Ball State 192.475, Northern Illinois 192.075
Led by individual champions in three events and the all-around, the Ball State gymnastics team improved to 2-0 in the Mid-American Conference with a 192.475 to 192.075 victory over Northern Illinois.
"Although it was great to win the meet, we won because we made fewer mistakes," head coach Nadalie Walsh says. "We went out there and wanted so badly to do better than last week that we almost beat ourselves. This team is very hard working and talented. We need to let it happen naturally and learn to be successful as we continue to improve."
Brittney Emmons won the vault with a 9.850 and the all-around with a 38.700, while Brooklyn Schumacher tied for first on the bars with a 9.800 and Denasiha Christian tied for first on the floor with a 9.775.
Ball State started the meet on the vault and came through with a 48.725, which is the ninth best vault team score in school history. Northern Illinois opened on the bars and managed a 47.800, which gave the Cardinals the lead after one event.
On the vault, the Cardinals were led by senior Emmons, who tallied a 9.850 to win the event. Christian scored a 9.825 and placed second on the vault, while Erin Patchey managed a 9.750 to finish third.
After sweeping the top three places on the vault, Ball State moved to the bars and scored a 47.575, while NIU tallied a 47.975 on the vault. After two events, the Cardinals held a 96.300 to 95.775 advantage.
On the bars, Schumacher tied for first place with Northern Illinois' Megan Melendez after the duo scored a pair of 9.80's. Emmons continued her strong meet and tied for third on the bars with a 9.70.
Ball State moved to the beam and was led by the 9.675 of Leah Wilson, which was good for a fourth place showing.
After the third rotation, the Cardinals fell behind 144.375 to 143.950 to Northern Illinois.
Ball State moved to the floor and tallied a team score of 48.500 to claim the meet victory. Northern Illinois completed its night on the beam and tallied a 47.700.
Christian tied for first on the floor with a 9.775, while Angie Hosbach finished third with a 9.750.
Ball State, 2-2 on the season, will host Penn and Centenary Friday at 7 p.m. in Irving Gym.
Bowling Green 194.025, Eastern Michigan 193.900
The score marks the first time the Falcons have broken 194 since the 2010 season. The team began on bars, with all six gymnasts posting career-high numbers en route to a 49.000 score. Amanda Lievendag won the event with a 9.85 - her third-straight uneven bars title. Caroline Ellingboe (9.8), Lindsay Koch (9.8), Gina Locigno (9.775), Megan Harrington (9.775) and Alyssa Nocella (9.65) also came through with personal bests.
"We kept telling them that if they could get it done in the gym, they could put it together on the weekend," said head coach Kerrie Beach. "I think tonight really represented that. We still had a few mistakes and that's what's so exciting - we got a win, we hit that 194 mark in January and that means we're only going up from there."
The Falcons moved to vault in the second rotation, where a scary fall from Nocella in the first slot didn't rattle the rest of the lineup. Bowling Green came out with a 48.650 performance, led by Jamilah Ali's 9.85 and Danielle Wishart's 9.825. Ali, currently No. 1 in the MAC on vault, placed first in the event.
Floor exercise continued to trouble the Falcons, as Megan Valentini and Megan Harrington both came up short on tumbling passes. Strong routines from Nocella (9.8), Locigno (9.8) and Ali (9.775) helped keep the Falcons close to EMU going into the last event.
On beam, Ellingboe (9.675), Salvia (9.75) and Locigno (9.775) started off strong, but two falls at the end of the rotation hampered the team's score. Nocella won the event, hitting all of her skills and sticking the dismount to earn a 9.825.
Eastern Michigan also suffered falls at the end of their floor rotation, making room for Bowling Green to claim its first win and move to 1-3 (1-1 MAC) on the season.
The Falcons return home for their next meet on Feb. 2, the annual Pink Meet versus Kent State. The competition starts at 4 p.m. in Anderson Arena and will feature an iPad giveaway and free pizza for all BGSU students. Admission is free.
