BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Led by a 9.8 from newcomer M’rcy Matsunami, the Alaska Anchorage gymnastics team opened the 2013 season with a strong performance on vault in a 191.450-187.425 dual-meet loss to Bridgeport at the Wheeler Recreation Center.

The Seawolves posted a 48.325 team score on vault to account for the 10th-best total in program history on that apparatus. In addition to Matsunami, a freshman from Omaha, Neb., the Seawolves got a 9.7 from freshman Marie-Sophie Boggasch, a 9.625 from junior Emily Petersen and 9.6s from sophomore Morgan Cook and freshman Simone Penker on vault.

Bridgeport (1-0) dominated the first rotation, however, and the Purple Knights were able to slowly extend their lead. The four-time defending USAG national champions were led by Sasha Tsikhanovich’s 39.000 all-around performance.

Petersen, the Seawolves’ team captain, had a good showing on balance beam as well, finishing runner-up with a 9.475. 

Cook, a 2012 NCAA West Regionals all-around qualifier, posted UAA’s top score with a 37.500, while Penker debuted with a 37.450. Cook placed fourth on both floor, with a 9.625, and beam, where she matched Matsunami with a 9.325.

Boggasch had UAA’s best score on bars with a 9.375.

The Seawolves wrap up their opening trip in Piscataway, N.J., on Saturday, Jan. 12 (3 p.m. AST), with a tri-meet against Yale and host Rutgers.