Facing its tightest competition of the season, Ball State gymnastics (9-5, 3-0 MAC) traveled to Iowa City to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes (4-5, 3-2 Big 10). The two squads entered the meet only separated by three spots in the rankings as the Hawkeyes ranked at No. 38 and the Cardinals No. 42.

The Cardinals started out on bars, an event that has had its ups and downs this season. Senior Jordyn Penny continued to stride on the bars as she finished in second place with a score of 9.825. Junior Kaitlyn Menzione and sophomore Maddie Macdonald followed, tying for third with a score of 9.775. The team saw a 0.175-point improvement on the its strongest event of the night.

In the second rotation on vault, the Cardinals were looking for redemption from last weekend after taking a 0.550-point drop from their previous performance in Denver. Iowa’s talent on vault was too much as it took four of the top five placings. Sophomore Bri Slonim was the lone Cardinal to take a top spot as she tied for second with a score of 9.825. The Cardinals would see a 0.075-point improvement from last weekend.

Moving into the third rotation on floor, the Cardinals struggled a bit, seeing a 0.275-point drop from last weekend. Freshman Tia Kiaku continued to find success on the floor tonight as she tied for second place with a score of 9.825.

In the final rotation on beam, senior Baylee Bell led the way and tied for second with a score of 9.775. Penny and Slonim followed, tying for fifth with a score of 9.750.

While the Cardinals saw major improvements on bars and vault, the performance of the Hawkeyes and a major deduction on floor held the Cardinals back as they dropped the meet, 195.775-194.825.

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