Ball State gymnastics is ready to give one final push at MAC Championships
Ball State gymnastics is looking for redemption this weekend at the Mid-American Conference Championships at Central Michigan.
After closing out regular season competition with a loss to Central Michigan to cap off a five-meet losing streak, Ball State (9-9, 3-4) is planning to turn things around. In order to do this, head coach Joanna Saleem said her team needs to keep its mental focus in a big meet like this.
“We need to keep to continue to do the gymnastics we know how to do,” Saleem said. “If they stay in the mindset of treating this as ‘just another meet’ and have a good time, we will be successful.”
Although coming off a loss last weekend, there were still a handful of positives to be taken away. The Cardinals saw major improvement on bars and a slight increase on vault. The team also registered a top-five high score of the season.
“The team did a great job in facing adversity,” Saleem said. “When things are going wrong, they were able to go out and correct their performance. It was good to know that their teammates had their back. It was a valuable lesson they saw in action going into the championships.”
However, the team has been haunted by a pair of meets that resulted in a dropping of their overall score by as high as three points. These drops have caused the team to continually climb back to who it was throughout the majority of the season.
As for regional contention, the Road to Nationals rankings has Ball State sitting nine spots outside of a qualification spot at No. 42, and three spots outside of being a bubble team. The rankings also have Ball State sitting in the “Mathematically eliminated” category, but the team believes otherwise.
“The biggest thing is if we score better, we move up,” Saleem said. “We want to go out and have a solid performance. In the final meet of the season, we are going to go out, have a fun meet and cap off the end of the season with some positive thoughts.”
In conference competition, the Cardinals currently sit in seventh place, with one meet over the three squads tied for sixth place. Taking the floor this weekend, the team believes that it has an advantage in the field of togetherness.
“I feel like we have great team chemistry compared to the rest of the teams,” sophomore Bri Slonim said. “We are all just one big family.”
As for Ball State’s performance in the championships, trusting the process will help the team finish high in the final rankings.
“We just need to keep our energy up and stay consistent,” Slonim said. “We need to trust our training and just do our gymnastics.”
The Cardinals will take the floor 2 p.m. Saturday, March 24 in Mount Pleasant.