No. 24 CMU gymnastics suffers first MAC loss


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Junior all-around Abbie Rose Zoeller performs her beam routine on Feb. 2 at McGuirk Arena.

Central Michigan gymnastics finished last in a three-team meet Sunday against Ohio State and Bowling Green. 

The Chippewas faced off in the Pink Meet for Breast Cancer Awareness. CMU finished the afternoon with a score of 195.375, just shy of Bowling Green’s 195.400 score. The Buckeyes finished first with a 196.125 score.

It was an unexpected result for the Chippewas, said head coach Jerry Reighard.

“In my estimation, (it was) not excusable,” he said. “We didn’t compete the way we practice. You can’t go to a competition, prepping all week and not see the same players you saw during practice.”

The loss puts the Chippewas at a 6-3 record. It was the first loss of Mid-American Conference play. 

CMU set the tone when three Chippewas set season-highs on the bars in the opening round, contributing to a season-high score of 49.25.

Senior Bryttany Kaplan and sophomore Hayley Porter scored a 9.900, and junior Kailey Miller scored a 9.850.

“We took control of everything,” Reighard said. “After that, we didn’t perform up to what could have happened, or what should have happened.”

The Chippewas lost focus during the transition between the beam and the second rotation, Reighard said.

“We fell twice on the beam and caused what would’ve been 9.8 performances to drop to 9.1s,” Reighard said. “It was defeating to have that happen.”

The Chippewas dropped their .375-point lead and the Buckeyes were on top 97.775-97.675-97.5.

Both Kaplan and senior Katy Clements posted a season-high in the third rotation on the floor — 9.8 for Kaplan and 9.95 for Clements — but OSU scored a 49.025 in their third rotation at the vault.

Going into the final rotation, CMU and OSU were close in contention for first, with the Buckeyes at 146.8 and the Chippewas at 146.625. BGSU held on to third with 146.3.

OSU capitalized with a 49.325 at bars and BGSU finished the final rotation with a 49.1 on the floor.

“We weren’t 100 percent ready when we raised our hand today,” Reighard said. “In gymnastics, you get one chance to perform and the pressure is on. We need to make sure mistakes like these don’t show up again.”

In these moments, it’s more important than ever to rally, said senior Courtney Campbell.

“We have to have each other’s backs when times like these happen,” she said. “We need to be able to come to practice with a fight to prove to ourselves and prove to the rest of the conference that we are the team we think we are. We can’t back down in the face of adversity.”

CMU will continue the season at 10 p.m. Friday, March 2 against the University of California-Berkley.

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