MAC Weekend Gymnastics Results

Updated 1/14/2013

Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments

Ball State 
Iowa 193.475, Ball State 193.125 

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Ball State's gymnastics team suffered a narrow 193.475 to 193.125 defeat at Iowa Friday night.

"I am really proud of my Cardinals for how much they improved from last week to this week," head coach Nadalie Walsh says.  "We want them to keep building from this point. We had some stand out performances from Angie Hosbach, Brooklyn Schumacher and Denasiha Christian.  Denasiha has really proved to be a dependable competitor. Having a freshmen who helps lead the team on her three events is priceless."  
The Cardinals took a narrow advantage after three events, but Iowa managed a 48.800 on the floor, while Ball State tallied a 48.075 on the beam to seal the victory for the Hawkeyes.
Brittney Emmons won the all-around with a 38.525.
"Having Emmons win all-around was another pleasing moment," Walsh.  "She is a fierce competitor and we are all glad to have her back on the competition floor."
On the bars, Schumacher was Ball State's top finisher with a 9.775 and placed fourth.  Hosbach managed a 9.750 on the bars.
On the vault, Nicole Allen led the Cardinals with a 9.75 and placed second in the event.  Emmons and Brooke Evans tied for fifth with a pair of 9.675 scores.
On the beam, Christian tallied a 9.825 to tie for first, while Hosbach's 9.80 gave her a third place finish.
On the floor, Hosbach was Ball State's top performer with a 9.750, which placed her in a tie for fourth in the event.  Emmons tallied a 9.725 to place sixth.
"This team has great chemistry," Walsh says.  "We are all eager to get back in the gym to make more improvements.  It would have been so amazing to have won the meet tonight.  It is bitter sweet to know we were that close. There are many places where we will regain those tenths next week at home, in our own arena."
With the loss, Ball State falls to 0-2 on the season, while Iowa improved to 1-0.  The Cardinals will host Central Michigan Friday at 7 p.m. in the team's Cardinal Varsity Club Night in Irving Gym at the Student Wellness and Recreation Center.
Bowling Green
Texas Women's Univ. 191.800, Bowling Green 191.100 

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - The Bowling Green State University gymnastics team lost a heartbreaker to Texas Woman's University on Saturday, counting falls on uneven bars and floor to fall behind the Pioneers, 191.800-191.100.
The Falcons led for three rotations, but a fall from Megan Harrington on floor allowed the Pioneers to steal the victory, following a clean 48.725 performance on beam.
Bowling Green started the meet on vault, where Sunny Marchand (9.75) and Jamilah Ali (9.85) led the team for the second week in a row.  After some minor bobbles from several gymnasts, the Falcons finished with a score of 48.150, taking an early lead over TWU, who struggled on bars.
Unfortunately, the Falcons would also have trouble on uneven bars, with three gymnasts suffering major errors in their routines.  Amanda Lievendag (9.725) hit a stellar routine to close out the rotation, but the team managed only 46.875 on the event.
But the Falcons still led going into balance beam, where the team put together five hit routines, led by Alyssa Nocella's confident routine, which scored 9.8.  Caroline Ellingboe, Maria Salvia and Ali all stayed on to score 9.6, giving the team a 48.150 total.
With only .150 separating the two teams going to the final event, the Falcons needed to hit all five of their floor routines to avoid counting a fall.  Megan Valentini (9.65), Nocella (9.675), Gina Locigno (9.7) and Ali (9.75) hit quality routines, but an unfortunate fall from Harrington sealed Bowling Green's fate.  
The Pioneers finished on balance beam and hit all six routines, counting no score lower than a 9.675.  The clutch ending to an up-and-down day for TWU was enough to walk away with the win.
With the loss, the Falcons drop to 0-2 on the season, after an opening loss to Ohio State.  The team will now prepare for two weeks on the road, facing Mid-American Conference opponents Northern Illinois on Jan. 19 and Eastern Michigan on Jan. 26.
Central Michigan 
Central Michigan 195.050, New Hampshire 193.100 

