The Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference recognized two Temple gymnasts for their performances against Ursinus last Sunday. Junior Brittanie DeMeno was named the ECAC Gymnast of the Week, while freshman Tara Kilkenny was nabbed as the ECAC Coaches’ Choice Award winner.
DeMeno was a major contributor to Temple’s overall victory over Ursinus. The native of Staten Island N.Y., competed in all four events and was awarded an all-around score of 38.200 including a career best (9.550) on bars. Her all-around score was the best in the competition.
Kilkenny was not originally going to compete in last Sunday’s meet, that was until fellow freshman Hannah Popper dislocated her elbow in warm-ups. Coach Aaron Murphy gave Kilkenny the last-minute nod to compete on bars. In her collegiate debut, Kilkenny nailed her routine and was awarded a 9.675, the best score on the apparatus in the entire
DeMeno, Kilkenny and the rest of the Owls will prepare for their next meet, the Towson Invitational, which will be held on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
The women’s gymnastics team will be traveling to Collegeville, PA.,
Sunday for a 1 p.m. meet with Ursinus College.
The Owls (2-13) are fresh off of their first two wins of the season at
last week’s Ken Anderson Memorial Invite, and look to carry that
moment going into tomorrow.
The beam line-up, will once again try to help lead the team to an
overall victory. Anchored by Junior Sylvie Borschel, junior and team
captain Heather Zaniewski, sophomore Alexis Arena, senior Jean Alban,
and sophomore Taylor Rakus, the beam event has been Temple’s strongest
event all season.
However, the Owls also should improvement in the other three events
(floor exercise, bars, and vault) at the Ken Anderson Invite as well.
Coming in second place overall on each apparatus.
The vault line-up performed especially well, scoring a 48.275. Led by
sophomore Stephanie Verry, the vault line-up will again try to score
high and aid the beam line-up in helping Temple achieve an overall
victory at Ursinus.
Women’s gymnastics will travel to Durham, N.H., this Saturday for its meet at the University of New Hampshire starting at 4 p.m.
The Owls will enter this weekend having had two gymnasts winning the ECAC Coaches’ Choice Award in consecutive weeks. Junior and team captain Heather Zaniewski is the current recipient of the award, and sophomore Taylor Rakus won it the week prior.
Regarding this weekend’s meet, coach Aaron Murphy wants his team to record less falls than last week.
“After coming off the University of Pittsburgh meet and only counting
two falls towards the team score, I want our Owls to try and better that by counting one or no falls for the team score,” Murphy said.
“We seem to have some good momentum going our way and I plan to keep them focused on staying positive and confident with their gymnastics,” he added.
Sophomore guard Tyonna Williams has shown improvement across the board despite the Owls’ five-game losing streak, one small thing that has coach Tonya Cardoza excited.
“She wants it and she’s going out and trying to get better, because she wants to compete against the very best,” Cardoza said after Wednesday’s loss to Georgetown.
Temple is now 5-7, even if Williams has done her best to stop the bleeding.
The first-year starter was barely hanging onto her starting gig for the first few games of the season. The point guard averaged 4.85 assists in the team’s first seven games, but just 7.4 points on 29.6-percent shooting and 1.14 steals while coughing up the ball 4.57 times per contest.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday she vowed to be in the gym non-stop to improve her game, and early signs are positive.
Despite dropping five straight, she’s improved in all categories, with 5.6 assists versus 4.4 turnovers, 10.2 points, 2.4 steals and four rebounds per game.
Cardoza said after the game she wished more of her team was playing with the intensity and desire to be the best the way Williams has shown of late.
Entering his seventh year at the helm of the gymnastics team, Aaron Murphy has taken a great step towards improving his team. The team has announced today that five freshmen have been added to its squad for the upcoming season.
Tara Kilkenny, Reagan Oliveri, Hannah Popper, Danielle Vahala and Mary Kate Walch have all been recruited by Murphy to compete on a team devoid of four graduating seniors from last season, including Kaite Canning. The Owls are coming off a season in which they placed third in the Eastern Coastal Athletic Conference Championships.
The most notable recruit is possibly Mary Kate Walch, who joins her sister, senior Margaret Walch on the team, giving the Owls a unique family connection.
The gymnasts will get their first chance to compete on Jan. 12 when the Owls participate in the George Washington Invite in the Washington D.C.