Freshman Tia Kiaku high fives her teammates after completing her floor routine during the Red vs. White meet on Dec. 4 in John E. Worthen Arena. Terence K. Lightning Jr., DN
Ball State gymnastics sees 3rd-highest finish of season in loss to Western Michigan
Coming off a less than average performance against Eastern Michigan last weekend, Ball State gymnastics (9-8, 3-3 MAC) looked to bounce back against Western Michigan (5-6, 2-3 MAC) in Kalamazoo. The Cardinals were looking to gain more momentum heading toward the Mid-American Conference championships in two weeks.
The Cardinals started the meet on bars, an event in which they have seen a lot of struggles lately as they posted their second lowest score on the event last weekend. Senior Jordyn Penny led the Cardinals with a fourth-place score of 9.800. Senior Jillian Hacker followed in sixth with a score of 9.775. The Cardinals saw a major improvement on bars, going up 1.500 points from last weekend.
In the second rotation on vault, sophomore Bri Slonim led the Cardinals with a second-place finish of 9.825. Freshman Arden Hudson broke the top three as well, tying for third place with a score of 9.800. Ball State finished with a combined score of 48.875 on vault.
In the third rotation, the Cardinals looked to improve from last weekend once again as they hit a season-low score of 47.825 on the event. They did just that as Freshman Tia Kiaku tied her career-high on floor with a score of 9.900 and a second-place finish. Junior Kaitlyn Menzione followed as she tied for third with a score of 9.800. The Cardinals saw a 1.150-point improvement on floor from last weekend.
In the final event, on beam, Ball State was once again led by senior Baylee Bell and Penny. Both Bell and Penny tied for second with a score of 9.825. Cardinals saw another major improvement on beam, improving by 0.875 points from last weekend.
While the Cardinals saw major improvements on three of four events, the Broncos edged them out, 196.075-195.400. Ball State's finish today was its third-highest finish of the season and its highest finish since early February vs. Bowling Green.
Ball State will finish its regular season against MAC leader Central Michigan before returning to Mount Pleasant for the MAC Championship.