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Bulldogs Take Narrow Loss to Penn in Home Opener

Jacey Baldovino, 2021. Sam Rubin Photos
Jacey Baldovino, 2021. Sam Rubin Photos

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale gymnastics team opened up Ivy competition today, as they took on the Quakers of Penn. In the end Penn narrowly edged out Yale with a score of 191.900-191.475.
Yale started off the afternoon with a spectacular performance on the vault earning a 48.200 team score. The huge vault score was largely due to four huge scores by first-years Jacey Baldovino and Alyssa Firth, as well as sophomores Jade Buford and Rebecca Chong. Baldovino, Buford and Firth with a 9.650. Chong with a 9.725. The score ties a career high for Baldovino and was a career best for Firth. The score was a new season high for Buford. Sophomore Emma Firmstone also did not disappoint on vault, scoring a 9.525.
The Bulldogs then moved on to the bars, where junior Jessica Wang dominated and was the top finisher for Yale. Her score of 9.850 landed her in first place out of the entire meet. Junior Roxanne Trachtenberg was close behind with a score of 9.625 placing her third on podium. Baldovino and Buford continued their all-around competitions with a 9.475 and 9.525. These scores placed both girls in the top ten. Senior Megan Ryan also competed on bars for the Bulldogs, scoring 9.225.
Beam was up next for Yale. Junior Kiarra Alleyne was Yale's top scorer on this event with a solid hit beam routine and a season best score of 9.725. This score placed her third overall. Sophomore Carly Isreal had a strong performance scoring 9.425. Firth kept the Bulldog's momentum going receiving a 9.550. Baldovino hit a solid set, sticking her dismount earning a 9.575. Baldovino and Firth earn top ten spots for balance beam.
Floor exercise was the last rotation for the Bulldogs. Senior Sloane Smith started out the event strong for the Bulldogs with a 9.625. Alleyne followed with another hit routine tying Smith (9.625). Firth kept her consistency in her all-around competition earning a 9.475. Firmstone came through with a huge score (9.750) to land a first place finish. Baldovino finished up her all-around competition with a 9.650 on floor placing her in the top ten on this event.
Baldovino, Buford and Firth were the four all-around competitors for the Bulldogs at the dual meet. This was Firth's NCAA all-around debut for Yale.
The Bulldogs will be back in action Jan. 27, as they travel to Towson next Friday to take on the home team, UNC and Ursinus.
report by Anna Jennings '20, Yale Sports Publicity