LIVE BLOG: No. 40 Rutgers at No. 30 Maryland

We’re coming in hot on a Wednesday, just a handful of days out from Big Fives. Maryland had a great meet—despite losing all arounder Emma Silberman to an apparently severe knee injury halfway through—and Rutgers didn’t count a fall for the second week running. The Scarlet Knights’ No. 40 ranking is significant for a team that has spent time in the high 40s and even 50s over the majority of the past six years. Anything over a 194.025 improves their NQS, something very achievable.

For Maryland, it’ll be about solidifying new lineups if Silberman is indeed out. The Terps will be eying a second 196 on the year, but any mid-195 or better is a step in the right direction. Last week we saw Alexsis Rubio take Silberman’s beam and floor slots. Bars has a lot of workable options, but that scoring potential will take a hit. The Terps have vaulted the same six all season, so it’s hard to guess who we could see there.

Hello and welcome. Just sitting down and getting ready over here. Maryland uses Statbroadcast, which pre-loads participating gymnasts. No Silberman in there.

It’s the top of the hour and the feed isn’t up and running yet, so let’s have a little Stream of Consciousness with Emily time on this fine Wednesday. (I hope it’s fine where you are. Chicago is a sunny and glorious 52 degrees.)

Iowa just announced that it is indeed the Big Ten regular season champion. That’s great! The conference did a piss poor job of things, though, so Iowa had to wait around until WEDNESDAY after its meet to announce that. I know it’s complicated this year, but the conference should’ve decided how it would handle cancellations and their affect on the win/loss record before Big Fives, probably. I emailed on Thursday last week to clarify, and never heard back. Very good.

Anyway, here’s the stream. It’s glitching and sound quality is rough. Did I mention that I love this conference? I truly do, but oh boy does the business/admin end of the Big Ten make that hard sometimes.

Looks like Aleka Tsiknias is getting the Silberman vault spot. Kirsten Peterman telling us that Rubio will be everywhere except beam tonight.

Rotation 1: UMD VT, RU UB

McClure (UMD): FTY, hips and a small hop back. 9.75

This is a tough vault angle, hard to judge distance.

Drauss (RU): Blind to Jaeger, some softness in knees. Pak, small leg sep. Giant 1/1 double tuck, deep knees and a hop forward. 9.725

Gilbert (UMD): Yhalf, knees throughout and a big step forward. 9.7

Newman (RU): Bit of a wait. Bar judges still slow poky in MARCH. Ray, foot form. Clear hip hand to bail hand. Half pirouette double tuck, step. Some looseness throughout the routine, deductions for it on most skill parts. 9.75

Burgess (UMD): FTY, foot form, hips and a hop. 9.725

Huang (RU): Again, quite a wait. Sigh. Toe hand to bail hand, leg sep. Falls back on squat on into sole circle. Short handstand, Tkatchev. Giant 1/1 double tuck, feet, stuck.

Rubio (UMD): We missed it, good camera work BTN+. Will we see a replay? Yes. FTY, chest forward and a step. 9.775, yep, by far the best one yet.

Balser (RU): Blind to Jaeger, soft knees. Short handstand to good pak. DLO, leg sep, covered step by turning to salute. 9.825

Barber (UMD): FTY, good height, hop. 9.825

Karolewski (RU): Karolewski is really patient and has great extension and lines here. Always a joy to watch. Clear hip hand to Ray and she took it out too far and falls. Bail. DLO, step back. Ah, what a shame. Some of the best technique we’ll see at this meet.

Tsiknias (UMD): Tucked Y1.5, little off to the side and a step forward. Wow! That’s a surprise! 9.85

Joyner (RU): Long wait again. I get it this time, though, Karolewski will have SV issues most likely. Blind to Jaeger, good. Bail hand, loose in the core just a bit. Short last handstand. FTDB, step back.

Morris (UMD, exh.): Yhalf, way overpowered, huge step forward.

