The Ball State gymnastics team defeated Northern Illinois 192.475 to 192.075 on their way to a 2-0 conference record Friday night. The victory, while sweet on paper, is being bitterly overshadowed by the team’s underachievement.

With their second win in the Middle American Conference, the team matches their 2011-12 season total. For a program that has made immense progress in one off-season, the Ball State gymnastics team is surprisingly under joyous about their most recent victory.  Coach Nadalie
Walsh believes that her team did not compete to their full potential.

“It’s really good to get a win today, but it’s not the way we wanted to get a win,” Walsh said.

The Cardinals made several mistakes that, as of late, have been uncharacteristic.

Ball State’s team score of 47.675 on the beam was their lowest since posting a 46.250 in their first meet of the season. The team put up scores of 48.075 in each of their two most recent meets.   
“I really wanted them to go out there and just make their routines,” Walsh said.

 The team was unable to do that. They were up against something bigger than themselves – pressure. Pressure to repeat their inspired performance of last week. Pressure to be the best team in the gym. Moving forward, the team hopes to push that pressure to the side.

“They put a little bit of pressure on themselves” Walsh said, “but we’ll take care of that in the gym.” Walsh continued, saying that her team could not “be afraid to be hungry.”

Hungry or not, her team was able to win a second-straight meet.

 “It’s like a win-loss today,” Walsh said.

 The Cardinals now seek a win-win in their next event, a tri-meet with Centenary College and Penn on Friday at 7 p.m. For the third consecutive week Ball State will compete at home, in Irving Gym.