Cardinals improve record to 2-0 in 6.45 point win over Illinois State.

Ball State Gymnastics remains perfect.

The Cardinals improved their record to 2-0 on the season with a 194.425-187.975 win over Illinois State. Despite the large margin of victory, head coach Joanna Saleem focused more on team improvement than the final score.

“The outcomes are definitely awesome, as we want to win, but our focus is more on what specifically we can improve to make that outcome happen,” Saleem said. “Coming out and being more competitive and competing with a little more confidence is something that we talked about this past week in the gym, which we saw today from the team.”

The Cardinals started the meet at the vault, where senior Arden Hudson and freshman Suki Pfister both scored a 9.825, tying a meet high-score. Their performance from the team resulted in a 48.875-46.350 lead for the Cardinals following the first rotation.

Ball State then moved to the bars for its second rotation. The Cardinals delivered a strong performance in the event, with two 9.825 point sets from sophomore Megan Teter and sophomore Grace Evans, tying for the meet-high. The Cardinals extended their lead to 3.65 as they moved to the beam.

The beam was again the lowest scoring event for the Cardinals. Despite this, they still outscored Illinois State in the event, led by senior Arden Hudson’s 9.825 point performance, which ended as the meet-high score for the beam.

“I think we have a few things that we will play with this week in the gym before we head out this next weekend,” Saleem said. “We need to come out and do balance beam the way we have been practicing in the gym.”

The Cardinals left the third rotation with a comfortable 4.075 point lead. They finished the meet on the floor, with their strongest performance of the day. Senior Claudia Goyco, 2020 Mid-American Conference Specialist of the Year and 1st Team All-MAC Selection, made her season debut and scored a meet-high 9.850 on the floor, leading the Cardinals to a 49.050 point showing in the event. 

The floor is the team’s highest scoring event in both meets so far this season and has been key in Ball State's success so far.

“The whole goal is to start strong and to finish stronger,” coach Saleem said. “For this team to stay focused and perform on the floor the way we have been performing in the gym is something I am very proud of.”

Senior Arden Hudson and freshman Victoria Henry have finished both meets this season as the top two scorers for the Cardinals. Henry finished first in the meet against Central Michigan, while Hudson finished first against Illinois State.

“Consistency is key,” Saleem said. “Knowing that they (Hudson and Henry) are pretty steady is something that we rely on, and are super excited to see their success.” 

The Cardinals ended with a 6.45 point win over Illinois State, and had the high score at each of the four events.

Ball State starts its two-meet road trip next Saturday with a matchup against both Eastern and Western Michigan in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Contact Connor Granlund with comments at crgranlund@bsu.edu or on Twitter @connorgranlund.

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