Ball State 194.075, Eastern Michigan 193.975
Ball State's gymnastics team, under the direction of head coach Nadalie Walsh, posted is fifth straight victory and improved to 3-0 in the MAC with a win at Eastern Michigan.
The Cardinals tallied a 194.075 to 193.975 narrow victory over the Eagles to improve to 5-2 overall. The Ball State team scored is the 24th best mark in school history.
Brittney Emmons won the all-around with a 38.625 score, while Nicole Allen won the vault with a 9.80, Angie Hosbach won the bars with a 9.75, and Leah Wilson won the beam with a 9.75.
In addition to Allen winning the vault, Emmons tied for third with a 9.75. Ball State's team score of 48.625 on the vault tied for the 14th best mark in school history.
On the bars, Hosback winning performance was followed by Brooklyn Schumacher and Angela Durkac's 9.725s, which tied for second in the event.
Wilson won the beam, while Allen tied for second and Hosbach tied for fourth.
Hosbach was the Cardinals top competitor on the floor with a 9.80, which tied for second.
Ball State returns to Irving Gymnasium for its annual THINK PINK MEET Friday at 7 p.m. vs. Western Michigan. Admission is free.
Bowling Green 192.850, Lindenwood 194.025
St. Charles, Mo. - The Bowling Green State University gymnastics team was successful on the road Saturday, defeating Lindenwood by a score of 192.850-192.050. Jamilah Ali (vault), Amanda Lievendag (uneven bars) and Alyssa Nocella (floor exercise) each claimed individual titles in the Falcons' win. It was the team's second away meet victory of the year, after downing Eastern Michigan on Jan. 26 with a season-high 194.025.
The Falcons got off to a shaky start on bars, with several gymnasts struggling to get through their routines. Lievendag was on-point as the anchor, showing impressive strength and control to save a handstand that teetered on the edge of disaster. Lievendag was rewarded with a 9.775 score, earning her fourth win on bars of the season as the Falcons totaled a lackluster 47.400 to trail the Lions after one event.
"Amanda did a really good job given that we were fairly inconsistent on bars," said head coach Kerrie Beach. "It was really nerve-wracking for her, but she really got everything together and hit a solid routine."
Bowling Green made strides on vault, outperforming Lindenwood with cleaner and more difficult flips. Gina Locigno (9.525), Nocella (9.7), Sunny Marchand (9.725) and Lievendag (9.775) all hit, setting up Ali for a meet-high 9.825 and the event win. After two rotations, the Falcons had taken control of the meet, 95.950-95.475.
The momentum carried over to floor for the Falcons, as all six gymnasts hit their routines. Nocella won the event, sticking her tumbling to score a season-high 9.85. Megan Valentini returned to the lineup, also hitting a season best of 9.775. Locigno (9.725), Harrington (9.725), Caroline Ellingboe (9.7) and Ali (9.65) also came through with strong performances to help the Falcons earn a 48.775 on the event.
Bowling Green closed out the night with a confident performance on beam, hitting all six routines to secure the win. Harrington and Nocella each scored 9.7 to lead the Falcons, with solid efforts from Locigno (9.65), Ali (9.55), Ellingboe (9.525) and Maria Salvia (9.4). The 48.125 score was far from the team's season best, but was the first time the Falcons have hit all six beam routines this year.
"The story of the night was really the comeback after bars," Beach said. "The girls did not get phased by anything that was happening. They just stayed focused and came back strong and looked confident. And then hitting six-for-six on beam to end the meet was really encouraging."
The Falcons face another tough road contest next week, traveling to Raleigh, N.C. to participate in the Sweetheart Invitational, hosted by N.C. State. It will be the first time this season for the Falcons to face multiple opponents, as George Washington University, Pittsburgh, North Carolina and William & Mary round out the six-team competition.
Central Michigan 194.800, Northern Illinois 194.025
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Behind strong all-around performances by junior Brittany Petzold and sophomore Becca Druien, the No. 21 Central Michigan gymnastics team defeated MAC foe Northern Illinois, 194.800-194.025, on Friday night at McGuirk Arena as part of the second ever Royal Rumble and Tumble. A crowd of 1,498 was undaunted by the snowy weather and freezing temps and turned out to support the gymnastics and wrestling squads.
