After posting a season-high score of 194.5 against No. 16 Central Michigan last week, Ball State gymnastics will look to carry momentum into its meet Friday against Northern Illinois on Friday at Irving Gymnasium. The task currently at hand for head coach Nadalie Walsh could be an unfamiliar one – keeping her team hungry.


“We just want to keep our feet planted on the ground, and stay focused,” Walsh said.


This is the second of three straight home meets for the Cardinals. With a win over the Huskies, the Cardinals would move to 2-0 in conference play.


Ball State has been the underdog in every meet this season. This time, the tables are turned. Northern Illinois, despite a 2-0 record, has posted team scores of just 192.175 and 192.775. Significantly lower than the average score of Ball State’s previous opponents - 194.906.


Walsh is careful not to overlook their next opponent. Instead, she maintains the same mentality the team has had all year.


“I’m not going into this meet underestimating Northern Illinois at all,” Walsh said. “I really think it could be anybody’s meet.”


In their last two meets the Cardinals have scored 193.125 and 194.5 as a team, and they don’t plan on slowing down.


“I feel like we’re going to improve each week, still,” Walsh said. “We’re focusing on sticking more landings, and finishing things really sharp and crisp.” 


The team suffered one fall in their most recent match. Senior Emily Wehrle slipped on her beam routine. The fall was not enough to derail the team’s winning effort, but it was enough to keep the team determined to improve as they move forward.


Moving forward seems to be theme for the team at this point.


“We’re excited that we beat Central,” Walsh said. “But it was just one meet, and we have a whole bunch more.”