Temple gymnastics takes first at home opener

The Owls recorded a 194.150 score to beat Penn, Ithaca College, and Ursinus College on Sunday at McGonigle Hall.

Somphomore Jordyn Oster performs her balance routine during Temple's home meet on Sunday at McGonigle Hall. | JAMIE COTTRELL / THE TEMPLE NEWS

In its first home meet of the season, Temple University gymnastics hosted and defeated Ithaca College, Penn and Ursinus College on Jan. 27.

The Owls (5-6) posted their second highest score of the season with 194.150 to top all three of their opponents. Temple won its first meet of the season after the Owls finished third, second, and fourth in their first three meets.

A home meet was refreshing for the Temple gymnasts, who were beginning to feel fatigued after three road meets in three weeks, coach Josh Nilson said.

“I told them to loosen up and perform with the passion that they had when they were [age] 5 or 6 and just beginning their gymnastics careers,” Nilson added.

Temple made improvements from their previous meet at the University of New Hampshire. On Jan. 18,  the Owls posted a 48.700 score on the uneven bars, up from their 47.800 score at New Hampshire, as well as 1.2 point improvement with a 48.675 score on the beam.

The Owls had at least a first and second place finish in every event. Sophomore Monica Servidio placed first in the vault and beam events and finished second on the uneven bars.

Senior captain India Anderson posted a career-high of 9.900 on her floor routine to win the event. Junior Jaylene Everett, who scored 9.800 on her floor routine, placed second behind Anderson. In addition, sophomore Erica Fuchs tallied a career-high score of 9.675 in the floor routine and helped the Owls claim a 48.750 score on the beam, the team’s highest of the season.

“Before I took the floor, I was telling myself to trust the reps, trust my team, and trust myself,” Anderson said. “I felt like I was 4 years old, doing my floor routine just like I had done for my parents, and it felt amazing.”

Junior Jazmyn Estrella finished second in both the vault and beam event. Estrella scored a 9.700 score in the vault event with Everett finishing third with a 9.675 score.

In the uneven parallel bars, Estrella scored a 9.850 to take first place. Servidio and freshman Ariana Castrence tied for second while junior Daisy Todd and sophomore Tori Edwards both scored 9.700, tying for fourth place.

Altogether, these performances were enough to edge out Penn, which scored 190.100 to place second. Penn is one of Temple’s main competitors in the Eastern College Athletic Conference and previously outscored Temple at the ECAC Division I Championships in 2018.

The Owls are satisfied with the win, but it felt “good” to defeat a conference opponent, Nilson said.

Temple will need to be at its best again Friday at the University of Pittsburgh for its next meet, Nilson added. Temple competed against Pittsburgh in New Hampshire on January 18th. Pittsburgh scored 193.725 to finish third, compared to the Owls 191.850 score at that meet.

Castrence, who won her second all-around title of the season with a score of 38.275, aims to excel in the Owls upcoming meets in hopes of earning the chance at postseason play.

“I can’t wait to get back into the gym and keep competing,” Castrence said. “If we keep playing well, we are a postseason team.”

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