MOUNT PLEASANT – Spurred by a strong performance on the uneven bars, the Central Michigan gymnastics team claimed its second consecutive impressive win to start the 2013 season, defeating visiting New Hampshire, 195.050-193.100, on Friday evening at McGuirk Arena.
The Chippewas surpassed the coveted 49.000 barrier in the uneven bars, totaling a 49.075 in the second rotation. CMU took the top five spots in the event led by sophomore Kylie Fagan, who recorded a title-winning score of 9.850. Fagan was followed in the standings by sophomore Becca Druien (9.825) and freshmen Taylor Bolender and Megan Lamphere and senior Emily LaFontaine, who tied for third with identical scores of 9.800. 
“It just lends so much confidence when you get a score, especially an event score, such as that, that it picks you up and just ushers you into the next event,” said CMU head coach Jerry Reighard about his team’s uneven bars effort. “I think that was very evident as we went to balance beam. They felt confident and it showed, all the way through.”
As a team, Central Michigan won three events outright (vault, uneven bars, and balance beam) and tied UNH in the floor exercise with like scores of 48.625. Individually, in addition to Fagan, freshman Kirsten Petzold and senior Meaghan McWhorter combined to give CMU its other title win, with each scoring a 9.800 in the vault.
Sophomore Becca Druien took the all-around for the second consecutive week, coming out ahead in a head-to-head match-up with the Wildcats’ top all-arounder, Austyn Fobes, by tying her career high (38.775). Her best showing was the second-place finish in the uneven bars.
Junior Emily Heinz and sophomore Taylor Noonan headlined CMU’s balance beam line-up, as the duo tied for second, with each earning a 9.800. Sophomore Halle Moraw, the reigning MAC Specialist of the Week, was a close fourth, scoring a 9.775. 
Moraw was also key in the floor exercise, finishing in second place, tying with teammate junior Brittany Petzold with a score of 9.800. 
CMU will travel for the first time this season next week, visiting Ball State for its 2013 MAC opener. The Chippewas and the Cardinals will clash on Friday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. in Irving Gymnasium in Muncie, Ind. A year ago, Central Michigan downed Ball State, 193.350-190.100, in Mount Pleasant, winning all four events both individually and as a team.
Iowa State 193.625, Kent State 193.575
Tonight's 193.625-193.575 loss to Iowa State will mark the second year in a row that Kent State has been unable to come away victorious in their season opener. The Golden Flashes will return home for the start of the new semester wondering what went wrong, as they were defeated by the Cyclones Friday night by a slim margin of .050; the smallest deciding difference for the Kent State program in a dual meet in over three years.
The Flashes split the four events with Iowa State, coming away victorious in the Vault and the Uneven Bars. Posting the win in the vault was sophomore Whitnee Johnson (Columbia, Mo.) with a score 9.825. Johnson topped off a successful event for Kent State as senior Lauren Wozniak (Pittsburgh, Pa.), senior Felicia Charles (North Miami, Fla.), and sophomore Chelsea Drooger (Holland, Mich.) joined her in the top five, where Wozniak finished  in second, while Charles and Drooger placed tied for third. 
Earning the win in the uneven bars for Kent State was senior Rachel Guida (Cumberland, R.I.) as she topped the competition by earning a 9.825 from the judges. Other strong performances on the night included a second place finish with a score of 9.725 on the balance beam by junior Marie Case (Erie, Pa.), as well as another second place result in the floor excercise by Case as she tallied a score of 9.825.
Head Coach Brice Biggin was disappointed with the outcome, however, was very pleased with the character his group showed in what he perceived to be a difficult situation to start the season. Biggin said, "It's always difficult to start the season on the road, but I couldn't be more proud of the girls' effort with all things considered. It wasn't what we expected to happen, which made the loss much more difficult.  We hit 22 of our 24 routines, but things just didn't end up in our favor. I felt good about our performance."
Making her first career appearance as a Golden Flash was freshman Nicolle Eastman (Burton, Mich.). Biggin said, "While there were many freshman we felt could perform well for us, Nicolle has remained consistent in practice while maintaining her calm and focus. We are pleased with her progression and are expecting good things from her. Unfortunately, a couple other freshman who we thought could help us were coming off injuries and just couldn't make up the time lost in practice." Eastman performed in the floor excercise, earning a score of 9.675 as well as competing on the balance beam where she received a 9.150.
The Golden Flashes will return to action Saturday, January 19 at 6:00 p.m where they will visit Penn State in a meet which also includes Minnesota and Towson. It will be showcased on television on the Big Ten Network.
Northern Illinois
Northern Illinois 192.175, Illinois State 192.050
DeKALB, Ill. - Trailing Illinois State by more than a point entering the final rotation of its 2013 season opener, Northern Illinois got a strong performance on floor exercise while ISU faltered on balance beam, allowing NIU to claim a 192.175-192.050 victory Sunday in the NIU Convocation Center.
Northern Illinois won its season opener for the first time since 2010 and recorded its best season-opening score since 2009. Illinois State fell to 1-1 on the year.
NIU second-year head coach Sam Morreale said the key to getting the victory was persevering through its misses.
"We had a lot of mistakes and mishaps that we don't see in practice but I think you can attribute that to the first meet," Morreale said. "All in all, I thought we competed well and didn't let a miss or a fall affect the rest of the meet. By the time we got to beam, that's kind of the equalizing event. At home, we feel great about finishing on floor."
The Huskies' comeback began with its final three performers on balance beam. After two consecutive gymnasts fell off the beam, NIU's final three performers - Kim Gotlund (Wadsworth, Ill./Warren Township HS), Natasha Jufko (Spring Hill, Fla./Pasco-Hernando HS) and Megan Melendez (Stafford, Va./North Stafford HS) - turned in clutch routines to save the rotation and help the Huskies post a 47.975 team score on the event. Jufko, a junior making her first career appearance in the NIU line-up, earned a 9.825 to win balance beam and post Northern Illinois' highest individual score on the day.
Gotlund , who took second in the all-around competition with four solid performances and a 38.750 total, scored a 9.650 on beam, while Melendez, the 2012 MAC Specialist of the Year, earned a 9.675. Gotlund continued her excellent day by recording her highest score of the meet, and NIU's best score on floor exercise, with a 9.750. Sophomore Shelby Davis (Wichita, Kans./Heights HS) contributed a 9.725 on floor in her first action as a Huskie, while seniors Natalie Sutter (Barberton, Ohio/Coventry HS) and Marisa Liptak (Kendall Park, N.J./South Brunswick HS) came in at 9.675 and 9.625, respectively. Northern Illinois tallied a 48.250, while Illinois State counted three falls and managed just a 47.025 on beam in its final event.
"Being able to dig a meet out after things don't go right is a great quality," Morreale said of his group's comeback. "I think our team thought we lost the meet, but they kept on competing and that's a great thing to see. What we need to realize is this is one of the better starting points we've had. We definitely have work to do and need to keep climbing the ladder, but we can't lose sight of the positives."
NIU led after the first rotation as the Huskies posted a 48.250 on vault, led by Gotlund's 9.725. Freshman Jaelyn Olsen (Bethany, Okla./Putnam City West HS) added a 9.675 and Sutter and Amanda Stepp (Lapeer, Mich./Lapeer East HS) both contributed 9.650 scores to the team total.
The Huskies scored a 47.700 on uneven parallel bars, with Gotlund and freshman Lauren Africano (Bourbonnais, Ill./Bradley-Bourbonnais Community HS) posting NIU's best scores of the day on bars with 9.625 marks, and Melendez adding a 9.600.
"The freshmen did a great job today, they were solid," Morreale said. "Jaelyn is someone who will make an impact and Lauren started us off on bars and did a nice job."
Northern Illinois opens Mid-American Conference competition next Saturday, Jan. 19, when the Huskies play host to Bowling Green at 5 p.m. at the NIU Convocation Center.


