LIVE BLOG: No. 51 Bridgeport, No. 66 Southern Connecticut at No. 55 Yale

Welcome to the Connecticut party! After watching dozens of Instagram lives to keep up with Division II so far this season, I’m so excited to have a real live ESPN feed that is mostly stationary and upright! (No disrespect to the Instagram live camerawomen intended—you’re all doing the work of the gym gods.)

After a first week aberration, Bridgeport looks great, holding the two highest team scores of the USAG season heading into this weekend. It’s the favorite to win this meet if it can avoid a beam disaster—which it did last weekend, impressively. To only count one fall on beam is a great meet for the Purple Knights. To count none at all is a revelation, and I’m hoping for a repeat today.

Meanwhile, the two geographically closest teams in NCAA gymnastics face off (literally, their respective arenas are about a mile apart). I don’t know what to make of Yale this year; injuries to several key players, likely including freshman Raegan Walker, have thrown off my expectations, but the Bulldogs can always fall back on power duo Jacey Baldovino and Jade Buford and be just fine. Meanwhile, there’s plenty to love at Southern Connecticut, including phenom Hannah Stahlbrodt. But I’ll have my eye on freshman Bianca Leon, who committed and immediately flew to New Haven from her home in Florida only a few weeks ago and scored a 9.775 on beam in her college debut.

Rotation 1: Yale vault, Bridgeport bars, SCSU beam

Bangart (UB): Saw a blind full double back, great. 9.725

Jennings (Yale): Y tuck full, very soft block with poor technique, chest down and a hop. 9.6

Macias (SCSU): Off on a front aerial. Switch pike split 1/4 good, front aerial, check, side aerial, falls. At this point probably no acro series. Side aerial back full is a beauty.

Dillon (UB): True Shap to bail, BEAUTIFUL, clear hip. FTDB with a hop. WOW WOW 9.775

Buford (Yale): FHS front pike, soft knees at the end but stuck! 9.65

Loughlin (SCSU): Full turn, BHS LOSO is a beauty. Beat split full a little short, adjustment, front walkover, hitch kick switch half short of split, gainer pike with a hop back.

Cooperman (Yale): Bent elbows on to the table on her FTY but vault is fine, big hop back. 9.65

Gray (UB): Gienger to overshoot, off, blind full double back almost stuck. 9.2

Roland (UB): Just saw the double lay, great, with a scoot and a step back. 9.75

Chong (Yale): Yurchenko half comes in a bit short with two quick steps back. 9.3

Gatewood (SCSU): Front aerial BHS good, tiniest lean, split split 3/4 short of position. Side aerial to split, full turn, side aerial tuck back full clean.

Firth (Yale): FTY, the best yet by far with a hop back and to one side. 9.775

Doran (UB): Blind to Jaeger, weird cut, blind full double back with a hop. 9.825 she’s such a beauty.

Kistner (UB): We saw her bail, a little short of handstand, double layout pretty with a slightly awkward landing. 9.7

Stahlbrodt (SCSU): Full turn, wolf split 3/4, so beautiful. BHS LOSO, switch split 1/4 with a sizable check. Cat leap side aerial, off line but works through, RO double full dismount stuck.

Peloquin (SCSU): Front aerial, little check and tries it again. Front aerial BHS good! Hitch kick side aerial beautiful. Switch wolf 3/4, bend check but holds on, double full dismount stuck again.

Leon (SCSU): Full turn, switch switch half nailed it. Side split half, using her arms to keep it in line, one-arm BHS LOSO is UNREAL. Side straddle 1/2, beautiful, front full with a hop back. I saw 9.6 🙁 SV issue maybe.

After 1: Bridgeport 48.775, Yale 48.425, SCSU 47.450

SO good from Bridgeport on bars, that’s a season high. Impressive to do less than 24 hours after their last meet. Pressure’s on heading to beam, but beam was phenomenal last night. I was really impressed by SCSU on beam – big checks took away from the total but the style and technique is top-notch.

