Gymnastics: No. 23 WVU Drops First EAGL Meet

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • February 25, 2012 09:05 PM
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DURHAM, N.H. – Four falls on beam did the No. 23 West Virginia University gymnastics team in, as the squad fell at New Hampshire,195.75-194.225, this evening, inside Lundholm Gymnasium.

The loss is the Mountaineers’ (10-4, 5-1 EAGL) first to an East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) opponent this season.

The Wildcats (9-2, 3-1 EAGL) earned team wins in two of the four events, defeating WVU on bars (49.1-48.65) and beam (48.925-47.45). WVU picked up the vault win (49.2-48.8), and the teams tied on floor with matching 48.925 scores.

“I thought we handed in our best road performance of the season through the first three events,” says first-year coach Jason Butts. “The spirit and the fight were there. Unfortunately, the wheels just came off on beam tonight.

“We have to keep our focus on the rest of the season and move on from this meet. We are a great beam team, and we have proven that all season. We’ll get back in the gym this week and fix everything, and we’ll be ready for Denver.”

WVU took the top four all-around finishes, with sophomore Hope Sloanhoffer earning her fifth victory of the season with a 39.175 score. Junior Chelsea Goldschrafe finished second with a career-best 39.05, and classmate Kaylyn Millick placed third with a 38.775 mark. Senior Tina Maloney earned 38.35 and finished in fourth place.

WVU trailed out of the gate, scoring 48.65 on bars to UNH’s 48.8 vault mark; UNH would never relinquish its lead.

Millick paced the team on bars for the fourth straight week, scoring 9.85 and finishing in third place. Sloanhoffer finished second on the team, fifth overall, with a 9.775, while freshman Lia Salzano, a last-second lineup replacement for classmate Dayah Haley, opened the rotation with a career-high 9.75 and finished in seventh place.

The Mountaineers stormed back in the second rotation, scoring a season-best 49.2 on vault and pushing their team total to 97.85. The Wildcats earned 49.1 on bars and continued to lead with a 97.9 running tally.

For the first time this season, all five counting gymnasts scored 9.8 or better on vault, with Maloney leading the way with a winning 9.875 score. Goldschrafe and junior Alaska Richardson sandwiched Maloney’s routine with 9.85s and finished in second place; Goldschrafe’s score matches her career high. Additionally, Sloanhoffer anchored the lineup with a 9.825, good enough for fourth place, while Millick vaulted second and matched a career best with a 9.8.

WVU tallied 48.925 on floor, a season-best road tally, and pushed its team score to 146.775 in the third rotation. UNH earned 48.925 on beam and maintained its advantage with a team total of 146.825.

The Mountaineers hit six-for-six on floor, with Richardson tallying a 9.825, her fifth 9.8-plus score of the season, and finished in second place. Millick preceded Richardson and scored 9.8, good enough for third place. Maloney and sophomore Makenzie Bristol tied for third place on the team, fifth place overall, with 9.775 scores.

WVU ended the evening with a 47.45 beam rotation, while UNH solidified its victory with a 48.925 floor showing.

Sloanhoffer followed two falls and scored 9.85 for a second-place finish; she has scored 9.8 or better in four consecutive beam routines. Goldschrafe competed second in the lineup and tallied 9.775, her second-best mark of the season, for a fourth-place finish.

WVU continues to lead the all-time series, 25-9.

The Mountaineers stay on the road and travel to No. 20 Denver on Saturday, March 3, for a quad meet with No. 17 Missouri and Western Michigan. The meet will begin at 8 p.m. ET.

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