Rhett Umphress

The Ball State gymnastics team will open its 2010-11 season tonight with an exhibition meet against Kentucky.

Coach Nadalie Walsh said she wants the exhibition to be another step in the development of the team toward the start of the regular season in January.

"I just want it to be another day of gymnastics," Walsh said.

The meet begins at 7 p.m. on the basketball courts of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

This is the second-straight year Ball State and Kentucky have competed in an exhibition meet before the season.

Ball State is led by junior Brittney Emmons and sophomore Tiffany Brodbeck, who both competing in the NCAA regionals in April.

The Cardinals have added eight freshman and junior transfer MaryAnn Oehlerking, who came to Ball State from Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Kentucky's top gymnast is junior Whitney Rose, who competed in the NCAA championships on vault last season.

In the lead up to the meet, Walsh said Ball State has been making steady improvements and that several gymnasts were developing their routines well. The rest of the team is about "three-quarters of the way there," Walsh said.

Friday's exhibition will mirror the majority of the regular-season schedule, which has eight of 11 meets on Friday. Last season, the Cardinals typically competed on Sunday.

Walsh said the Friday meets are a return to a more traditional Ball State schedule as the team is now holding all of its home competitions in the new Recreation Center.