Rhett Umphress

Nicole Allen was recognized for the second time this season by the Mid-American Conference.

The sophomore was named the MAC Specialist of the Week for her career-high 9.875 in winning the vault against Illinois-Chicago on Friday. Her score tied for the fourth-best performance in school history.

Allen has been the Cardinals' top performer this season, picking up seven first-place finishes so far, including four on the vault.

She leads the team with the best vault and floor exercise performances, as well as having the second-best score on the uneven bars. Allen has also been the top scorer for Ball State in nearly half of the events this season.

The MAC previously honored Allen this season as the Gymnast of the Week after Ball State's sole win of the season against Eastern Michigan on Jan. 29. She is the only Cardinals gymnast to receive an individual award in 2011.

Ball State will return to Illinois for its next meet Friday, facing Illinois State, Seattle Pacific and Wisconsin-LaCrosse. The Cardinals lost to the Redbirds at home on Feb. 4.