Maryland gymnastics has a familiar problem. They almost always have at least one gymnast record a poor score on each discipline (beam, bars, vault or floor) and they do it almost every single meet.
When one gymnast messes up, the margin for error evaporates. Usually a team will have six gymnasts perform, so the lowest score gets dropped. That's all well and good, unless one of your other five gymnasts, whose score you are depending on, gets a below-average score.
That is the problem that has plagued this team throughout the season. The GymTerps are suffering from the most frustrating of wounds, those of the self-inflicted variety. Until the Terps stop beating themselves, they'll never reach their vast, but heretofore untapped, potential.
Here are three things that we learned from the Maryland-Arkansas meet:
1) Maryland isn't close to making the leap to the top-15
Arkansas had only one score under 9.700. ONE. Maryland had seven. It takes a lot of time to jump into the next tier of gymnastics. Right now, the Terps are trying to break into the tier of teams ranked No. 20-25. Then the goal becomes being there consistently. After that, Maryland head coach Brett Nelligan will try to launch this program towards the top-15.
Right now, Maryland lacks consistency as a team. The Terps aren't executing in key situations, leaving them with no margin for error. Arkansas drubbed the GymTerps tonight. They showed what it takes to be a great team. Maryland isn't close to that level yet.
2) Shynelle Agaran's debut could have gone a lot better
Agaran was out with a concussion, but made her home debut on Friday night. She was one of the most touted freshmen on the squad. Before coming to College Park, Agaran was top two nationally on bars and beam.
She had a very poor performance on bars, where she recorded an 8.950, the worst score of any gymnast on any of the events that evening, and a sub-par performance on beam, where she scored a 9.575.
3) Maryland is lacking consistency
From week to week, from meet to meet, you never know what you're going to get from the Terps. Not just the team, but each of the individual gymnasts. That is a big problem.
The team continues to struggle on beam, and while Tang, Faller, and Brauckmuller have been somewhat consistent, they haven't been consistently great this season. Outside of those three, there's no telling what you're going to get.