The Temple women’s gymnastics team has high hopes of being a successful squad this year, but the only way they will have a chance to compete as a top team is through consistency during their season, says Head Coach Ken Anderson.
“Maintaining consistency is the key to success in this sport,” Anderson said.
“If we can maintain our order throughout the entire schedule, we will definitely
be competing for the postseason.”
After placing fourth in the Atlantic 10 Conference during the 2001-02 season, the Owls will be led by a core of three skilled seniors, who will hopefully aid in a few surprise victories against top opponents in the nation.
“Brynne Hillman, Andrea McGary, and Cicely Warrington provide us with a great senior core for the team,” Anderson said.
“We also have younger girls who are stepping up and keeping the team on its feet, as well as a few freshman who are providing us with great talent.”
Ranked sixth in the Northeast Region, the Owls have improved in several areas from last season, including the bars and vaulting, and have tremendous depth, something the team lacked in recent years, said Anderson.
So far, the biggest hump of the season was getting past the first meet at George Washington.
“The girls were in their first meet of the season, and things just weren’t going right at first,” he said.
“Now things are starting to click for everyone, so I am excited to see what is coming up for the rest of the season.”
Landing only 13 of 26 routines at GW, the Owls have vastly improved since, and although their record now stands at 2-6, Anderson does not seem too worried about the numbers the women are producing.
“Records as of now do not really matter,” Anderson said.
“Looking at our record right now, you wouldn’t think things are going too well, but the girls have been excellent lately.”
Just recently, the Owls upset Rutgers University, in a match that was supposed to be a cakewalk for the Knights.
Instead, Temple found perfection in many of their routines, and left the crowd stunned.
“The girls are really pumped after beating Rutgers,” junior Amy Pinkerton said.
“We are looking really good, and should definitely do well for the rest of the season.”
The overall goal this season is to keep on working towards consistency, as to increase their chances of making the National Invitational Tournament or the NCAA Tournament at the end of spring, said Anderson.
“I think our chances of making the NIT are very good,” he said.
“If we turn things up a few notches and place as a top three in the Northeast region, we may even be able to reach the NCAA Tournament.”
A disappointing loss to Maryland by a score of 193.450-190.525 has not put a damper on the spirit of the Owls.
They will face Pennsylvania and Wilson on Feb. 7 and look forward to turning a few heads this season against some of the best teams in the nation.
David Gunning can be reached at Psgunn11@yahoo.com