Temple opens season at home and falls to 0-2

Transfer Julianna Roland had four podium finishes in her Temple debut.

Julianna Roland, a junior transfer student at Temple, received a team-high score of 9.800 on Jan. 16. | NICK DAVIS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University gymnastics (0-2, 0-0 Eastern Athletic Gymnastics League) opened up their season in the Ken Anderson Invitational and fell to Eastern Michigan University (2-0, 0-0 Eastern Athletic Gymnastics League) and Towson University (1-1, 0-0 Eastern Athletic Gymnastics League) in a close competition Sunday.  

Temple set a team score of 192.400 behind Eastern Michigan’s score of 194.300 points and Towson’s 193.925.

“We made some mistakes we shouldn’t have made, made some mistakes we never really make,” said head coach Josh Nilson. “But if it’s going to happen, let it happen now.”

Temple started the meet on vault and recorded a score of 48.650 with five gymnasts scoring above 9.7. Junior transfer Caitlin Gray and senior Tori Edwards tallied a score of 9.725 each. Junior Ariana Castrence and freshman Mackenzie Aresta both recorded 9.700 on the event.

The Owls only scored 47.475 points on bars and fell behind their opponents early. Sophomore Nichole Smith set a career-high score of 9.725 in the event while Gray set a 9.650 and Edwards tallied a 9.600.

On beam, Temple scored just 47.325 points due to some falls in the event. Junior transfer Julianna Roland notched a team-high score of 9.800, which was second overall, while senior Jordyn Oster set a 9.650.

The team ended the night on floor and tied with Towson for the best event score for any team at the meet with a 48.950. Senior Faith Leary tallied a career-high score of 9.900 to win the event while Edwards finished second overall with a 9.850. Roland completed her Temple debut with a 9.775 on floor.

“We came off two pretty subpar events and hit a good floor set,” Nilson said. “Vault started us off strong, floor ended strong, really it’s only up from here. All the parts and pieces are there, we just need to smooth it out.”

Four freshmen and a pair of transfers earned lineup spots to make their debuts for Temple. Freshman Renee Schugman competed in the All-Around, the only athlete to do so in the meet.

Although they lost, the freshmen and transfers will remain in the lineup, and Nilson is happy with the way they performed, he said. 

“Really, we’re not going to change a whole lot,” Nilson added. “You know everyone wants to come out and get 197’s but you know we just needed to compete, we needed to complete a meet and that’s really what we did.”

The Owls will return to action on Jan. 22 as they head to Towson for a quad meet against the Tigers, NC State (1-0, 0-0 Eastern Athletic Gymnastics League), and William & Mary (0-0, 0-0 Eastern Gymnastics League ).

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