Ball State gymnastics returned home Jan. 29 to take on No. 6 Kentucky.
The Cardinals couldn't quite pull off their third upset in a row, falling to the Wildcats 195.300-194.025. Both teams were coming off wins against ranked opponents — Ball State upset No. 24 NC State in their last meet and Kentucky recently took down No. 16 Auburn.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Menzione stole the show with a career-best score of 9.900 on the floor, which was enough to take first place. As a whole, the Cardinals set a season high score of 49.100 on the floor. Sophomore Sydney Finke and senior Kayla Beckler tied for second with a score of 9.825.
“Floor is definitely a strong event,” head coach Joanna Saleem said. “At this point in the season, when you’re hitting season high scores, you want to keep on building on that. It’s nice to be able to go back into the gym and focus on other events that weren’t as strong as the floor event.”
Other highlights of the night included a first-place finish by Beckler on the uneven bars and a second-place finish by junior Baylee Bell on the balance beam. Bell saw a 0.2-point improvement on her beam performance since the last meet.
“’I’ve just been focusing the little details each practice and not settling for a bigger mistake than I should,” Bell said. “I think doing more repetitions in the gym has really helped me.”
Ball State will travel to Washington, D.C. on Feb. 5 to take on No. 18 George Washington and New Hampshire in their third tri-meet of the season. The meet is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.