LIVE BLOG: Tuscaloosa Regional Round One

Ah, the play-ins. You either love ’em or you hate ’em. I tend to love them, but less so when we run them chaotically and not one person at a time like a regular dual to “end the meet earlier” (we did the math, it saves like 12 minutes). Here’s hoping this is standard dual-style.

The winner of this matchup will join Oklahoma and Missouri in round two session two tomorrow—remember that Auburn pulled out due to COVID protocols. Missouri is certainly no slouch of a team, but it’s also not out of striking distance of these two. That means that whoever wins this one has a long but not unrealistic shot at qualifying to the regional final, since two teams from session two tomorrow will do so. No pressure!

Maryland had a bumpy final month of the regular season after losing two of its best young gymnasts to injury in Emma Silberman and Aleka Tsiknias. The Terps put together a good meet at Big Tens and were only held back by counting two messy beam routines. The Eagles on the other hand stormed to a MAC title on the heels of a pretty consistently good meet. Beam was also a little shaky in their case, though.

Individual qualifiers who will advance if their team does not: Audrey Barber (UMD, AA), Hayden Crossen (EMU, AA), Alexsis Rubio (UMD, VT), Collea Burgess (UMD, VT), Cortney Bezold (EMU, UB), Jada Rondeau (EMU, UB, BB, FX), Catlin Satler (EMU, BB), Shannon Gregory (EMU, BB), Reese McClure (UMD, BB)

We’re getting ready to roll here! News of the day is the Salt Lake City play-in…won’t happen. Temple unfortunately pulled out. Really upsetting, especially given that the Owls had already travelled. The other play-ins are running with concurrent routines (those precious 12 minutes) so yay boo. We also don’t seem to have good commentary, so I have MAC editor Kalley on deck to check my EMU IDs which are admittedly weak. Postseason is here, in all its messy glory!

Just an update, we’re at 3 past the hour and the “your event is about to begin” loop is looping.

Rotation 1: EMU VT, UMD UB

We missed a bunch of early routines. Yay! Thanks video feed!

Osterhout (UMD): Blind Jaeger to bail all solid. Blind to double front, cowboyed, just a step.

Parris (EMU): FTY, great distance! Some pike down.

Glauber (UMD): High Tkatchev. Clear hip hand to bail hand touch short. Good last handstand. DLO, true stick.

Roberts (EMU): FTY, pike down and a hop.

Barber (UMD): Kind of a long wait. Glad we don’t have a vault to watch during this hole to save time!!! Clear hip hand to Hindorff immediate bail, smooth through those. Arched a good bit on last handstand, DLO, deep squat but didn’t move her feet.

Crossen (EMU): FTY, hop back, little short.

Rubio (UMD): Looks like she’s a scratch, they went five up. Makes sense, she’s in this lineup due to the many injuries.

AFTER 1: EMU 48.825, UMD 48.825

TIE GAME. That’s fun. Maryland will be THRILLED to be through bars so smoothly. This thing is going to be a nail biter for sure. A fun nugget: this feed has absolutely no sound at all. It’s a very bizarre way to watch gymnastics.

Rotation 2: EMU UB, UMD VT

McClure (UMD): FTY, missed the landing.

Roberts (EMU): Blind to Gienger to bail, some loosenss. Step back on double tuck.

Crossen (EMU): Long wait. Bars judges do not care about the NCAA wanting to save time. Bail hand loose. Great handstand to Tkatchev. DLO, leg sep, small foot shuffle.

HEY! Arena sound kicked in. Thank you ESPN.

Gilbert (UMD): Yhalf, knees throughout and a medium step forward.

Glauber (UMD): FTY, weird flat block, big pike down.

Burgess (UMD): Shuffle back on her FTY.

Boris (EMU): Another biggish wait! Ugh. Hecht mount. Great handstand. Blind to pike Jaeger, caught a touch close. Good bail hand. Short last handstand. FTDB, had to swim her arms a bit but held her feet.

Barber (UMD): FTY, great body position, hop back.

Rubio (UMD): FTY, really big, maybe a small foot shuffle, but she sold it as a stick.

Parris (EMU): Hect mount. Arched handstand. Toe hand to Gienger, caught quite close. Short bail hand. DLO college stick.

Rondeau (EMU): Blind to Jaeger immediate bail. DLO, foot shuffle back. Great routine.

Bezold (EMU): Blind full to Gienger immediate bail, good throughout. FTDL, little low so she came in a bit hard and had to step forward.

AFTER 2: UMD 97.775, 97.650

Maryland was a little sloppier there than usual; the Terps were going for sticks and some early vaults got a little funky for it, but the back half of the lineup is so solid. Eastern Michigan has some really stunning bars work, but some shakiness in the early sets held the rotation back a touch. Still, this thing remains ridiculously close. Both teams had iffy beam lineups at conference champs, so it might all come down to who stays on.

