As it continues to get deeper into Mid-American Conference competition, Ball State gymnastics (9-6, 3-1 MAC) traveled west to take on Northern Illinois (6-9, 2-2 MAC), where they were defeated 195.375-195.200. Both squads entered today's contest coming off Big Ten losses last weekend and Northern Illinois just edged out Ball State on the scoreboard. 

The Cardinals started the meet on bars, an event in which they have seen a steady increase in scores as of late. Sophomore Maddie MacDonald led the team on the event with a third place finish with a score of 9.850. Freshman Vicky Garcia and seniors Jordyn Penny and Jillian Hacker followed in a tie for fifth place, each recording a 9.800.

In the second rotation, sophomore Bri Slonim led the team on the event as she tied for second with a 9.800. Senior Clare Collins and MacDonald followed in fifth place with 9.725. On floor, freshman Tia Kiaku recorded a personal best of 9.900 to take second place in the event. 

In the Cardinals' final rotation on beam, Slonim and Garcia tied for second place with a 9.775. Senior Baylee Bell and Penny followed and also tied for fifth with a 9.750. While there were four Cardinals that placed in the top three in every rotation of the meet, it wasn't enough to walk away with the win as the Huskies won the meet and snapped the Cardinals' undefeated streak in the MAC. 

Although Ball State didn't get the win, it did see slight improvement throughout the meet. The team saw a 0.125-point increase on bars and beam, along with a 0.150-point increase on the floor from the team's last meet. Ball State also saw a 0.375 overall point increase from its last meet against Iowa. 

Ball State will return to Worthen Arena on Sunday March 4 when Eastern Michigan comes to town. 

Contact Jack Williams with comments at jgwilliams@bsu.edu or on Twitter at @JackWilliamsBSU