Gymnasts sweep home schedule

Victoria Verrilli leaps above the beam during a lopsided senior night victory over Hall.

By BRIAN JENNINGS

STAFF WRITER

The Lady Knight gymnastics team remained undefeated on the with back-to-back wins this past week in their final two home meets of the season.

It might have been odd for the Knights to celebrate their senior night in only their third meet of the season, but Southington coach Kaitlyn O’Donnell said that she doesn’t mind being out on the road the rest of the way.

“It was kind of nice to have all three meets in the beginning,” the coach said. “It gives us time to be in our own gym and make the little adjustments we have to make. Now we know what we have to do once we go out on the road.”

If anything, being on the road for the rest of the season is going to prepare the Knights for the postseason, according to O’Donnell.

“Usually, you have the first-meet jitters, but I kind of feel like we’re getting into a groove now,” said O’Donnell. “So I don’t see it as an issue. It’s definitely preparing us for states. We’re going into every gym and doing the best that we can, adjusting to what equipment we have.”

Win vs. RHAM

JAN. 16—School was not in session on Monday, due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but the Knights were still in class. Southington defeated RHAM, 131.6-97.6, at home and placed first in all four events.

“In the first two meets, you’re kind of adjusting to what’s going on or if I’m going to make my own stuff,” said O’Donnell. “But now, the captains are shifting and taking over everyone, making sure everyone is on the same page and are all hitting their stuff. Just seeing the leaders step up and show them how it’s done has been cool.”

Kayla Birmingham paced the Knights in all-around (33.25), scoring her highest mark on vault (9.0). Kat Rothstein led on bars (8.2) and beam (8.0), Taryn Meenan on vault (9.05), and Rachel Williams on floor (8.8).

Win vs. Hall

JAN. 21—The Knights wrapped up the week and remained undefeated on the year by earning their largest and third-straight win, 134-83.9, against Hall in their final home meet of the season.

“It was really nice to see our team morale pick up,” said O’Donnell. “We’ve been working a lot this week on hitting out routines as a group. It was special to see the seniors hit all of their events and finish out strong.”

The Knights won all four events. Rachel Williams paced the Knights in all-around (34.1), as well as on beam (8.75) and floor (9).

“I was really impressed with beam,” the coach said. “We worked our butts off all week on beam. We really worked hard to try and hit those routines. Yesterday, we kind of struggled, but the girls regrouped themselves.”

Kayla Birmingham (33.2) led on vault (9.05), and Kat Rothstein (33.3) led on bars (8.2).

“We did a lot of team-building stuff,” said O’Donnell. “Starting with our first person in the lineup all the way through to our last, which is our individual, we tried to hit from start to finish. We kept doing rounds of that over and over until we got a lot of routines in. I think that helped.”

The Knights will look to remain undefeated this week when they hit the road for Farmington on Saturday, Jan. 28.

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