Central Michigan 194.650, Minnesota 196.800, Michigan 196.775, Iowa 193.350
MINNEAPOLIS – Sophomore Taylor Noonan finished tied for second in the balance beam to lead the No. 20 Central Michigan gymnastics team at a quad meet hosted by the University of Minnesota on Saturday evening. The Chippewas scored a 194.650 to placed third while the No. 12 Golden Gophers (196.800) upset top-ranked Michigan (196.775) to win the competition. Iowa State finished fourth (193.350).
“(Taylor) looked really good,” said CMU head coach Jerry Reighard. “I actually thought it was an underscored routine for her. She had a nice routine.”
For her efforts, Noonan received team MVP honors for the meet.
The Chippewas established a new team season high in the floor exercise, posting a 48.950 in the second rotation, but for the second straight week, slight missteps in the opening rotation placed CMU at an early disadvantage. Despite Noonan’s stellar 9.850 performance, the Chippewas totaled a season low 48.225 in the balance beam.
Central Michigan responded in the next rotation, getting back into the competition on the floor. Noonan again led CMU, recording a career-high score of 9.825. Senior Emily LaFontaine, junior Emily Heinz, and sophomore Halle Moraw also performed well, with each earning a 9.800.
Rotating to the vault, CMU totaled a 48.750. As has been the trend this season to date, freshman Kirsten Petzold and senior Meaghan McWhorter highlighted the CMU line-up. Petzold scored a 9.800 while McWhorter had a 9.775.
CMU wrapped up the competition on the uneven bars, scoring a 48.725. Sophomore Kylie Fagan was once again the Chippewas’ headliner in the event, as she placed fifth with a 9.800. Sophomore Taylor Bolender finished right behind Fagan in the even standings, contributing a 9.775.
“We had some really good performances tonight,” Reighard said. “But we left a lot on the table and you can't do that against that caliber of competition. Overall, though, it was a good meet for us.”
“We will keep our nose down and keep pursuing that 196.000”
Central Michigan remains on the road next week, visiting the Windy City for a meet that will pit two Michigan teams against two squads from the state of Illinois. The Chippewas will combine with Eastern Michigan to compete against host Illinois-Chicago and Illinois State. Despite the pairing, all team scores will be counted separately. The quad meet is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 2 at the Flames’ Physical Education Building in Chicago.
Bowling Green 194.025,Eastern Michigan 193.900
YPSILANTI, Mich. – The Eastern Michigan University gymnastics team dropped its home opener by a narrow margin, 194.025-193.900, to Bowling Green State University, Jan. 26, in Bowen Field House.
The Eagles (0-2, 0-2 MAC) hosted the Falcons (1-3, 1-1 MAC) on the wrong night as Bowling Green scored its highest mark in three years. For EMU, the tally of 193.900 was still a solid mark, higher than the Green and White scored in any meet last season.
Bowling Green got out to a 49.000-48.775 lead competing on the bars while the Eagles took the vault. The Green and White seized the lead, 97.700-97.650 as the teams switched events. EMU maintained the lead through the third wave, 145.875-145.675, with Eastern on the beam and BGSU on the floor. However, the Falcons recorded a 48.350 on the beam while EMU recorded a 48.025 on the floor, giving BGSU the Mid-American Conference victory.
Anna Willette led the Eagles on the uneven parallel bars and balance beam with scores of 9.825 in each event. Willette tied for second on the bars with teammate Ashley Quinton while tying for first on the beam with Bowling Green's Alyssa Nocella.
Amanda Fuller took home a victory for the Eagles in the floor exercise with an impressive score of 9.825.The EMU senior also finished third with a 9.800 to lead Eastern on the vault.
Bowling Green's Megan Harrington won the all around with a score of 37.875.
Eastern will hit the road for the “Windy City,” Chicago, Ill., to participate in the Michigan/Illinois Challenge, Feb. 2, at 6 p.m.
