BOWLING GREEN, OHIO – The No. 21-ranked West Virginia University gymnastics team came back from an early deficit and then held on to a three-rotation lead to defeat Bowling Green, 193.475-193.225, this evening, in Anderson Arena, for its first road win of the 2012 season.
The Mountaineers (3-1, 2-0 EAGL) split the meet with the Falcons (0-2, 0-1 MAC), scoring wins on bars (47.85-47.55) and beam (48.1-48.0); BGSU earned the victories on vault (48.675-48.575) and floor (49.0-48.95).
Today’s win pushes WVU’s series advantage to 8-5.
“Traveling is full of distractions, and it can be easy for a team to lose its focus, but I’m proud of this squad because everyone was steady throughout the meet,” says first-year coach Jason Butts. “No one gave up tonight. We faced adversity for the second straight week, but once again all I saw was fight from this team. These student-athletes now know that they can compete on the road the same way they do at the Coliseum.”
Sophomore Hope Sloanhoffer finished first overall with a score of 39.075, her second 39.0-plus mark of the season. BGSU’s Gina Locigno placed second with a 38.65 score, while senior Mountaineer Tina Maloney finished third with a 38.625 score.
The Mountaineers trailed out of the gate, scoring 47.85 on bars, while the Falcons registered 48.675 on vault.
Three gymnasts tallied career or season highs in the first rotation, with Sloanhoffer finishing second overall with a career-best 9.775 score. Senior Nicole Roach, in the lineup’s third position, steadied the Mountaineers for the second straight week and set a season-best score with a 9.75 tally, good enough for third place. Maloney finished fourth overall with a career-best 9.675 score.
WVU overtook BGSU in the second rotation, as a 48.575 vault showing pushed the team’s score to 96.425; the Falcons scored 47.55 on bars for a running tally of 96.225.
Sloanhoffer continued to set the WVU standard through two events, scoring 9.825 on vault for a share of first place; the mark was her third 9.8-plus vault score of the season. Maloney competed her best vault to date and tied for third place with a season-high 9.775 score. Junior Alaska Richardson finished sixth overall, third on the team, with a 9.725 mark.
WVU strengthened its lead in the third rotation, earning 48.95 on floor, its second-best score of the season, and pushing its team tally to 145.375. BGSU went 48.0 on beam and continued to trail with a 144.225 team total.
Competing in her home state, Richardson earned a career-best 9.85 floor score and finished first overall; the Dayton native eared a 9.9 from one judge and has now scored 9.8 or better in two meets this season. Junior Kaylyn Millick and sophomore Makenzie Bristol each earned 9.8, Bristol’s second 9.8 floor score of the season, and finished in a tie for fourth place. Sloanhoffer followed Bristol in the lineup with a 9.775 routine, while junior Chelsea Goldschrafe earned 9.725 points.
The Mountaineers solidified their win with a solid beam rotation, hitting six-for-six and scoring 48.1; BGSU scored 49.0 on floor.
Sloanhoffer anchored the lineup with a 9.7 score, good enough for second place. Sophomore Amanda Carpenter tied for third place with a 9.675 score, while Maloney just missed the podium and finished fifth overall with a 9.6 score.
The Mountaineers return to the WVU Coliseum on Jan. 29 and play host to East Atlantic Gymnastics League foe George Washington and Towson at 1 p.m. Following the meet, the Mountaineers will honor former coach Linda Burdette-Good and her 37-year career.