Junior Baylee Bell performs her routine on the beam during the meet against Eastern Michigan and Illinois State on Jan. 24 in Worthen Arena. Sunday will be the first home meet of the season against No. 16 Northern Illinois. Breanna Daugherty // DN File
PREVIEW: Ball State gymnastics hosts MAC rival Northern Illinois
In just the second week of the season, Ball State gymnastics opens up its Mid-American Conference schedule against No. 16 Northern Illinois.
Northern Illinois (3-0, 0-0 MAC), who finished fifth in the MAC last season with a 9-10 overall record, is now the only nationally ranked school in the conference.
Last season, Ball State was barely edged out of first place (194.900 - 194.775) against Northern Illinois in Dekalb, Illinois, during a tri-meet, which also included Seattle Pacific.
Jan. 15 will also be the first home meet of the season for the Cardinals and one of four in the season, which also includes six road meets.
Ball State (0-2, 0-0 MAC) opened up its 2017 season last weekend during a tri-meet in Columbia, Missouri. Ball State came in third place with a score of 193.625, behind No. 22 Illinois (194.200) and No. 6 Missouri (196.225).
The Huskies had a different result, finishing with a 194.825 during its first home meet of the year. The final score was good enough to push Northern Illinois ahead of Iowa (194.200), Western Michigan (193.250) and Lindenwood (192.075) during the quad-meet.
While Northern Illinois finished first overall, it only led in two individual categories: floor with a 48.975 and bars 48.925, while also scoring 48.200 on the vault and 48.725 on the beam.