Kent State 194.675, Western Michigan 194.125, George Washington 193.875
The Kent State Gymnastics team was able to defeat Western Michigan and George Washington with a final score of 194.675. That score was high enough to top both the Broncos (194.125) and the Colonials (193.875) in a tri-meet showdown at the M.A.C. Center.
The Golden Flashes showed up in dominating fashion, where they won all four events of the night. Sophomore Chelsea Drooger (Holland, Mich.) took the vault for Kent State with a score of 9.850, a personal best for her. In addition Drooger managed a 9.775 on bars and finished her night with a 9.700 on the balance beam.
Senior Rachel Guida (Cumberland, R.I.) was the winner of uneven bars event, where she raked in a 9.900. Guida and Senior Lindsay Runyan (Maineville, Ohio) comprised a top two finish for the team in the event where Runyan posted a 9.875. Guida finished the night with with a 9.825 on vault to tie her personal best. Runyun earned a 9.100 in her other event of the evening.
Junior Marie Case (Erie, Pa.) took the Balance Beam for Kent State. She earned a 9.800 on the event to lead all competitors. Case also defeated all other gymnasts to lead the Golden Flashes to a win on the floor exercise. In addition Case earned 9.625 on the vault and a 9.850 on the uneven bar, reaching for her personal best again. For her efforts Case claimed the title of all-around champion with a total score of 39.200.
In addition, Kent State set three more personal bests on the floor exercise. Freshmen Nicolle Eastman and Kaitlin Isaacs each posted a 9.825 and a 9.825 respectively, while sophomore Nicole Radon added a 9.675 to the list of achievements.
The Golden Flashes will return to action next Sunday, February 3 when they compete at Bowling Green at 4:00 p.m.
Ball State 192.475, Northern Illinois 192.075
MUNCIE, Ind. – Northern Illinois’ third consecutive attempt at a narrow victory fell short Friday as the Huskies dropped a 192.475-192.075 decision to Ball State in Mid-American Conference women’s gymnastics action at Irving Gym in the Ball State Sports and Recreation Center.
NIU narrowly out-scored the Cardinals in three events, but the margin was not enough to overcome a .750 difference on vault The Huskies’ 192.075 total was its lowest of the season as Northern Illinois fell to 2-1 overall, 1-1 in the MAC, with the loss. Ball State improved to 2-2, 2-0 (MAC) with the victory.
NIU Head Coach Sam Morreale said while Friday’s meet came down to the last gymnast, the Huskies had opportunities earlier in the competition to create a margin for victory.
“We were in the meet the whole time up until the last [routine], which is a good thing,” Morreale said. “We could have put them away and we didn’t. There were numerous opportunities. It almost makes [the loss] more frustrating because you see the potential. With the line-up we have out there, we should be going 194-plus.”
The Huskies opened the meet on uneven parallel bars, the event which had given NIU the most difficulty in its first two meets. Friday, Northern Illinois earned its best score of the year on bars with a 47.800 despite counting a miss. Junior Megan Melendez (Stafford, Va./North Stafford HS) led the Huskies with a 9.800 to tie for first place on bars, while freshman Lauren Africano (Bourbonnais, Ill./Bradley Bourbonnais Community HS) scored a career-best 9.700 and tied for third place.
“We did start the meet on bars and we did better,” Morreale said. “We scored better, we swung better [on bars]. When you are counting a miss, it’s never a good thing. Then, I felt we vaulted better than last weekend, so that was a little frustrating. “
Meanwhile, Ball State put together a 48.725 team score on vault to sweep the top three places. Freshman Jaelyn Olsen (Bethany, Okla./Putnam City West HS) led Northern Illinois on vault with a 9.725 to take fourth place as the Huskies totaled a 47.975.