Petzold, the defending MAC all-around champion, competed in all four events for the first time this season, placing first with a score of 39.075. Druien finished a close second, tallying a career-high total of 39.050. With Petzold and Druien competing, it marked the first time this season that CMU featured two all-arounders in the line-up.
CMU won three of the four events both as a team and individually. Petzold tied for first in the vault (9.825) while Druien claimed the top spot in the uneven bars with a personal best score of 9.850. Junior Emily Heinz was Central’s other title winner, capturing the balance beam crown with a 9.800.
“It’s a MAC win for us and that’s very, very important,” said CMU head coach Jerry Reighard. “It keeps us going in the right direction. The atmosphere was absolutely phenomenal and that was mind-boggling to some our athletes. And that’s fine with me, in fact, I think that’s a really good thing. They have to learn to contend with that.”
After breaching the 49.000 plateau in the vault last week at the Illinois-Michigan Challenge, CMU fell short of replicating that performance versus NIU but managed to record a 48.800 and build a small early lead. Senior Meaghan McWhorter backed-up Petzold’s title-winning performance, finishing third with a score of 9.800. She was followed in the standings by Heinz and freshman Kirsten Petzold.
In the second rotation, CMU slightly expanded its lead by taking the top three spots in the standings. After Druien, sophomores Kylie Fagan (9.825) and Halle Moraw (9.800) helped the Chippewas register a 48.925 in the event.
Heading to the balance beam with a slim .600 lead over the Huskies, CMU faltered a bit and was forced to count a fall, opening the door slightly for NIU. Despite scoring lower than Northern Illinois in the event, Heinz placed first while Druien notched another career high (9.775) to finish in second.
Needing a solid showing the floor exercise to pull out the conference win, the Chippewas got it, scoring a 48.900. Moraw finished in second place (9.850) while Brittany Petzold came in third (9.850) to lead CMU.
“There were a few things on floor that seriously could have been disastrous, the landings and the positions were tentative. But the fight was very evident. We got decent scores out of it. All-in-all, it was a great learning experience for some of our young kids.”
“Like most coaches, I don’t think luck has anything to do with anything. We were fortunate to get the tenths when we needed them and that really made the difference.”
The No. 12 CMU wrestling team helped the Chippewas post a 2-0 mark for the evening, easing past Eastern Michigan, 31-6.
Central Michigan returns to the road next weekend, traveling to northeast Ohio for a showdown with MAC preseason favorite No. 24 Kent State. The three-time defending conference champion Chippewas and the Golden Flashes will meet on Friday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center in Kent. CMU defeated Kent State twice last season, head-to-head in a dual meet in Mount Pleasant (194.475-193.550) and at the MAC Championships (195.625-195.225).
Ball State 194.075, Eastern Michigan 193.975
YPSILANTI, Mich. – The Eastern Michigan University gymnastics team narrowly fell to Ball State University, 194.075-193.975, on Senior Night at Bowen Field House, Feb. 9.
Trailing heading into the final event, the Eagles nearly pulled off a come-from-behind victory after a season-high 48.875 team score on the floor exercise. However, the final score was just one-tenth of a point short of Ball State.
Ball State remains undefeated in the Mid-American Conference, improving to 5-2, 3-0 MAC on the year. Eastern Michigan drops to 1-5, 0-3 MAC.
Khadijah Hudson and Anna Willette each led the Eagles in two events. Hudson won the floor with a career-best 9.850, while also finishing runner-up in the vault with a 9.775 mark. Willette recorded scores of 9.75 on both the uneven parallel bars and the balance beam, good enough for second place in both events.
Ball State's Brittney Emmons took the all around with a score of 38.625.
Brittany Cassar, Camille Cicchini, Amanda Fuller and Kristina Kurkmilis were honored as the four EMU seniors, and each of them participated in the meet.
Cassar competed in three events that included scores of 9.700 on the floor as well as the bars. Fuller put together a pair of impressive scores, taking third in the vault with a 9.750 followed by a runner-up finish in the floor exercise with a score of 9.800. Cicchini tied teammates Cassar and Carrina Lo Bello on the bars with a 9.700
Fuller and Kurkmilils finished behind their teammate, Hudson, on the floor with a solid scores of 9.800. The pair of seniors also tied on the vault as both recorded 9.750.
