The Maryland gymnastics team edged West Virginia, 193.675 to 193.500, in a nail biter at Comcast Center Friday night. The Terps trailed the Mountaineers after the third rotation, but huge floor performances from Katy Dodds and Kathy Tang helped complete the comeback.
“More important than the score tonight was what we learned about ourselves,” head coach Brett Nelligan said. “We are a team that knows how to fight and will do what it takes to win. We were in a tough spot and decided we were going to fight to the finish.”
Maryland started the night on vault and had a lead at the end of the first rotation. With second and third place finishes from Kathy Tang and Dodds, respectively, the Terps entered bars with a slight advantage.
West Virginia started the meet on bars and posted the two top scores in the event. Karen Tang finished tied for third with a 9.775. At the midway point, West Virginia had taken the lead and won each of the first two events.
Stephanie Giameo won beam with a 9.750 and Sarah Faller finished tied for third with 9.650. Maryland then swapped events with West Virginia for the fourth rotation and headed to the floor while the Mountaineers went to beam.
Entering the fourth rotation, the Terps trailed West Virginia and needed strong performances to recover from a 1.325 deficit. Dodds and Kathy Tang accepted the challenge, both scoring 9.850 to tie for first on the event. Karen Tang also performed exceptionally well placing fourth with a 9.800. A pair of 9.725s from Emily Brauckmuller and Ebony Walters earned Maryland five of the top seven scores. The girls thrived off of multiple hit routines and left with the first win of the season.
As the Terps’ lone all-around performer, Giameo placed third. West Virginia’s Hope Sloanhoffer won the all-around with a score of 38.750.
The Terps return to action on the road against EAGL rival North Carolina. The meet is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. on Jan 26.