Mountaineers Take Second EAGL Win of Season

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • January 15, 2012 05:30 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University gymnastics team earned its second East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) victory of the season with a 193.425-191.65 win over Rutgers today, at the WVU Coliseum.

The Mountaineers (2-1, 2-0 EAGL) jumped out to a commanding lead in the first rotation and never relented, defeating the Scarlet Knights (0-2, 0-2 EAGL) on vault, beam and floor and earning a tie on bars.

With the win, WVU remains perfect against RU and pushed its series advantage to 51-0.

“I was thrilled with this team’s focus today,” says coach Jason Butts. “We had a few mistakes on bars, yet the team bounced back, performed to almost perfection and hit 12-for-12 on beam and floor.

“Every athlete on this team is embracing the notion that you never stop fighting. I think they all gained confidence today because this was their first time this season they were faced with adversity, and they fought back. No matter the score, this was a tremendous effort for the second meet of the season.”

WVU earned five individual first-place finishes today, with sophomore Hope Sloanhoffer, the reigning EAGL Gymnast of the Week, accounting for three. Sloanhoffer finished second overall with a 38.825 mark, while senior Tina Maloney scored 38.575 and finished third. RU’s Luisa Leal narrowly edged the duo and finished first overall with a 38.85 score.

WVU grabbed the lead in the first rotation and never looked back, as the Mountaineers tallied a season-best 48.975 on vault to the Scarlet Knights’ 47.175 bars score.

The backend of WVU’s vault lineup set the meet standard, as Sloanhoffer and junior Alaska Richardson each scored 9.875 and finished in first place; the score is a season best for both gymnasts. Additionally, for the second straight week, freshman Dayah Haley opened the rotation with a career-best 9.775 score and finished fourth overall.

The Mountaineers continued to control the meet through two rotations, as they scored 47.175 on bars and pushed their team total to 96.15. RU tallied 48.425 on vault for a 95.6 running score.

Senior Nicole Roach, a three time all-EAGL bars first team honoree, paced the Mountaineers’ rotation with a 9.6 score, good enough for fourth place. Junior Kaylyn Millick finished second on the team with a 9.575 mark.

A 48.4 beam rotation pushed WVU’s team total to 144.55 through three events. RU’s 48.05 floor score put its three-event score at 143.65.

The Mountaineers swept the top three beam finishes. Sloanhoffer anchored the squad’s lineup with a winning 9.775 score, while Millick made her beam season debut and finished second overall with a 9.75 mark. Freshman Beth Deal placed on the event for the second time this season, as the EAGL Rookie of the Week scored 9.725 and finished in third place; the Parkersburg, W.Va., native earned a 9.8 mark from one judge today.

Just like last week, WVU capped off its meet with a strong floor rotation, scoring 48.875. The Scarlet Knights concluded the meet on beam and earned a 48.0 score.

Four Mountaineers snagged the floor podium positions today, with Sloanhoffer and Millick, in her season floor debut, finishing first overall with matching 9.8 scores. Richardson and Maloney tied for third place with 9.775 marks.

After a two week season-opening home stand, the Mountaineers will open their road schedule next weekend at Bowling Green on Saturday, Jan. 21, at 6 p.m., at Anderson Arena.