NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Following a near season-best performance, the Bulldogs were back in John J. Lee Amphitheater Saturday as they faced William and Mary (W & M). Yale took a powerful lead to win the meet (194.700) during Bulldog's senior meet. W & M finished the competition in second with a team score of 193.000.
Yale started off the afternoon with a fantastic performance on the vault, where underclassman dominated. The Bulldogs earned a total score of 48.375. Sophomore Emma Firmstone led this event off with a 9.5. First-year Alyssa Firth finished top ten with a 9.750, earning her a new career high. Sophomore Jade Buford also contributed solid scores for Yale (9.65). First-year Jacey Baldovino started her all-around competition sticking yet another vault and earning a 9.750. To finish off the lineup, sophomore Rebecca Chong stuck her vault with a 9.725.
The Bulldogs caught fire on its second rotation, posting a near season-best 48.675 on the uneven bars. Firmstone started off this incredible event with a hit routine (9.400). Buford came up in the second spot, delivering an impressive bar set earning a new career high of a 9.800. First-year Jacey Baldovino executed a gorgeous bar routine, sticking her dismount earning a 9.800 as well, which led her to a second-place finish. Trachtenberg trailed behind with a 9.275. The Bulldog's score was bolstered by a near season-best 9.775 from senior Megan Ryan and a huge 9.900 from junior Jessica Wang. She used a high-flying, twisting-turning, stuck dismount to win the event and earn a career high.
"It was such an honor to go out with a bang for my team. It means that much more to me knowing it's my last meet at home," said Ryan.
Balance beam was the best event of the day for Yale, where the Bulldogs posted a total score of 48.825. This score landed them second in the Yale record books for an overall beam team score. First-year Charlotte Cooperman started off with a strong 9.75, Firmstone following with a beam set. Junior Kiarra Alleyne added a strong 9.625 in between Cooperman and Firmstone's routines. The duo of Buford and Wang earned a pair of 9.800s to lead Yale to their record breaking score. Baldovino's 9.875 anchor-performance on the balance beam propelled Yale to a 48.825. This is her third event in her all-around competition.
Yale sealed the meet following a season-best 48.825 performance on the floor exercise. Firth led the Bulldogs with a huge 9.750, earning yet another career high. This is her third appearance of the day. Senior Sloane Smith delivered a season best (9.725), while teammate Alleyne earned 9.700. Baldovino and Buford finished their all-around showing of the meet with a pair of 9.800s.
"It was so exciting to be at home in front of family and friends. This was a bittersweet moment that I'll never forget," said Smith.
Yale had three competitors in the all-around. Buford scored a huge career best of 39.075 securing her second-place finish, edging out W & M's Katie Waldman by half of a tenth. Firmstone placed fifth (36.950) amidst the tough competition. Baldovino posted another career high (39.250) giving her another all-around win.
"I am so proud of our performance yesterday. It was such an honor to have our last home meet be such a great one," said senior captain Allison Bushman. "As a team, we have worked so hard in order to get to where we are today and each member of our team plays a vital role in our success. I am so lucky to spend my last season with eighteen of the most amazing young women I have ever met and am looking forward to what the rest of season has to bring."
The Bulldogs head to Providence next Sunday Feb. 25 for one of the biggest competitions of the season, Ivy Classic. It will be a quad competition including Brown, Cornell, Penn and Yale. Competition begins at 1pm.
report by Anna Jennings '20, Yale Sports Publicity