MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 13 West Virginia gymnastics team used a strong floor rotation to overcome a late deficit and defeat Michigan State, 194.0-192.575, this evening in the first-ever “Beauty and the Beast” meet at the WVU Coliseum.
The Mountaineers (2-0) scored victories on three apparatuses, defeating the Spartans (0-4, 0-2 Big Ten) 48.325-48.1 on vault, 48.125-47.2 on beam and 48.8-48.45 on floor. MSU earned the 48.825-48.75 bars win.
A record-setting 3,206 crowd watched the two squads compete alongside WVU and MSU’s wrestling teams. The turnout is the third largest crowd to ever attend a home WVU gymnastics meet and the largest crowd to attend a wrestling match.
The Mountaineer wrestlers fell to the Spartans, 21-8.
MSU’s Shanthi Teike finished first overall with 38.725 points, while the one-two punch of sophomore Kaylyn Millick and senior Amy Bieski placed second and third, respectively, with scores of 38.5 and 37.75.
Three floor scores of 9.8 or better enabled the Mountaineers to overtake the Spartans and solidify their victory, the team’s second straight. Freshman Hope Sloanhoffer and Bieski, competing in lineup spots No. 5 and No. 6, respectively, finished first overall with 9.825 marks, while junior Tina Maloney preceded the duo and finished in third place with 9.8 points.
The Spartans jumped out early, tallying 48.825 on bars to the Mountaineers’ 48.325 vault mark.
Millick anchored the lineup with a first-place 9.8 vault; the mark trumps the Washington, Pa., native’s previous career high of 9.775. Sloanhoffer, ranked No. 1 in the nation, finished second overall with a 9.775 score. MSU’s Nicole Argiros placed third with a mark of 9.7
The Mountaineers used a 48.75 bars rotation to overtake the Spartans, 97.075-96.925. MSU fell behind via a 48.1 vault tally.
Bieski and junior Nicole Roach powered WVU toward the lead with matching 9.8 scores and finished third overall. The Spartans’ Jackie Berg, ranked seventh in the nation, won the event with a 9.875 score, while teammate Daneen Haba finished second with 9.85 points.
The back-and-forth game continued in the third rotation, with the Spartans, benefitting from a 48.45 floor score, wrestled the lead away from the Mountaineers, 145.375-145.2. WVU tallied 48.125 on beam.
Despite falling behind in the rotation, WVU’s lineup competed strong and saw four gymnasts place in the top four. Sloanhoffer won beam with a 9.875 mark, while sophomore Chelsea Goldschrafe opened the lineup and finished third overall with 9.7 points. Additionally, Roach and Maloney placed fourth with 9.65 scores. Teike finished second overall and scored 9.75.
The Spartans concluded the meet with a 47.2 beam score.
Tonight’s win, the Mountaineers’ first over the Spartans since 2007, gives WVU the slight series edge at 11-10-1.
Next up for the Mountaineers is their second road trip of the season, as they compete at No. 6 Georgia on Monday, Jan. 17, at 2 p.m.