Ursinus finished the 2017 season ranked No. 71 and placed fourth at NCGA championships. 2017 was a historic season, setting team high scores on bars and beam. Next year, the team will look to continue to improve and challenge for the ECAC-III title as well as the national DIII crown. The team will lose four seniors, but it will look to returning athletes, as well as all-star freshmen, to build upon last season’s historic run. While predicting lineups in DIII can be difficult, previews can give you a good idea of what to look for from the Bears next season.
Vault was the weakest event for the Bears last season, finishing 75th. They will be led by seniors Heather Brubaker (9.575 RQS), Alexandra Puryear (9.465 RQS) and Kelsey Stewart (9.405). Additionally, Courtney Pearson (9.65 season high), Ellie LaFountain (9.355 RQS) and Lindsey Rush (9.340 RQS) will return. Many other Bears also made strong appearances in the lineup, including Breanna Couts who scored as high as 9.5 last season and Skyler Haas who topped out at 9.225. Strong incoming freshmen looking to break into the lineup, include Samantha Aguirre who competed a lovely Yurchenko pike in club for scores as high as 9.35. Hailey DiCicco is also a strong vaulter and competes a clean Yurchenko layout for scores as high as 9.15. Olivia Keim has training videos of a Yurchenko layout with huge amplitude as well, so expect her to contend for a lineup spot. Savona Cerra has a training video of a powerful Yurchenko tuck full that could be a great addition to the lineup as well. All of this being said, vault should show improvements next season with so many potential contenders and increased depth on the event.
On bars, Ursinus finished the season ranked No. 68 and set a school record with a high score of 48.1. Ursinus returns three of six regular lineup contributors and will be led by Puryear (9.345 RQS), Rush (9.335 RQS) and Amanda Palladino (9.260 RQS). Additionally, Stewart and Pearson both appeared in lineups and received scores above 9.1. Incoming freshmen will look to make an impact as well with Cerra showcasing a beautiful double layout dismount, DiCicco with a nice blind full to blind half to bail to handstand and Keim has a clean line and a clear hip to bail to handstand to toe handstand to toe shoot connection.
In 2017, Beam was Ursinus’ best event as the team finished a modest 66th and scored a record-breaking 48.575. It will lose Kaelin Ruoss but will be led by Palladino and Haas, who both had RQS scores above 9.6 in 2017. Additionally, Puryear and Autumn Snape both posted RQS scores above 9.5, and Kelly McLaughlin and Allyson Getty both made appearances in lineup with season high scores above that same mark. In terms of incoming freshman, Cerra showcases two back handsprings to layout step-out and DiCicco has a punch front and lovely switch side. Beam promises to be Ursinus’ most dominant event once again as it has extensive depth and many lovely, useable routines from the newcomers.
Ursinus loses no regular floor lineup contributors and should look to continue improving next season. Last season, the Bears were led by Puryear and LaFountain, both of which had RQS scores above 9.6. Brubaker, Stewart and Couts all had high scores above 9.6 in 2017 and will look to continue improving. Other strong returning contributors include Sabrina Tusavitz and Haas who scored as high as 9.525 and 9.475, respectively. The freshmen also boast some impressive floor talent with DiCicco scoring as high as 9.25 in level 10. With strong incoming freshman and most competitors from last years season returning, the Bears seem ready for another successful, record-breaking season.
Article by Morgan Bradford