During last week's meet against Iowa, no members of the Maryland gymnastics team scored above a 9.8 on vault. The team's 48.675 vault total was its second-lowest mark of the season.
Yet, in some regards, coach Brett Nelligan felt it was the Terps' best vault performance of the season.
Entering a road meet at No. 7 Michigan on Sunday, the team is tasked with turning that optimism into higher scores.
"Iowa's meet was the first time that we vaulted powerfully and explosively," Nelligan said. "But we didn't have control of our landings."
The Terps watched clips from their 196.00-195.35 loss to Iowa to find "little stuff" they can fix going forward, Nelligan said. On bars and floor, just four Terps scored better than 9.8, something the gymnasts know they must improve to reach the totals they want this season.
"If everyone can find one-tenth that they can add by cleaning up a landing, a handstand, a wobble, that would make our final score jump," Nelligan said.
Unlike early in some recent campaigns, Maryland has successfully avoided falls for most of 2018. That bodes well for the team's chances to qualify for its first NCAA tournament in three years, but the Terps are not yet posting the types of scores necessary to accomplish that feat.
Freshman Audrey Barber has been a standout for the Terps, and she led the team with a 39.2 all-around score against Iowa, lower than her season-best 39.275 against Penn State.
"It'll be a battle, but we are really striving to get our team score up," Barber said.
Barber is part of a talented freshman and sophomore class that's propelled some promising moments early this season, but she credits the upperclassmen with her early success.
"They have definitely helped and encourage me to be more enthusiastic by smiling during routines," Barber said. "It makes the judges notice that I am proud of my performance."