Western Michigan 
Western Michigan 193.500, Michigan State 192.725  

EAST LANSING, Mich.- The Western Michigan gymnastics team opened the 2013 season in stylistic fashion, posting its third-straight victory over Big Ten rival Michigan State with a convincing 193.500 to 192.725 victory at Jenison Field House Saturday afternoon.

The Broncos' 193.500 was the best season-opening score since 2001, when the team totaled a 193.850 against Illinois State.
Bronco freshman Kayla Weber had a break-out debut, winning the all-around title with an overall score of 39.150, tying the third-highest score in WMU's history. She also shared the individual title on the floor exercise with a 9.775, while placing runner-up on the uneven bars (9.775) and balance beam (9.800), and placing fourth on the vault with a 9.800.
The Broncos overpowered Michigan State on the vault and bars as a team, outscoring MSU, 49.000 to 48.575 on vault and 48.800 to 47.225 bars. Western Michigan had the top three individual scores on the latter.
WMU's win was its third in a row over the Spartans, after defeating MSU twice in 2011. The recent dominance has been a turn of power for the Broncos, as Michigan State had taken all of the previous matchups in the series prior to 2011. WMU and MSU did not face each other last year, and the Spartans finished last season's rankings seven spots ahead of the Brown & Gold, finishing No. 32 in the nation, while Western Michigan was pegged No. 39.
Two other Broncos had first place showings. Senior Caroline O'Brien won the bars competition, setting a career-high with a 9.900, tying for the second-best score in WMU's record book. Junior Kelsey Turnquist took first on beam with a 9.825. Sophomore Michelle Adams tied Weber for second on bars, tallying a 9.775, and freshman Jessi Buis took runner-up on vault with a 9.825. Senior Lauren Bledsoe also placed in the top-three, with a 9.825 on vault.
Western Michigan (1-0), host of this year's Mid-American Conference Championships (March 23), heads into conference competition with back-to-back MAC meets, hosting Eastern Michigan Jan. 20 and traveling to Kent State Jan. 25.