Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Florida 196.575, Ball State 190.550
GAINESVILLE, Florida - Ball State's gymnastics team suffered a 196.575-190.550 loss at the nation's No. 3 ranked Florida Gators in the season opener.
Senior Brittney Emmons placed second in the all-around with a 38.400. She tied for seventh on the vault with a 9.750, finished seventh on the bars with a 9.675, placed eighth on the balance beam with a 9.4 and was ninth on the floor with a 9.575.
Freshman Denasiha Christian was Ball State's top performer on the vault and tied for fifth with a 9.8. Nicole Allen and Brooke Evans tied with Emmons for seventh place with 9.750 scores.
On the bars, Emmons finished seventh while Brooklyn Schumacher was eighth with a 9.650 and Angie Hosbach was ninth with a 9.625.
Emily Wehrle led the Cardinals on the beam with a 9.525 and a sixth place showing, while Schumacher was seventh with a 9.45.
Christian placed fifth on the floor with a 9.725, while Hosbach was sixth with a 9.70 and Allen tied for seventh with a 9.675.
Ball State will compete at Iowa Friday in its second meet of the season.
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - The Bowling Green State University gymnastics team posted its highest season-opening score since 2004 Saturday, hitting a 192.2 to fall to Ohio State (194.6) in Anderson Arena.
Both teams breezed through vault and bars, but ran into trouble in the second half of the meet, as the Falcons were forced to count falls on beam and floor, while the Buckeyes suffered a disastrous three-fall floor exercise rotation.
Bowling Green's final total is the highest score to start the season since the 2004 team opened with a 193.450 in a win over Eastern Michigan. Last year, the Falcons opened the season with a 188.925 on the road at Kentucky.
"I'm just so pleased that our team score improved so greatly on our start from last year," said head coach Kerrie Beach. "We had a lot of new people in the lineups and they really stepped up and did a good job. I'm encouraged that our lineups are only going to continue to grow and get better."
The Falcons began with a strong showing of 48.55 on the vault, highlighted by scores of 9.85 from Jamilah Ali and 9.8 from Sunny Marchand. Marchand, a senior, hit a beautiful Yurchenko layout half, after missing all of last season with injuries.
"That was amazing," Beach said. "Sunny was a huge question mark and we didn't know if she was going to make it back. It was really so exciting to see her go out there because she loves it so much. I know she wishes she could train every event, but we'll take just vault in her senior season."
Bowling Green remained steady on uneven bars, with all six gymnasts hitting routines to reach the 48.0 mark on the event. Amanda Lievendag anchored and scored 9.75 performing a Gienger release and double layout dismount. On vault, Ohio State stuck their landings to stay ahead of the Falcons, with Sarah Miller nailing a difficult half-on, front pike off to earn a score of 9.95, with one judge giving her a perfect 10.
At the halfway point, Ohio State led the Falcons 98.225-96.550. The third rotation saw the first flashes of nerves from both teams, as Bowling Green moved to balance beam and Ohio State to floor.
After a solid start from freshman Caroline Ellingboe, veteran Megan Valentini came off the beam twice, putting pressure on the rest of the lineup. Sophomore Maria Salvia was next, competing her first routine as a Falcon. Salvia hit for a 9.625, before Alyssa Nocella fell on a daring skill of front aerial to two feet. Megan Harrington (9.75) and Ali (9.675) closed out the rotation with solid routines, as Ali debuted a new series of two consecutive back layout stepouts.
The Buckeyes faltered as well, with falls from Alex DeLuca and Melanie Shaffer, along with a scary fall from anchor Maggie Dunn, who nearly landed a double back to her head. Ohio State's errors closed the gap between the two teams, with Bowling Green headed to floor exercise.
With a handful of gymnasts recovering from minor injuries, the Falcons fielded only five athletes on floor. Valentini (9.675), Nocella (9.65) and Gina Locigno (9.65) all hit routines to start, but Harrington over-rotated a double pike mount and the Falcons again counted a fall. Ali, who last year was named Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year, anchored with a strong routine that scored 9.8.
Ohio State came through with a solid beam performance to finish well ahead of the Falcons, 194.6-192.2.
Bowling Green is back at home on Saturday, Jan. 12 to host Texas Woman's University. The meet begins at 4 p.m. inside Anderson Arena.
MOUNT PLEASANT – The Central Michigan gymnastics team shined in its 2013 season opener on Saturday afternoon in McGuirk Arena, scoring a 194.975 to down visiting Wisconsin-Eau Claire (180.150). The Chippewas’ score was the highest ever recorded by a Jerry Reighard-led squad to begin a season.
“At the beginning of the year, we all got together as a team and made some pretty lofty goals,” said Reighard, who is in his 29th season as the head coach of the Chippewas. “And the statement I made was, ‘that’s not going to be easy.’ And they are finding out that it is not easy to be at this level; that’s it’s not easy to do what we just did. Even though, hopefully, we did make it look easy. They have worked very hard and we are very excited about our prospects.”
As a team, CMU won all four events and took the top six spots in the vault, uneven bars, and balance beam. Individually, sophomore Halle Moraw captured titles in the balance beam (9.850) and floor exercise (9.850) to lead Central Michigan. Freshman Kirsten Petzold began her collegiate career on a high note, winning her first title in the first event in which she competed, the vault, scoring a 9.825. Senior Emily LaFontaine claimed the uneven bars crown, posting a winning score of 9.825.
Sophomore Becca Druien won the all-around unopposed (38.725), finishing second in the floor exercise (9.800), fourth in the uneven bars (9.750) and balance beam (9.650), and sixth in the vault (9.525).
The CMU freshmen class played a major role in the victory over the Blugolds. In addition to Kirsten Petzold’s title-winning performance, Megan Lamphere had a strong showing. A late addition to the balance beam line-up, she came through by tying teammate Kylie Fagan for second place. She also shared second place with Fagan in the uneven bars.
“Megan Lamphere gets player of the day; there is no question in my mind,” said Reighard. “An interesting story about Megan. When you tell a freshman who has never a 9.500 or a 9.600 that she has to score a 9.800, they don’t know what to do with that. I grabbed her today and said ‘do you believe?’ and she got a big smile on her face because she got her 9.800 today.”
Central Michigan is back in action next week, as it welcomes New Hampshire to McGuirk Arena for a 7 p.m. dual meet on Friday, Jan. 11.