The women’s gymnastics team defeated Ursinus College in a dual meet Sunday by a score of 192.325 to 187.425. Temple’s performance in Collegeville was a new season high.
Coach Aaron Murphy said he has been impressed by his team’s improvements across the board.
“We’re seeing [improvements] in pretty much every event up to this point,” Murphy said. “Each girl is trying to better themselves by a tenth of a point and it’s really happening. It just seems like everyone was on point.”
Leading the way for the Owls’ best performance of the year was their work on the balance beam, as they scored a 48.300. Headed by Sylvie Borschel with a 9.775, Murphy also talked about a new addition to the lineup this week.
“We threw Jasmine Johnson in there for the first time, and she hit her routine with a 9.45,” Murphy said. “So that was pretty cool.”
Another notable event for Temple was the uneven bars, as they scored a 48.250. Heather Zaniewski led the Owls, posting a 9.750 in her team’s opening event.
“This is actually our first time, as a bar team, breaking that 48-point mark,” Murphy said. “So that was a huge accomplishment for us today.”
Murphy also said the effort was significant because opening on bars is a difficult event to do so in gymnastics, because of all the hand movements, shifting between bars and overall difficulty of the event.
But even with a season-high performance, Murphy did see some room for improvement, particularly on the floor exercise. This event was Temple’s worst of the competition as it was the only one that they failed to score above 48 (47.675).
“The weak point would have to be floor exercise,” Murphy said. “We went 6 for 6 on vault, bars and beam. We counted a fall on floor, but it doesn’t faze me as a coach. I don’t get too concerned with it. Jasmine Johnson missed her first pass and Brianna Odom missed her last pass. But in the past few meets, they’ve both been ‘on.’ So it’s something easy to recover on, and we’ll just keep moving forward.”
Rounding out Temple’s day was the vault, where they scored a 48.100. Two gymnasts led the effort for the Owls with a score of 9.700 – Britannie DeMeno and Jasmine Johnson.
Looking back on his team’s performance on Sunday, Murphy said that the success simply stems from practice time during each week.
“There’s just a lot of hard work in the gym,” Murphy said. “They’re willing to listen to us coaches, and listen to the corrections we’re telling them. And when they apply them, it pays off in competition.”
“These girls, they’ve not just gymnasts, they’re students also and have social lives,” Murphy added. “So when they come into the gym and aren’t as energetic as they should be, I just try and remind them, ‘Let’s pick it back up. Let’s get loud in here and build up some energy.’”
The occasional pep talk has been instrumental in Temple’s current success, Murphy said.
“Just to keep reminding ourselves how good we’ve done up to this point,” Murphy said. “That’s what has been the fuel to the fire in how well we’ve done these past few weeks.”
Next week, the Owls travel to Eastern Michigan University, along with Northern Illinois and Air Force.
Steve Bohnel can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @SteveSportsGuy1.