Rotation 3: EMU BB, UMD FX

Stuckey (EMU): Overrotated her full turn but covered it like a pro. Bhs loso, small check, but again covered well. Switch to straddle 1/4, bigger check, swung her arms. Loso to sisonne, good. Side aerial tuck 1/1, low chest.

McClure (UMD): Double tuck, good landing. Front lay to rudi, foot form, little low on the rudi. Tour jete 1/2 Popa, slightly off balance in the air but otherwise great. Front lay front full, missed the punch, low on the full and knees, landed squatty but no fall.

Parris (EMU): Switch to switch side, some foot form and a little short of 180 on the latter. Bhs loso, check. Side aerial, small check. RO 3/2, small hop.

Rubio (UMD): Double pike, picks her front foot up on the lunge. RO 3/2 front lay, arched the lay down a bit. Switch side Popa, little low on both. Double tuck lunge forward.

Price (EMU): Chest down on her jump connection. Cat to front toss bhs, good. Illusion turn heart eyes forever. Split to beat to gainer front 1/1.

Rouse (UMD): Double pike, slid in the lunge a bit. 3/2 to front lay, no problems. Way off balance on her leap series, they’ll take a rhythm deduction I think. Falls on her double tuck.

Crossen (EMU): Solid bhs loso. Front toss to beat, steady. Switch sheep beat, very good. Cartwheel to gainer 1/1 off the side, I think stuck. Really great!

Burgess (UMD): 3/1, some crossed legs but great landing. Good rotation on her jumps, second is a wolf 3/2, front leg could be higher. Front lay front 1/1, bit low and archy.

Rondeau (EMU): Strong triple series. Beat to straddle 3/4, good. Stuck RO 3/2. Eagles on a roll!

Barber (UMD):  HUGE full-in, great landing. Lunged a bit wildly out of her combo pass. Switch to Popa Popa, feet were a bit far apart on the last landing. Double tuck, another great lunge. She’s pro at holding that front foot. Maryland needed that one.

Satler (EMU): Bhs bhs loso, medium check, dropped her chest. Wobble on her pike 1/1. RO 2/1, held the stick.

LeBlanc (UMD): Double pike, adjusted feet in the lunge. Switch half to wolf 3/2, little sloppy in both shapes in the air, just a bit lacking finish. FHS front 1/1 front lay, knees in the full.

AFTER 3: EMU 146.625, UMD 146.475

Phewwww Eastern Michigan is lovely on beam! The Eagles pulled ahead with some really confident work, but it’s still close. You could tell that Katie Minasola told them they were simply not allowed to fall. The Terps were weird. That McClure pass, plus the Rouse fall really held them back.

Rotation 4: EMU FX, UMD BB

Burgess (UMD): Front toss bhs, medium chest down check. Leaps were solid. Good side somi. Gianer front 1/1 good.

Kosanavich (EMU): Double pike, moved her front foot a bit and lead back some. Low front lay on the combo pass, but good form. Traveled to the side a lot on her leaps. Good double tuck.

LeBlanc (UMD): Knees on her bhs loso. Steady jumps. Little check on full turn. Gainer 1/1, piked down.

Gregory (EMU): High double pike, good lunge. Tour jete 1/2 Popa was good. OOB on her combo pass. Double tuck good.

Weir (UMD): Bhs loso, good. Beat to loso, saved a check. Steady leaps. Cat to switch side. Stuck dismount.

Boris (EMU): Full-in, low chest. Good leaps, maybe a touch low on her tuck 1/1. Really arched and low front lay to end the combo pass. Double tuck, that was her best pass.

Rouse (UMD): Standing loso beat, no problems. Bhs loso small check. True stick on her RO 3/2. The Terps WANT IT.

Crossen (EMU): Very low on her double pike landing, not sure if she touched the ground. Front lay front 1/1, some knees but really floaty. Double tuck, there was her landing.

McClure (UMD): Front aerial loso, was a little off on the aerial but pulled it out. Good leaps. Little hop on her gainer rudi. Big hug from coach Nelligan, she’s struggled a bit in recent weeks.

Roberts (EMU): Nice leaps to start. Double pike, low and bounded forward. Much better landing on the combo pass. Rudi to straddle, really low on the jump.

Fam this is SO CLOSE.

Barber (UMD): Front aerial, dances right out. Bhs loso, so steady. Front toss to beat, no problems. She knows what’s on the line. Switch to split, low back leg. True stick on her RO 3/2. Wow!!

Rondeau (EMU): High double tuck, bounded back a bit. Good combo pass. Switch side popa, little short of rotation. FHs rudi to straddle, great! Wow. Both anchors came through.

FINAL: UMD 195.525, EMU 195.475

Wowowowowowow! Maryland closed it down on beam. Lots of happy tears in their huddle. This is a real heartbreaker for Eastern Michigan, which was excellent all day long. It came down to floor, unexpectedly, where the Eagles just gave a little too much away. We’ll see a number of individuals from Eastern Michigan tomorrow. This was so fun. This is what the play-ins should be.

Live blog by Emily Minehart

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