Redbird Gymnasts Win Season Opener vs. Lindenwood
Jan. 11, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - In its first meet of the 2013 season, the Illinois State gymnastics team led from beginning to end on way to a 190.850-187800 victory over Lindenwood, Friday night, inside historic Horton Field House.
Despite a win in the season opener, ISU head coach Bob Conkling was disappointed with his team's performance in the final two events of the meet and hopes they can learn from those mistakes prior to their next meet.
"I don't think we performed to the level we are capable of tonight," Conkling said. "I thought our performance on the bars was great and Steve (Avgerinos) has done a good job preparing our team in that event. I also thought we were pretty good on the vault, but we did not perform well on the beam and we looked like a different team from our first two events and that carried over onto the floor routines. For the first meet, it is what it is and we have to learn from our mistakes and do a better job moving forward. If we can do that, then we will have a great season."
Junior Jenna Bossle led the way for the Redbirds in victory, as she took home first-place honors in the all-around competition with a score of 38.300. She was the top finisher on the vault, bars and floor exercise to come away with her first all-around competition victory in her career at ISU.
"Jenna really deserves that win and is probably our most improved gymnast from last year," Conkling said. "She worked hard this summer to get herself in great shape, got stronger and it's paid off, as she's gotten better in every event. It doesn't surprise me that she won the all-around tonight because of all that hard work she has put in."
Sophomore Sami King, a 2012 NCAA Regional qualifier in the all-around, put up solid scores as well and took second place in the all-around competition with a score of 38.175, which included a first-place finish on the balance beam with a mark of 9.675. Senior Tori Sarantakis rounded out a sweep of the top three in the all-round competition in third place, with a score of 37.900.
ISU took the early advantage on the first event of the meet with a score of 48.350 on the vault. Bossle led the way for the Redbirds in, posting a score of 9.800. King was also solid, recording a score of 9.700 as ISU took a 1.350 point advantage over the Lady Lions with their score of 47.000 on bars. Bossle followed her strong performance on the vault with a career-high score of 9.875 on bars, as ISU extended its lead after the second event. King added a score of 9.750 and Kim Genereux posted a 9.725, as all six Redbirds scored a 9.625 or above.
Lindenwood closed the gap a bit on the third rotation, with a score of 47.050 thanks to a pair of 9.550 scores from Rachel Zabawa and Courtney Heise. The Redbirds struggled on the beam after a pair of falls, but King rallied with a 9.675 in the final routine to keep the lead for the Redbirds heading into the final event of the night. The Redbirds would maintain their lead and secure the win with a score of 97.025 on the floor, led by Bossle's score of 9.725.
The Redbirds return to action Sunday, when they travel upstate to DeKalb, Ill., for a dual meet with Northern Illinois. The meet will begin at 1 p.m., at the Convocation Center on the NIU campus.
GoRedbirds.com: Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.