The Maryland gymnastics team endured an upset loss against currently undefeated, Iowa, on Thursday night.
Despite freshman Audrey Barber's exceptional all-around performance with a score of 39.2, The Big Ten's fourth place team defeated the Terps, 196.000-195.350.
The Terps lost crucial points during the beam rotation. However, the Terps' underclassmen continued to stand out. Barber was the only Terp to break a 9.8 on the beam rotation. Sophomore Karrie Thomas served as another key Terp with a score of 9.775.
"They are just so tough. Every week, the pressure goes up," coach Brett Nelligan said. "We are right now competing 92 percent freshmen and sophomores — that is unheard of."
After defeating Penn State last weekend, the Terps didn't come out with the same desire against Iowa, sophomore Alecia Farina said. Farina added the strong fanbase and motivation to beat their "rival" motivated the Terps.
Maryland struggled to break a 9.8 individually for vault, potentially costing the team the win. Sophomore Emma Johnson battled for a strong finish as she scored the lowest amongst the Terps, with a 9.7.
"We just need to work on just the small stuff," Farina said, elaborating on focusing on less wobbles for beams and more presentation on the floor.
Though the team failed to gain crucial points during other rotations, the Terps performed best on the floor with a final score of 49. Barber ranked first among the Terps with a score of 9.875, followed by Farina and Johnson (9.85).
Not only did the team excel on the floor, but it also finished strong on the bars, the only area the Terps bested Iowa. Maryland scored a 48.95, with leading individual scores of sophomore Kristen Peterman (9.85) and Thomas (9.8).
The crowd's cheers didn't stop Thursday. The girls spread high-fives as the rotations proceeded, sparking confidence and pride despite the lack of performance and loss of points.
The Terps agreed the cheers contribute to their overall performance. The fanatics weren't enough Thursday, but Maryland has many more opportunities to surpass its Big Ten win total from last season.
"I get caught up in the excitement just like they do," Nelligan said. "We should be having fun and showing it."