Maryland gymnastics has struggled with consistency this season. On Monday night at the Xfinity Center, however, the Terps seemed to take a small step forward. Unfortunately for the GymTerps, Penn State was great on a night when Maryland was just very good.
Penn State beat the Terps, 196.350-195.350. The score is Maryland's second-highest output of the season. It puts the GymTerps in a good place with good momentum going into their two road meets this week.
Here are three things that we learned from the Maryland-Penn State meet:
1) Penn State put Maryland in too big of a hole
The Nittany Lions scored 49.000 or better in each of the four events. Maryland was down 0.900 going into the last rotation. That's a significant deficit. The Terps only had two gymnasts score under a 9.675 on Monday night, which is really good. Maryland got better as the meet went on, but Penn State was just too good. The Nittany Lions never let up and kept stretching their lead.
2) Maryland's strength is the floor
The Terps did a solid job on beam, a routine the team usually struggles with, but their forte was the floor. Every gymnast had a 9.700 or higher. It was Maryland's last and best routine of the night. Perhaps if the Terrapins had started out on the floor, they would have had more confidence going into the rest of the meet.
3) We're about to find out what this team is made of
Maryland had a meet against No. 11 Arkansas last Friday and then had to turn around and compete against Penn State on Monday night. The Terrapins only have a few days to get ready to travel up to New Hampshire for their meet against UNH. After that, the GymTerps get only one day off before coming home and facing off with GW in DC.
Four meets in 10 days. That is a lot to ask of these young women. We're going to learn a lot about this team's mental makeup this week.