“I think a s a team we looked so much better and this can really give us some momentum.”
Temple will next head to New Hampshire next weekend for a Saturday evening meet against the University of New Hampshire.
Greg Frank can be reached at Greg.Frank@Temple.edu or on Twitter @g_frank6