Gymnastics: WVU Falls Short at Arkansas


By Shannon McNamara for WVUsports.com
March 04, 2011 10:59 PM
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The West Virginia gymnastics team hit 24-for-24 routines yet fell short at No. 12 Arkansas, losing 196.525-194.925, tonight, in Barnhill Arena in front of 2,019 fans.

Tonight’s team total snaps WVU’s three-meet streak of earning 195.0-plus scores.

The Mountaineers (9-6, 6-1 EAGL) were swept by the Razorbacks (7-3, 5-1 SEC) on all four events, losing vault (49.075-48.925), bars (49.175-48.525), beam (49.075-48.625) and floor (49.2-48.825).

“Despite the loss, I was very pleased with tonight’s effort,” says coach Linda Burdette-Good. “We hit all 24 of our routines, and each of our four exhibitions, and you can’t ask for more than that. I saw a lot of individual improvement, and I think we are heading in the right direction. Next week’s home finale is shaping up to be a great meet.”

Senior Amy Bieski finished fourth overall with 39.05 points, her sixth 39.0-plus score of the season. With tonight’s score, Bieski’s career-point total now stands at 1,862.65. She passed All-American Kristen Macrie (1,852.025, 1999-02) and ranks No. 4 on the all-time WVU career points list.

WVU fell behind early, scoring 48.525 on bars while the Razorbacks tallied 49.075 on vault.

Bieski paced the squad in the first rotation and finished fifth overall with a 9.775 score. Sophomore Kaylyn Millick and senior Emily Kerwin sandwiched Bieski with matching 9.7 scores, while senior Faye Meaden anchored the rotation and matched a season high with her own 9.7.

Despite scoring a strong 48.95 on vault, the Mountaineers fell further behind the Razorbacks in the second rotation, as Arkansas scored 49.175 on bars and pushed their lead to 98.25-97.475.

Freshman Hope Sloanhoffer, ranked No. 40 nationally, anchored the Mountaineers’ lineup with a first place, 9.85 score. Four teammates preceded Sloanhoffer with 9.775 scores: sophomores Alaska Richardson and Chelsea Goldschrafe, Bieski and junior Tina Maloney.

WVU fell behind by more than one point in the third rotation, 147.325-146.3. The Mountaineers hit all six of their floor routines and scored a solid 48.825, while the Razorbacks earned 49.075 on beam.

A pair of freshmen did the heavy lifting for the Mountaineers on floor, as Makenzie Bristol and Sloanhoffer each earned 9.8 to pace the squad and finish third overall; the score matched Bristol’s career best, set on Feb. 26. Millick and Maloney each earned 9.75.

The Mountaineers closed the meet with their best beam rotation since scoring 49.05 in their season opener, earning 48.525 points on the apparatus. The Razorbacks closed the meet on floor and earned 49.2 points.

Bieski paced WVU with a fourth place, 9.775 score. Sloanhoffer and sophomore Arlene Hathaway finished second on the team with 9.725, while Millick and Goldschrafe scored 9.7.

With tonight’s loss, the team’s sixth to a ranked opponent this year, WVU drops to 4-2 in the all-time series with Arkansas.

The Mountaineers close out their regular season and play host to No. 11 Penn State on Saturday, March 12, at 7 p.m., at the WVU Coliseum. The meet will be the final home dual contest for six WVU seniors – Bieski, Naja Johnson, Stephanie Keaton, Kerwin, Meaden and Alysha Pretzello.



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