Gymnastics: WVU Sweeps Tri-Meet
by Shannon McNamara for MSNsportsNET.com
January 16, 2010
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The No. 25 West Virginia University gymnastics team swept its competition and finished first with a score of 192.425 this evening at the Pitt tri-meet at the Fitzgerald Field House.
Kent State placed second with 190.625 points, while the host Panthers finished third with a score of 190.55.
This evening’s meet was the season opener for Pitt (0-2, 0-1 EAGL) and Kent State (1-1), and also served as the East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) opener for the Mountaineers (3-2, 1-0 EAGL) and the Panthers.
WVU was strong across the board in its victory and finished first on beam (47.775) and floor (48.625), and second on vault (48.5) and bars (47.525).
“I do not think our overall score reflects how well we improved this week,” says 36-year coach Linda Burdette-Good. “I’m very proud of how this team maintained its focus this evening on the routines and not the scores. They kept their energy up the whole night, and I know we will keep improving with each outing this season.”
Junior Amy Bieski again paced the Mountaineers with a solid 38.05 all-around showing and finished third overall.
With a 48.625 floor score, the Mountaineers built an early lead for the second-consecutive meet and held the top spot through the first rotation. The Panthers stood in second with a 48.4 vault showing, while the Golden Flashes rounded out the trio with a 47.075 beam score.
Bieski paced a solid floor lineup with a meet-winning 9.775 score. Sophomore Tina Maloney finished in a close second with 9.75 points, while junior Naja Johnson tied for third place and earned 9.725 points.
The Mountaineers maintained their lead through two rotations after a 48.5 effort on vault pushed their team total to 97.125. Pitt tallied 47.775 on bars and remained in second with a 96.175 combined score, while KSU earned 47.75 on floor and stayed in third place with 94.825 points.
Senior Chelsi Tabor, the Mountaineers’ vault anchor and the reigning EAGL champion, stuck her landing and scored 9.8, a one-tenth improvement on her season-opening score of 9.7. That score gave the Beckley, W.Va., native a share of first place, her first top three showing of the season. Bieski and freshman Alaska Richardson built up to Tabor’s point total and scored consecutive 9.75 vaults, good enough for fourth place.
Despite scoring 47.525 on bars, the Mountaineers remained ahead of the pack through three rotations with an aggregate score of 144.65. The Golden Flashes netted 48.675 on vault and usurped the Panthers with a team score of 143.5. Pitt remained in the hunt, and with a 46.925 beam score, sat in third with a combined point total of 143.1.
Junior Emily Kerwin, in her first career action on bars, paced the Mountaineers with a 9.6 score and finished fifth overall. Senior Ashley Wilson opened the rotation with a season-high 9.575, and sophomore Nicole Roach placed third on the team with a 9.55.
WVU secured its meet victory in the fourth rotation with an inspired 47.775 beam showing. KSU tallied 47.125 on bars, and Pitt earned 47.45 on floor.
Reigning EAGL beam champion Shelly Purkat led an improved Mountaineer beam rotation with a second-place 9.725 showing. Roach, in only her second career meet on beam, scored 9.7 and tied for third place. Bieski finished in eighth place with a 9.65 showing.
The Mountaineers open their home schedule Sunday, Jan. 24, with a quad-meet against EAGL foes NC State, George Washington and Maryland. Sunday is also Dollar Day, with all tickets and select concessions priced at $1 each.