The Eagles will travel nearly 4,000 miles for their next meet to Alaska to take on Alaska-Anchorage, Feb. 17.
Kent State 195.675, Rutgers 193.700
The Kent State Gymnastics team defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in convincing fashion with a final score of 195.675-193.700. The Golden Flashes were once again led by junior Marie Case (Erie, Pa.) to victory behind an impressive all-around score of 39.200. Case is currently listed as the 21st best all-around competitor in the country. The team won all five events of the night (including all-around) to sweep the Scarlet Knights.
Case finished tied for first in the balance beam, where she earned a 9.825 along with senior Lindsay Runyun (Maineville, Oh.) to win the event. Case also finished in a tie for first on the floor exercise when she shared the top score of 9.850 with freshman Katlin Isaacs (Mount Airy, N.C.). To round out her performance Case received a 9.675 on the vault, good for ninth overall, to go along with a 9.850 on the uneven bars, good for third.
Finalizing the Golden Flashes sweep of events were sophomore Whitnee Johnson (Columbia, Mo.) and senior Rachel Guida (Cumberland, R.I.). Johnson took the vault when her score of 9.875 could not be beat by any of the other competitors. Guida secured the uneven parallel bars for the home team when a score 9.900 was received from the judges, a score that matched her career best. Guida currently ranks 13th nationally on bars.
Johnson finished off her day with a 9.775 on the floor exercise. She also scored a 9.025 on the balance beam. Guida posted a a 9.825 on the vault, her only other event of the day.
Kent State returns to action Friday, February 15 at 7:00 p.m when they take on the Central Michigan Chippewas at the M.A.C. Center.
Central Michigan 194.800, Northern Illinois 194.025
MT. PLEASANT, Mich. - Northern Illinois put together its most complete meet of the 2013 season at Central Michigan Friday night, earning its season-high team total with a 194.025, but fell to the No. 21 ranked Chippewas at McGuirk Arena.
NIU's team score was 1.150 points higher than its previous season best, led by a stellar performance on uneven parallel bars where the Huskies started the meet by combining for a 48.700 team score on the event. NIU did not count a score lower than 9.700 on bars with Megan Melendez (Stafford, Va./North Stafford HS) and Lauren Africano (Bourbonnais, Ill./Bradley Bourbonnais Community HS) leading the way with 9.775 scores to tie for fourth place in the meet.
"We had a really, really good day," said NIU Head Coach Sam Morreale. "It was a great day for us on bars. We hit seven for seven [routines] on bars [including exhibition]. Lauren [Africano] did a great job starting us off and we were just steady. We stayed right in the 9.7 range the whole time so that was really encouraging."
The Huskies' 48.7 score on uneven parallel bars was .900 higher than its previous season best. Northern Illinois then moved to vault where freshman Jaelyn Olsen (Bethany, Okla./Putnam City West HS) performed her best vault of the year to earn a 9.825 and tie for first place. Olsen was part of a 48.475 total on the event.
On its third event of the night, floor exercise, Northern Illinois overcame a slow start to put up a team score of 48.550. Senior Natalie Sutter (Barberton, Ohio/Coventry HS) anchored NIU's line-up on floor with a season and career high 9.875 routine to win the event and record the top individual score of the meet. Marisa Liptak (Kendall Park, N.J./South Brunswick HS) added a 9.800 to tie for third on floor. Following the third event, the Huskies trailed the three-time MAC champions by just .175, 145.900-145.725.
"We were a little uncharacteristically bobblesome on floor," Morreale said. "We left a few things out there but our floor was solid again. On beam, we were a little unsure in the middle of the line-up, but felt really good about most of it."
Northern Illinois tallied a 48.300 on balance beam, led by Melendez' 9.775 mark. She tied for second place, while Amanda Stepp (Lapeer, Mich./Lapeer East HS) earned a 9.700 to tie for fourth.
"We really didn't count a miss all meet," Morreale said. "It's hard to be angry about our miscues when we destroyed our season high. This was definitely an indication of what we can do and we've got to keep plugging. We left a few things out there but we're getting to where we need to be."
NIU dropped to 3-2 with the loss and are 1-2 versus Mid-American Conference competition while Central Michigan improved to 7-4 overall, 2-1 in the MAC