Mountaineers Score Season High in Loss

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • January 25, 2013 09:10 PM
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RALEIGH, N.C. – The West Virginia University gymnastics team earned a season-high score but fell short at No. 24 NC State, losing 195.2-195.15, tonight, inside Reynolds Coliseum.

The Mountaineers (2-3) overcame an early three-tenths deficit and lead 146.3-146.275 going into the fourth rotation, but the Wolfpack’s (1-2-1, 0-1-1 EAGL) 48.925 floor score overshadowed WVU’s 48.85 beam mark and gave the home team the win.

“We needed to break through that 195-point wall tonight, and we did,” says second-year coach Jason Butts. “This is a step in the right direction for us. The team was challenged to earn that score tonight and to fight for every tenth, and they certainly did.”

WVU bounced back tonight after a rough showing at Utah last week, scoring season-highs on bars (48.6) and beam (48.85). The squad also tallied 48.875 on floor and 48.825 on vault.

“I was really proud of those lineups,” continues Butts. “They didn’t let last week’s results carry over into tonight. They all came in with confidence, and after counting four falls last week, we didn’t count one tonight. I’m proud of the fight this team is showing this early in the year.”

Tonight’s loss drops the Mountaineers to 1-3 against ranked teams this season. WVU continues to lead the all-time series against NCSU, 24-14.

Junior Hope Sloanhoffer finished second overall with a 39.0 showing, her first 39.0-plus of the season. NCSU’s Diahanna Ham finished first with a 39.125 mark, while the Wolfpack’s Stephanie Ouellette placed third with a 38.975 score.

After a low-scoring showing at Utah last Saturday, the Mountaineers opened the meet strong tonight on bars, hitting six-for-six routines and scoring a season-best 48.6. The Wolfpack took the early lead, scoring 48.9 on vault.

Senior Kaylyn Millick and junior Erica Smith paced the team and finished first overall with season-best 9.775 scores. Sophomore Dayah Haley opened the lineup with a season-best 9.7, while junior Bethany Yurko, in her first career appearance, anchored the unit and scored 9.675.

The Mountaineers narrowed their deficit in the second rotation, scoring 48.825 on vault and pushing their two-event score to 97.425. NCSU earned a meet-best 48.7 on bars for a running total of 97.6.

Freshman Jaida Lawrence was the highlight of another strong Mountaineer vault rotation, as the Rocky Hill, Conn., native won the event with a career-best 9.875. Senior Alaska Richardson anchored the lineup with a third place, 9.8 vault, while Sloanhoffer preceded Lawrence with a 9.775 showing.

WVU began its push for the win in the third rotation on floor, as the team used five season-best scores for a 48.875 total, giving the Mountaineers a 146.3 total. NCSU earned 48.675 on beam for a 146.275 total.

Millick finished second overall and paced the team with a season-best 9.825 mark, while Sloanhoffer scored 9.8. Freshman Melissa Idell opened the lineup and matched her career high with a 9.775, and senior Chelsea Goldschrafe followed with a season-best 9.75. Additionally, Haley earned a career-best 9.725 in her season debut.

The Mountaineers made a strong run to the finish, earning a season-high 48.85 on beam; four gymnasts earned career- or season-best scores. NCSU’s home crowd cheered the Wolfpack to a 48.925 floor score and the win.

Millick, following a fall, won beam with a season-best 9.825. Junior Amanda Carpenter matched her career best and finished second with a 9.8, while Smith opened the lineup and finished third with a career-best 9.775. Also of note, Sloanhoffer tallied a season-high 9.75.

The Mountaineers open their 2013 home slate and host a Big 12 opponent for the first time next Friday, Feb. 1, at the WVU Coliseum against No. 2 Oklahoma, Western Michigan and William and & Mary. The meet is WVU’s first against a Big 12 opponent.