Merely a month into its season, the Maryland gymnastics team did not feel it was reaching its potential.
The Terps were disappointed in their inability to break 195 points.
Freshman Kirsten Peterman said the Terps were hesitant and decided it needed to "write their own story."
The Terps haven't fallen below 195 in their last four meets. The turnaround, several Terps noted, has been achieved through a strong team mindset entering Wednesday night's Maryland Five Meet against Temple, West Chester, William & Mary and New Hampshire.
Peterman and fellow freshman Alecia Farina, for instance, have competed all-around several times, while senior Sarah Faller has recognized other gymnasts' roles away from the competition.
"Emma — I commend her so much," Faller said of freshman Emma Johnson. "She hasn't once been negative, she's always loud, she's always being supportive. She's making sure she's as much a part of the team as everyone else."
Freshman Jen O'Neill, meanwhile, has filmed the Terps' routines with a GoPro so the team can watch their performances. It's a role Faller said she has embraced.
"She loves it," Faller said. "You can hear her on the GoPro videos, and she's screaming her head off. That sort of energy is what we need with this team."
"I don't think they get enough recognition for that," Faller added.
Coach Brett Nelligan has appreciated the wide range of contributions. This team, he noted, is not a hierarchy, but rather, a collective group.
"They're all in this together," Nelligan said. "They all have an equal responsibility in pushing our agenda. It's not about one person, it's about the whole team being the best that they can be."
Maryland's rhythm has allowed Nelligan and the rest of the coaching staff to take liberties. To warm up before Tuesday's practice, the Terps played volleyball — as opposed to running — to reward their performance last weekend.
That's why Nelligan isn't worried about the group's 10-day hiatus from competition after Wednesday night's home outing.
"They did what they needed to do, it's best just to give them some time to unwind," Nelligan said. "They're going to come out firing on all cylinders tomorrow."
Wednesday marks Maryland's fifth competition in 13 days and although Faller has enjoyed competing on short rest, citing the opportunity to correct previous errors without much delay, she thinks the pending rest will be helpful.
Faller is fatigued from what Nelligan called the toughest stretch of the season, and she acknowledges several of her teammates feel the same way.
"Coming down from the high of competing day after day, it'll be really nice to focus on the little details and take a breather," Faller said.
Peterman acknowledged she hasn't had a break that long since the season started, but she doesn't anticipate a change in her mindset as the Big Five Meet approaches on March 11. She expects a rejuvenated Maryland squad then.
Faller echoed Peterman's sentiment with her excitement to begin her final postseason when the Maryland Five Meet concludes the regular season.
"This team is so good," Faller said confidently. "We have just really shown how strong we are and that we're really a force to be reckoned with."