Beam Lineup Stands Out In Women's Gymnastics Season-Opener At Lindsey Ferris Invite

Beam Lineup Stands Out In Women's Gymnastics Season-Opener At Lindsey Ferris Invite


WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Sunday afternoon down in the nation's capital, the Temple women's gymnastics team got its 2013 season underway at the annual Lindsey Ferris Invite, hosted by George Washington at the Charles E. Smith Center.  The Owls, who took a fifth place finish on the day with a team score of 187.500, earned a total of 48.175 points on the balanced beam for the meet's highest score on the apparatus.

Host George Washington claimed the victory with a first place score of 193. 425, beating out North Carolina (192.950) and Ivy League powers Cornell (190.300) and Penn (189.575).

“I'm pleased with the effort from our team today,” head coach Aaron Murphy said. “We came in to the meet and I thought we competed well. It wasn't the outcome we wanted , but it was good for us to get a chance to recognize our strengths and what our weaknesses are, so we can improve on those areas.”

Taking part in all four events in a single meet for Temple was junior Brittanie DeMeno and sophomore Alexis Arena. In their all-around debut, DeMeno totaled a score of 37.100 for ninth overall. Arena's scores from the four events totaled to be 35.300 for a ninth place ranking. Both Temple all-arounders posted their highest scores on the beam.

“I was happy to compete in all four events and be able to hit them,” DeMeno said. “After being out with the injury last year, it was really great to be back out there with the rest of the team. It was nice to be back out there and I know there are still a lot of things for me to improve on.”

In Temple's first place effort on the beam, junior Sylvie Borschel earned the Owls' highest score in the event with a 9.7, which ranked her seventh among all competitors.

Junior and team captain Heather Zaniewski returned to the lineup for the first time since suffering an injury midway through last season. In her return, she put up Temple's second-highest score on the beam with a 9.650, tying her for 11th overall. Zaniewski also competed on uneven parallel bars, where she set the team's highest score with a 9.6.

DeMeno's 9.625 and like scores of 9.6 from Arena and sophomore Taylor Rakus, who finally made her Temple debut after redshirting last season, rounded out the Owls' beam score

“It was really exciting being able to be out there competing with the rest of the team,” Rakus said. “To be able to hit on beam and help us get first place in the event was exciting and a great way to start the year.”

On the vault, sophomore Stephanie Verry led the squad with 10th place score of 9.675. For the event, the Owls combined for a score of 47.775 and were paced with career-best scores from sophomore Lauren Capone (9.65) and DeMeno (9.550). Arena made her Temple debut on the apparatus and 9.525.

Verry also led the Owls on the mat, as she turned in Temple's highest score in the floor exercise with a 9.7, which placed her ninth overall.

Junior Brianna Ferdinandi placed second among TU performers on the floor with a 9.625 to go along with senior Margaret Walch's 9.475, Arena's 9.275 and Capone's 8.8.

Coming off an impressive rookie season, sophomore Natali Ruzich scored a 9.050 on the bars to go along with DeMeno's 9.175 in her first time competing in the event at Temple. In her first career meet, freshman Hannah Popper contributed with a 9.1 on bars.

Temple (0-4) will look toward Saturday night's (Jan. 19) tri-meet at Pittsburgh where it will go up against the hosting Panthers, Maryland and New Hampshire, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
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