Gymnastics struggles in "frustrating" loss to Northern Illinois

Kylie Fagan, senior, prepares to pull her herself up on the parallel bars during the gymnastics team's practice in Rose Center on Tuesday, February 4, 2015.

The Central Michigan University gymnastics team fell to Northern Illinois University 194.025-193.925 at McGuirk Arena on Friday night. It was the first Mid-American Conference loss of the season for CMU.

“It was a difficult pill to swallow,” said Head Coach Jerry Reighard. “This is the top of (Northern Illinois) game. I knew that they were capable of scoring 194. In no way shape or form would I predict that we would have two events with two falls ended up counting. That’s the story. You can’t do Division I gymnastics and count falls and expect to be conference champions.”

The Chippewas started off strong, as they posted a season-high 49.025 on the beams. However, things derailed for the women when CMU hit the bars.

The Chippewas’ only highlight was a 9.925 scored by Fagan. However, the Chippewas managed a 48.325 in the event, compared to NIU’s 48.600.

Fagan was proud of her individual performance, but was disappointed in CMU's overall team performance.

“The team is really what matters," Fagan said. "It’s not an individual sport. I was able to do my job but it’s still kind of disappointing because we couldn't take it away.”

CMU was able to manage a victory on the floor, beating the Huskies 49.125-48.825 in that category. Junior Kirsten Petzold finished with a high of 9.875. 

“It’s almost like people are scared to fail,” Petzold said. “You have to be confident going in and knowing everything you’ve done in practice will come out and show during the meet.”

The CMU women know they still have a shot to win the MAC championship, but Reighard is focused on looking for a way to limit falls and correct mistakes.

“It’s very frustrating and really difficult to understand why this is occurring,” Reighard said. “I don’t have an answer and I’m not even going to try to predict an answer. We do it all week. We can’t do any more with pressure or with competitions in our practice then we are already doing.


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Evan Sasiela is the University Editor at Central Michigan Life and a senior at Central Michigan ...

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