Doherty-Herwitz (RU, exh.): Short handstand. Blind, huge fight to stay up, big arch, Jaeger to bail, and she falls. Just got chaotic after the fight on the blind. Oops a fall on her remount to squat on. Blind 1/1 to double tuck, step. Well, a rough set, but good for her finishing.

AFTER 1: UMD 48.925, RU WHO KNOWS the scores stopped updating

That’s workable for Maryland. The surprise 10.0 start is a big boost! The Terps have a lot of power and can be more 49.2ish here, but it’s not a bad number. Would love to tell you Rutgers’ score but we never got numbers for Karolewski or Joyner. What fun. Overall it was a nice rotation, though. Joyner’s score should be very 9.85ish if you ask me, which would bring the number to right about 48.8ish. Sitting right near 196-pace is exactly where this squad wants to be. A carbon copy of this rotation but with a Karolewski hit is pretty much the dream.

Hey we got scores! 9.825 for Joyner and a 48.825 for the rotation. 🙂

Broadcast just confirmed Silberman is out for the year with an ACL tear.

Rotation 2: UMD UB, RU VT

Ferguson (RU): FTY, feet and some hip angle, little hop. 9.775, Peterman thought she stuck, but I did not. Judges seem to disagree with me.

Tsiknias (UMD): Blind to Jaeger, feet and a little askew in the air. Good bail hand. DLO, step back into the salute. 9.825

Balser (RU): FTY, big hip angle, step back. 9.7

Weir (UMD): Short handstand. Giant 1/1 Gienger, some form issues, caught a little close I think. Bail hand. Shot handstand blind 1/1 double tuck stuck. 9.8

Leese (RU): FTY, good body position and distance, big step back. She’s capable of a 1.5 and you can tell she’s working it. 9.675, I think dinged for the step. it was a biggie.

LeBlanc (UMD): Short handstand. Giant 1/1 to Gienger, form issues. Bail hand. Giant 1/1 knee softness, double tuck stuck. She’s just a little loose throughout. 9.825

Newman (RU): FTY, bent arms on the table, missed the block, low chest on the landing and a hop forward. 9.525

Glauber (UMD): She’s coming off of a 9.95 eyes emoji. High Tkatchev, little loss of form on the catch. Clear hip hand to the bail. Good last handstand. DLO huge lunge forward. 9.775

Huang (RU): FTY, leg sep on the table, low chest and a step forward. 9.65

Barber (UMD): Aaaand we’re waiting again! This is a slowwwwwww meet folks. Nelligan is walking Barber through her set to keep her relaxed. OK judge conference time! YAY! The team is dancing on the sides of the bar set. Alright now we’re on. Clear hip hand to Hindorff immediate bail. Good handstand. DLO, little deep covers a step by saluting. 9.9

Joyner (RU): FTY, good in the air, hopped into salute. 9.775

Rubio (UMD): Giant 1/2 to Gienger, form issues when she caught close, a theme here. Bail. VERY late giant 1/1 to double tuck, step forward. 9.55

Raby (RU, exh.): FTY, some closed shoulders and hips.

Ross (RU, exh.): Y1/1 on tuck, very low chest but no foot movement.

AFTER 2: UMD 98.050, RU 97.400

That’s just shy of the Terps’ season high last week, so they’ll certainly take it! There’s some lingering sloppiness in those releases that they just can’t seem to shake, but no falls is a win. Not Rutgers’ best vault outing, but not its worst, either. It’ll want to pick up the pace on beam and floor to get that shiny 195-plus for NQS, though.


