Coming off a win against Central Michigan, the Ball State gymnastics team (4-6, 2-0) looks to stay undefeated in the Mid-American Conference as they face Bowling Green. The Cardinals head into a conference-heavy schedule allowing them to survey the competition. Bowling Green will also be the site for this season’s MAC Championship.
“We’re going to be able to see the same teams we’re going to be competing against at MAC Championships,” head coach Joanna Saleem said. “We’re looking forward to having a little bit of that practice before the actual competition at the MAC Championship.”
After facing off against eight non-conference opponents this season, four of which are ranked in the top 25, the team believes that experience will help it throughout conference competition.
“You can use any competition to be able to prepare you if you’re taking the right things out of it,” Saleem said. “We are now meeting teams we’re used to seeing. They understand if they go out and do their gymnastics, they can hang with anybody.”
Last meet saw a lot of highlights throughout the entire team. Four Cardinals claimed career highs. Senior Shelby Arms was one of the four gymnasts with a career high scoring 9.825 on the vault event.
“This still motivates me to work hard in the gym and what I do in practice to translate to my performance,” Arms said. “Even though it was a career high, I still saw mistakes in my performance, so I’m definitely trying to make sure I fix those mistakes so I can get that score higher.”
As a collective last meet, the Cardinals scored a season high of 195.425 overall. While this score stands out among the others, the team standards have not gone up.
“The standards are about the same, but the team really reached that standard on Sunday in all four events,” Saleem said. “They know they can do better, but to be able to go out and perform the way we do in the gym, that baseline is really important to their confidence.”
As the team looks to staying on the winning side of meets and heads into MAC competition territory, the team's focus has not changed since day one.
“From last year, being second at MAC, we had discussed on the first day of practice we weren't going to be 'almost' again,” Arms said. “Since day one, we have has the same mentality to go out there and to compete hard against anyone we go against.”
The meet begins at 4 p.m. Saturday at Bowling Green.