Rotation 2: Yale bars, Bridgeport beam, SCSU floor

Girolamo (SCSU): Double pike, underrotated but secure. FHS Rudi, stagger back. Switch side wolf full, front full front tuck landed OOB. 9.225

Firth (Yale): Saw a great Jaeger, double back pretty with a little hop. 9.375

Henry (Yale): Blind to Jaeger to overshoot, nice, missed a handstand on HB. Double layout closed position with chest down. 9.525

Barry (UB): BHS LOSO, shaky but on. Switch straddle 3/4 nice. Cat leap front aerial, check, hitch kick front full off one foot was that?? Nice. 9.3, the checks ate away at it. 9.3

Stahlbrodt (SCSU): FHS Rudi great, couldn’t catch all the details on her leap series. 9.45

Chia (Yale): Saw her half to half to one and a half dismount. Really clean! 9.65

Koopman (UB): BHS BHS LOSO, secure. Side aerial, full turn, switch split back tuck with a pause in the middle. Might not have a dance series now? Punch Rudi, rulls out in some horrible way. Think she’s okay but that looked like it  hurt.

Macias (SCSU): Rudi back tuck, looked awkward, maybe she meant a LOSO. She’s a beautiful dancer, switch ring tour jete half. Front full front tuck is good. 9.6

Walker (Yale): Oh good, she’s back. Saw a good bail, double lay is a beauty and drops her knees. Oopsie. 9.075

Baldovino (Yale): Blind to pike Jaeger to overshoot, top notch. Blind full double back with a step to the side. 9.675

Kistner (UB): Handstand LOSO lovely. Switch straddle 3/4, she’s so aggressive. Full turn, BHS LOSO and falls. Beat tuck jump 1/1, one and a half dismount.

Gatewood (SCSU): Some issues with her tour jete half split full, front lay front tuck.

Buford (Yale): Blind to Jaeger, blind to straddle back, missed a handstand. Didn’t see the dismount. 9.75

Roland (UB): Full turn, got an intense bright purple bandage on her thigh. BHS LOSO, cat leap side aerial great. Her presentation is just top-notch. Switch split LOSO, tiny adjustment, one and a half dismount with a hop. Great way to get the lineup back on track.9.75

Brothers (SCSU): One and a half front lay, awkward landing. Rudi a touch underrotated with a step forward.

Reimers (UB): Full turn, BHS LOSO, leg up check but holds it. Cat leap side aerial, switch leap, check. Split back tuck, arm swing. Double full dismount. 9.675

Lesperance (SCSU): Double back, step OOB. Front lay Barani split jump. switch half wolf full is beautiful. One and a half punch front. 9.525

After 2: Bridgeport 96.575, Yale 96.400, SCSU 94.675

Julianna Roland is leading the AA at the midpoint. Good old-fashioned Bridgeport beam meltdown, but it could have been a lot worse. Yale did not do wonderful bars by any means, but it’s getting through here.

Rotation 3: SCSU vault, Yale beam, Bridgeport floor

Cooperman (Yale): Cat leap front aerial BHS LOSO so steady, beat jump switch side. One and a half dismount with a hop.

Kutcher (SCSU): Wide block on her Y lay and a little shuffle out.

Bangart (UB): Wolf full, double pike great. Switch Popa Popa, front full front lay, Rudi good. Really solid start!

Chia (Yale): Front aerial, tentative, back tuck back tuck. I think that’s a backup after missing connection out of her front aerial. Switch straddle 3/4, cat leap side aerial back full.