Burgess (UMD): Front toss bhs, great, landed the toss very upright. Split to straddle 1/4, back leg a bit shy on the split. Beat to side somi, I think she covered a check in there. Gainer front 1/1, step. 9.725

Balser (RU): Double tuck, bit deep in her knees but lunges out well. Switch ring to switch to popa, short on the first two splits. RO 3/2 front lay, good landing on this one. Punch rudi to end. 9.75

LeBlanc (UMD): Bhs loso, good. Switch to switch 1/2 beat, check on beat and short on the switch 1/2. Switch to split, better 180s there. Gainer 1/1 off the side, some softness in the shape in the air, really piked it and stepped. 9.675

Zanella (RU): HIGH double tuck, just overcooks it and falls, OOB as well. Whip to 2/1, little stumble on the landing. She tried to stick and just had too much rebound. Switch ring 1/2 to…switch 1/1? VERY short of that rotation. FHS front lay front 1/1, arched the lay down a lot and was low on the 1/1. 8.975

Weir (UMD): Got this spot over Rubio. Bhs loso, chest down check. Beat to loso, check. Switch straddle 1/4. She’s nervy, small adjustments on everything. Cat to Switch side, good. Steadiest element yet. Bhs 3/2, covers a step by saluting. 9.55

Wood (RU): And hey another judges’ conference. Mhm mhm. I’d guess Zanella’s fall + SV issues due to the short jump are causing issues. FHS rudi loso, OOB. Tour jete 1/2 split 1/1 to tuck 1/1, wow great rotation there, love to see it. Some shaping issues but I love a well-rotated tour jete. FHS 2/1, excellent landing, some leg form in the air. Well okay Rutgers there we go. 9.75

Rouse (UMD): Standing loso. Bhs loso, very solid. Really great splits on her jumps, no movement on the landing. RO 3/2 hop forward. 9.825

Newman (RU): Double pike, good lunge. She looks more comfortable doing this routine every time I see it. Double tuck, just didn’t get up, fall. Real ankle crusher. Switch side Popa split 1/1, short on both full rotations. 3/2 front lay, low and archy on the lay. 9.05

McClure (UMD): Front aerial bhs, little bobble between but she kept moving. Switch to straddle 1/4. Front toss to split, little hesitant on the connection, but I don’t think they’ll take it. Rudi dismount foot shuffle. 9.875

Joyner (RU): Lot of pressure to pull this one together now, but if you want anyone in this spot it’s Joyner on floor. Big double pike, maybe hopped a touch? Tour jete 1/1, almosttttttt around. FHS front 1/1 front lay, great landing. Switch side Popa, her straddles are huge. RO 3/2 front pike, another good landing. 9.875

Barber (UMD): Front aerial, little offline so she dances out, good cover. Bhs loso solid. Front toss to beat, was offline but pulled back to center in the beat. Switch to straddle, some foot form. Over rotates her full turn, they’ll take a check. RO 2/1, we couldn’t see her feet. 9.8

Huang (RU): FHS font 2/1, lunged to the side a little bit but it was pretty controlled. FHS rudi loso, landed the rudi a little off and the loso was sort of wonky, very high and arched with no distance, there’ll be a shaping deduction there. Jumps were good. FHS rudi, there we go, better. 9.8

Rubio was meant to exhibition, but it looks like she isn’t? Hmm, dunno.

Ross (RU, exh.): RO whip half front lay, fun pass, done pretty well, just a touch low. Switch ring to split 1/1. Punch rudi, hops to the side. Hop wolf 3/2, close on rotation. 3/2 punch front, little chaotic but manages to stay on her feet.

AFTER 3: UMD 146.950, RU 145.625

Welp. Counting a fall always hurts, but after not the past two meets, it must be frustrating for Rutgers. Umme Salim-Beasly got this team added to a meet this weekend, though, so it has a little more NQS wiggle-room. Now this one becomes about hitting beam after a rough two rotations. The mental game is on trial. Maryland continues to swim along nicely. This won’t be a season high, but a solid high-195 is in its sights, which will help NQS-wise.


