Perhaps the pregame tradition of pumping each other up with music worked particularly well for the Maryland gymnastics team Sunday. The Terps burst out of the gate on floor at the George Washington quad meet, using three scores above 9.8 to post a 49.125.
The Terps couldn't keep up that pace at the Charles E. Smith Center, but their 195.825 was still significantly higher than the 195.05 and 195.15 they scored in their previous two meets.
After floor, the Terps trailed the Colonials by 0.025, and they never made up the deficit. George Washington (196.825) won the quad meet, followed by the Terps (195.825), Towson (195.25) and Rutgers (193.55).
Sophomore Kirsten Peterman paced the Terps with a 39.175 all-around score, and freshman Audrey Barber's 9.9 on floor helped her to a 39.025.
Since the beginning of the season, Barber has been working on her final landings and overall presentation on floor. She said if the judges notice passion and confidence during the routine, it helps during the scoring process. Everything seemed to go right for the Temple Hills native Sunday, matching her season high with a 9.9.
The rest of the team also starred on floor, but the Terps couldn't carry that momentum to vault, where they've consistently struggled this season. Coach Brett Nelligan has emphasized the Terps' need to stay confident and focused as they take control of the vault rotation, but their subpar performance continued Sunday.
No Terp scored above a 9.8 on vault, leading to a 49.725 on the event, the team's lowest rotation score of the afternoon. Peterman's 9.775 was Maryland's best vault.
The Terps bounced back with a 49.225 on bars, which has been their strongest event throughout the season. Sunday was the fifth consecutive meet their highest event score was on bars. Peterman's 9.9 tied for first on the event.
Maryland closed with a 48.75 on beam, preventing it from eclipsing 196 for the second time this season but still a stronger beam performance than its previous two meets.
Despite falling off after the first rotation, the Terps regained some of the consistency they've been lacking in recent meets and earned a crucial road meet score as they hope to qualify for their first NCAA tournament in three years.