Lesperance (SCSU): Solid Y tuck full. 9.525

Grau (UB): Not sure who this is but it isn’t Koopman like the broadcast said. Rudi, wolf full tour jete half or something? Whip half front full, one and a half front tuck. Okay, they’re just moving down the lineup and skipping Koopman, she had a miss on her beam dismount and could be taking time to recover. 9.65

Firth (Yale): Front aerial BHS, full turn and a little check, front aerial split with a little lean. 9.675

Stahlbrodt (SCSU): Not her best block, FTY a little underrotated and a hop forward. 9.525

Buford (Yale): Front aerial BHS  great, side somi with a check. Cat leap switch straddle 1/2, full turn, punch front full stuck. 9.825

Antonangeli (SCSU): FHS front massive, big hop forward. 9.45

Kistner (UB): Front full front tuck, sort of on top of herself, that’s the end of the routine bye Gabby! 9.75

Baldovino (Yale): BHS LOSO, little lean but keeps it on. Switch ring to something, front aerial wolf and a little check, cat leap gainer full dismount stuck. So beautiful. 9.8

Roland (UB): Double pike, step forward, tour jete half Popa I think. Front lay front lay good, double back underrotated and puts her hands down, works out really quickly. 8.95

Firmstone (Yale): BHS LOSO, switch straddle 3/4. Side aerial lovely, one and a half dismount with a little hop. Great! 9.825

Reimers (UB): Full in, almost stuck, lunges out well after holding it for a second. Switch tour jete half great, one and a half front tuck a little low on the rebound. Good leaps, something to split full, double pike step to the side. 9.9 straight fire.

After 3: Yale 145.225, Bridgeport 144.450, SCSU 142.200

Purple Knights went five up on floor after Koopman scratched. Won’t be a bad score but won’t be a repeat of yesterday’s 194, certainly. Yale went through the roof on beam and is leading decisively.

Rotation 4: Bridgeport vault, SCSU bars, Yale floor

Cooperman (Yale): Front through double back wow! Switch side Popa, front lay front full. Two and a half twist, huge step forward. 9.75

Proulx (UB): FTY, twists a little slowly with a step forward. 9.375

Streete (UB): FTY, good in the air, step back. 9.7!

Girolamo (SCSU): We saw a slow blind full double back underrotated with a big step forward. 9.475

Baldovino (Yale): Double pike, beauty of a lunge.She’s really one I could watch all day. Switch ring tj1/2, front lay front full great. Two ahd a half twist with two awkward steps back. 9.725

Macias (SCSU): Bail, over and saves impressively, half turn switch kip sort of situation and avoids falling.

Reimers (UB): Yurchenko full, her usual, huge with a hop back. 9.75

Gray (UB): Full pikey in the air, bigger step back. 9.7

Chong (Yale): Double pike, front lay Barani split with odd dynamics. Double back a little overrotated, huge lunge makes it work.

Kistner (UB): Despite what the commentators think she’s not Caitlin Gray and she didn’t stick the landing, but she did do a great job on her beauty of a Yurchenko arabian. One of my favorite vaults. 9.825

Firmstone (Yale): Double pike, front lay front full landed really well. Rudi to split, her tumbling technique is great, really satisfying to watch.

Roland (UB): FTY, her usual beauty, little hop back. 9.725 is unkind.

Stahlbrodt (SCSU): Jaeger to overshoot, double lay so lovely with a step back.

Buford (Yale): Round off double back, overrotated and pulls the front foot. Front full front lay, switch half wolf full. Rudi to split stuck, beautiful. She’s in a zone this year.

Leon (SCSU): Saw the second half of her routine, half turn to toe shoot, blind full double back absolutely exquisite. Would sell my soul to her any time.

Firth (Yale): Front double full is fantastic! Front lay front full. Big scoot back on a Rudi.

Final: Yale 194.150, Bridgeport 193.150, SCSU 190.525

Great day and a season high for Yale and SCSU! Both should be really happy with relative lack of major mistakes. Yale beam in particular was unforgettable—so fearless. Odd day for Bridgeport, I’d really expect the Purple Knights to have a sixth routine on floor after Koopman went down with so much depth, but a three-meet weekend changes the strategy substantially.

VT – Gabrielle Kistner (UB) 9.825
UB – Kathryn Doran (UB) 9.825
BB – Jade Buford, Emma Firmstone (Yale) 9.825
FX – Maya Reimers (UB) 9.900
AA – Jade Buford (Yale) 39.000

Live Blog by Rebecca Scally

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