A season-high beam performance was not enough for Ball State Gymnastics to claim a senior-night victory against Central Michigan Sunday. The Chippewas took the meet, 196.175- 195.625.
“It was a great senior day that they were able to come out and have a really solid meet,” head coach Joanna Saleem said. “We still have some stuff in the tank that we can put out their in the next few meets.”
Central Michigan got off to an early start by jumping to a 49.125- 48.925 lead after the first rotation. Freshman Stefanie Schweikert led the Cardinals on the vault with a score of 9.850. As a team, Ball State held the top three overall positions on vault. Following Schweikert, who finished in first, graduate student Jordyn Penny and freshman Marissa Nychyk both finished with a score of 9.800.
The Chippewas controlled the bars by seizing four top individual placements. Sophomore Arden Hudson’s 9.775 was the only Ball State score to beat any performance by Central Michigan.
Despite struggling with the beam all season, the Cardinals put up a score of 48.925. This was the highest beam score of the season for the team. Leading the Cardinals in the event were junior Rachel Benoit and Penny, who both scored a 9.850. This score was also a career best for Benoit.
“We had to get [the beam scores] from the practice facility out onto the competition floor,” Saleem said. “I love to watch them get out there and perform the way they are every day in practice.”
Four other Cardinals contributed to the beam score. Freshman Lauren Volpe earned a score of 9.775. Hudson, senior Kaitlyn Menzione and freshman Sandra Elsadek scored a 9.700.
The highest scoring rotation of the afternoon came in the final event of the floor exercise. The Cardinals threw up a 49.175 team score led by Menzione with a 9.900 and senior Sydney Finke with a 9.850.
Sunday’s outing was the final time Menzione, Finke and Penny competed at Worthen Arena for the Cardinals. Although competing for the last time in Muncie, Finke made sure to keep her emotions in check.
“I love competing in this arena, so it was a big deal that this was the last time,” Finke said. “You have a job to do when you step in the arena, and once that job was done, I was allowed to have the emotions that I was feeling.”