NIU put together its strongest scores of the meet on floor exercise, the Huskies’ third event. Sophomore Amanda Stepp (Lapeer, Mich./Lapeer East HS) led the way with a 9.775 and tied for first place. The Michigan native had a strong overall meet as she scored a 9.675 on vault and a 9.700 on balance beam to earn third place.
“We got another solid performance from Amanda,” Morreale said. “She’s coming into her own as far as being automatic. Megan [Melende]z did a really good job when the chips were down. She followed two falls on bars and three on beam and came out and hit. It was good to see her hitting her stride.”
In addition to Stepp’s performance on floor, NIU’s Shelby Davis (Wichita, Kans./Heights HS), Kim Gotlund (Wadsworth, Ill./Warrant Township HS) and Natalie Sutter (Barberton, Ohio/Coventry HS) each contributed 9.725 scores to the Huskies’ 48.600 total on the event.
Going into the final rotation, NIU led BSU, 144.375-143.975, with the Huskies going to balance beam and Ball State heading to floor exercise. Despite sweeping balance beam, led by Melendez’ second 9.800, and second event victory, of the meet, a 9.750 by Marisa Liptak (Kendall Park, N.J./South Brunswick HS) for second place and Stepp’s third-place finish, Northern Illinois had three misses on beam, giving Ball State the win.
“We put a bunch of hits together r on floor and we couldn’t finish [on beam] today,” Morreale said. “Beam has been our solid event the first two; they’ll bounce back. On floor we were ourselves. We need to score 48-plus on vault, and we ‘ve got to keep improving on bars.”
Although NIU suffered its first loss of the season, Morreale noted that the meet was the first road event of the season and that the Northern Illinois battled through misses to have a chance to win at the end.
“I still feel good about this team, we can do great things,” Morreale said. “We haven’t panicked [in any meet], we’ve kept working. We have to keep true to what we’re trying to do, and not change the plan. A road meet is a different animal, so we got that [experience] out of the way and we’ll move forward.“
Next, Northern Illinois steps out of MAC competition as the Huskies play host to Southeast Missouri State Saturday, Feb. 2, at the NIU Convocation Center beginning at 5 p.m. The meet will be the second half of a doubleheader with the Huskie men’s basketball team, which plays Toledo at 3 p.m. One ticket will admit fans to both events.
Kent State 194.675, Western Michigan 194.125, George Washington 193.875
KENT, Ohio- In a clash of the Mid-American Conference's top two preseason favorites, nationally No. 23 ranked Kent State came out on top, defeating No. 28 Western Michigan, 194.675 to 194.125. George Washington also participated in the meet and finished third behind the Golden Flashes and Broncos, scoring a 193.875.
Kent State (4-2, 1-0 MAC) was voted to finish first in the conference, as well as win the MAC Championships, while WMU (3-1, 1-1 MAC) was slated to finish second. The Golden Flashes' win avenged their 192.650 to 192.025 loss in Kalamazoo last year.
Freshman Jessi Buis had Western Michigan's only first-place finish, tying KSU's Chelsea Drooger with a 9.850 on vault. It was Buis' first career title. Senior Lauren Bledsoe came in fourth with a 9.800 and senior Brittany Adams recorded a career-high 9.775, placing sixth.
Vault happened to be the Broncos' best event and the only competition they outscored Kent State. Western Michigan recorded its second highest score in school history with a 48.950, while KSU went 48.850. WMU set the school vault record last year against Ball State with a 49.175.
Bledsoe also finished second on the floor exercise, tallying a 9.875. Senior Caroline O'Brien turned in a runner-up finish on balance beam with a 9.750 and took third on the uneven bars with a 9.850.
Kent State's Marie Case won the all-around title (39.200) and was the individual champion on beam (9.800) and floor (9.925). Freshman Kayla Weber was WMU's lone all-arounder and totaled a 38.775.
The Broncos travel to Morgantown, W.V., for their next meet, Feb. 1, and will face West Virginia, Oklahoma and William & Mary.