Gymnastics: Still winless, Pitt hosts quad meet this weekend

By Kelly Flanigan

Off to a rocky start on the season, Pitt gymnastics remains winless as the New Hampshire… Off to a rocky start on the season, Pitt gymnastics remains winless as the New Hampshire Wildcats defeated them in competition at Lundholm Gymnasium Saturday afternoon.

The meet, which consisted of vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise, was dominated early by Pitt (0-4, 0-2 EAGL), but New Hampshire captured the win 194.950-191.675 by controlling the beam and floor to remain undefeated. The Panthers won the first two events before New Hampshire came back for the win.

New Hampshire (7-0) senior Helena Diodati took first place on the bars and tied for first in the floor exercises with teammate Julie Sauchuk. Junior Chelsea Steinberg and senior Taryn LaFountain tied for first on the beam.

The Panthers finished with a strong performance on the vault with a team total of 49.075. They struggled on the beam with a 46.9 finish.

Sarah Thompson and Jessica Byich recorded solid performances on uneven bars, while Shannon Vafiadou and Molly Moyer performed well in the floor routine.

Freshman Meaghan Biros came in second on the vault.

Pitt sophomore Alicia Talucci finished with a total of 38.850 over the course of four events, earning her third all-around victory this season. Earlier in the season, she placed first on the vault, beam and floor against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Coach Debbie Yohman thinks very highly of Talucci as a performer.

“That’s something that’s great about her — if she makes mistakes, she fixes them. There is not a lot of coaching involved with her because she works so hard, and when it is meet time, she is ready,” Yohman said.

The Panthers will quickly need to forget this loss as they host a quad meet between Iowa State, Brockport and Rutgers at home today.

No. 14 Iowa State (2-3, 0-1 Big 12) has faced difficulties in terms of injuries and now relies heavily on its youth to lead its team to victory. Megan Barnes, Jasmine Thompson and Ceilia Maccani have earned league top honors and will be looked to by the rest of the Cyclone team to make a difference in the remainder of the season.

Freshman Elizabeth Levy and senior Christina Baggetta are making an impact for the Brockport Golden Eagles (3-0) gymnastics program. The team currently has posted wins against Cortland, Ithaca and Springfield College.

Rutgers (2-2) recently defeated Pennsylvania and Temple and is led by senior Laura Sevarino and junior Kiah Banfield who have performed the best for the Scarlet Knights in floor exercises. Freshman Emma-Rose Trentacosti averages a team best of 9.600 on the balance beam.

The match is set for 7 p.m. at the Fitzgerald Field House.