Ferguson (RU): Bhs loso, small check. Switch to switch half, oh okay! A good switch half! Those are unicorns. One arm bhs 3/2, KP says stuck, I couldn’t tell. 9.775

Tsiknias (UMD): FHS rudi loso, good! Great height on the loso, she really floated it. Switch ring to switch 1/1, not the most spectacular ring position but not too rough. FHS front 2/1, little low and then short on the landing, big step sideways. 9.775

Newman (RU): Front toss, leg up check. Bhs two feet loso, check. Love to see a two foot bhs. Split to split 1/1, cheated that rotation some. Check in her choreo. Gainer 1/1 off the side, low chest but stuck. 9.625

Rubio (UMD): High double pike, couldn’t see her landing but KP says “very controlled”. RO 3/2 front lay, low and archy on the lay. Switch side Popa, fully 1/4 short on the Popa. Double tuck, lands low chested and stumbles forward. 9.675

Doherty-Herwitz (RU): Front aerial, check. Side aerial front aerial with a check. Beat to split 3/4, short on the split position. Split, much better there. Gainer 1/1 off the side, hop. 9.575, I think a SV issue? Not sure there was enough bonus in there.

McClure (UMD): Huge double tuck, knees almost buckled on the landing but she managed to lunge out fine. Front lay rudi, great landing, really good amplitude on the rudi. She’s so engaging. It’s a 90s hip hop set. Tour jete 1/2 split 1/1, good. Front lay front 1/1. 9.825, I think she stumbled on that last landing.

Zanella (RU): Bhs loso, great. Pretty scale. She’s a calm beamer. Beat side aerial 1/1 stuck. I think we missed her jumps at the top of that one. 9.875, fully deserved.

Rouse (UMD): Double pike, has to lunge forward. 3/2 front lay, great body position. Strong leaps, got the rotation on them. Double tuck, over does it and falls plus OOB I think. 9.2

Joyner (RU): Bhs loso, little off line on the landing but no movement. Switch to split 1/2, dang two good switch halfs in this rotation! Side aerial 1/1 stuck. Ah on replay she definitely saluted to avoid a step. 9.875

Burgess (UMD): Pfft the judges are conferencing again. This meet will never ever end. Two-plus hour DUAL. At least the arena song while she waits is “All I Do is Win”. That was my walking-to-a-college-final hype song, fun fact. HERE WE GO. My fave triple full in the game coming ‘atcha. There she is, a beauty as always, just a bit leaned back in the lunge. Switch 1/2 wolf 3/2, little short on the split. Front lay front full, some soft knees but a good landing. 9.9, yes correct.

Huang (UMD): Cat to side aerial font aerial, knees on that last skill. Beat to split 3/4, low back leg, fairly significantly low really. RO 2/1, covers a step by saluting. 9.825

Barber (UMD): Big full-in, good landing. RO 3/2 front pike, controlled on the lunge. Switch to popa popa, great rotation on both. Double tuck, some cowboying, good lunge. 9.9

Halcom (RU, exh.): Bhs loso. Front aerial to beat, was a little slow coming up from the aerial, very arched. Split to split 3/4. Tuck front 1/1 true stick.

Littlejohn (RU, exh.): Ooooh fun backwalkover on her head mount. No clue how to describe it but lovely. Bhs bhs loso, so solid, but soft knees and feet throughout. Straddle to straddle 1/2, good splits. Tuck front 1/1, little step. That’s fun, I dig it. Just little unique pieces in there.

FINAL: UMD 196.025, RU 194.600

Maryland will be thrilled with a second 196. That helps the NQS situation. Rutgers will drop a 194.025 with this number, so despite the frustration at counting a fall and missing 195, it’s still a great away total for the Scarlet Knights, who are in the regionals bubble conversation.

Event Winners:
VT: Tsiknias 9.850
UB: Barber 9.900
BB: McClure, Zanella, Joyner 9.875
FX: Burgess, Barber 9.900
AA: Barber 39.425

Live blog by Emily Minehart

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