Seniors Nina Oteri and Danielle Viens led Temple to the win against Ursinus, Penn and West Chester. The balance beam event launched the Owls toward the comeback victory. They face Towson next.
Seniors Nina Oteri and Danielle Viens finished their final regular-season home meet on a high note, as the women’s gymnastics team capped off its Senior Day at the Liberty Classic with victories against Ursinus, Penn and West Chester.
Oteri and Viens were honored following a 188.375-point performance versus second-place Ursinus, which finished with a 181.725. Viens posted a respectable 8.825 on the uneven parallel bars, her only event. Meanwhile, Oteri rounded out the beam event with an 8.85 and finished the Liberty Classic with a 9.75 on the floor.
“It was our last in-season home meet, and we came out, and we did our job. We came home. We won,” Oteri said.
Temple began the day on vault with a solid 47.825 team total. Junior Katie Canning led the team with a 9.825, while sophomore Kaity Watson posted a 9.625.
Not everything went perfectly, though. A sluggish and sloppy performance on the parallel bars left the team playing catch-up with only two events left. Watson posted the squad’s best score with a 9.55, as the Owls scored a 45.875 for the event.
Fortunately for the Owls, the beam event proved to be a launching pad for an exciting comeback, as the squad scored a 46.85. Canning led the team with a 9.625, followed by sophomore Corrine Williams’ 9.525. By the time the team had finished the beam and floor events, McGonigle Hall was buzzing with chants of, “T! U!”
“We started off a little rough, but it was the fact that we came back on beam, and really floor we kind of kept it together.” Oteri said. “We didn’t just fall apart and throw the meet after we had a couple little bumps in the road.”
The Owls finished off the Liberty Classic with an impressive 47.825 on the floor, capped off by Canning’s 9.80.
“I think it was a big confidence booster coming in, winning against three other teams,” Viens said.
The three all-arounders – freshman Jean Alban, Canning and Watson – posted solid scores. Alban led the trio with a 37.3 by posting a 9.35 on the vault, 9.25 on the parallel bars, 9.375 on the beam and 9.325 on the floor. Canning followed with a close 37.2, while Watson posted a 36.725.
But both seniors agreed that there is still work to be done.
“We definitely had some ups and downs, a lot of falls and execution errors, but it is still early in the season, so we’re working on fixing the little things,” Viens said.
The Owls will continue to prepare for the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championship, hosted at McGonigle Hall in March.
“It feels good to win, but at the same time, like I said, the main team in our conference wasn’t here, and the mistakes that we made at a little bit bigger meet might not get the win,” Oteri said. “So, we have to really step up for the next meet.”
The women’s gymnastics team will take the floor again Feb. 20 at the Towson Invitational.
Jake Adams can be reach at email@example.com.