Redbird Gymnasts Fall To Ball State in Season Opener
Jan. 4, 2014
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State junior gymnast Samantha King scored a 39.000 in the all-around for the Redbirds, but a comeback in the final two rotations by Ball State lifted the Cardinals past the Redbirds by a score of 189.000-188.950 inside Horton Field House Saturday in the season opener for both teams.
"I'm actually pleased with a lot of things that happened tonight," ISU head coach Bob Conkling said. "We watered down some of our floor and vault routines because the girls are a little bit sore and tired. I wish they would have done better, especially on beam and floor, but I was happy with the performance on bars overall and of the performances from Kim Caron and Jenna Bossle competing in the all-around for the first time.
King, the 2013 Midwest Independent Conference champion in the all-around, started off the season with a victory in the all-around against BSU, thanks to strong performances on the beam and floor exercise. Conkling was impressed with King's first effort to start the season.
"Sami did fantastic winning the all-around," Conkling stated. "A score of 39.000 is a good all-around score for her first meet out and she was 4-for-4 hitting every event. She looks great right now."
Illinois State took an early lead after the first rotation, as the Redbirds tallied a combined score of 47.300 on the vault. King led the way with a 9.675, followed by senior Caron with a 9.475. Ball State struggled on its first event on the uneven bars, as three gymnasts fell on the way to a team score of 46.125.
A solid routine on the uneven bars by the Redbirds in the second rotation widened their lead to 95.600-94.225 after two events. Senior Bossle led the way with a 9.750, with King right behind her with a 9.725. Ball State bounced back from a tough first rotation with a solid score of 48.100 on its round of the vault, thanks to a 9.725 by Erin Patchey.
Ball State took advantage of a tough beam rotation from Illinois State and took a 142.475-142.075 lead after the third rotation. Ball State scored a 48.250 on its floor routine, while the Redbirds posted a 46.475 on the beam. King was solid for her third event in a row with a 9.750 and sophomore Sarah Fisher posted a 9.575, but none of the other ISU competitors scored higher than a 9.175.
The Redbirds cut into that deficit in the final rotation on the floor, but came up just short. ISU scored a 46.875 on the floor exercise, led by a 9.850 from King and a 9.750 from Fisher, but Ball State's 48.250 team score on the beam was enough for the Cardinals to pull out the victory.
The Redbirds return to action Friday, Jan. 10, in Ames, Iowa, when they take on the Iowa State Cyclones at 6:30 p.m.
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