Gymnastics dominates Bowling Green, improves to 11-1 overall

Senior all-around gymnast Kailey Miller cheers on a teammate on Feb. 22 in McGuirk Arena.

Winning is all about staying together as a team and focusing in on a goal.

That was the philosophy for the Central Michigan the gymnastics team secured a 195.775-193.050 victory over Bowling Green on Feb. 22 at McGuirk Arena.

The Chippewas (11-1, 4-0 Mid-American Conference) were led by junior Denelle Pedrick and their seniors Gianna Plaksa and Macey Hilliker. 

Plaksa and Hilliker both only competed in one event against the Falcons, but their senior leadership was felt by the whole team and has helped them remain focused.

"Sticking together as a team," Hilliker said. "Being one unit and having each other's backs and just doing what we do every day in the gym practicing."

How it happened

CMU's first rotation gave it the hot start that the team was looking for. Freshman Morgan Tong scored a 9.825 on the vault to start a string of high scores from the Chippewas. 

Interim head coach Christine MacDonald and the rest of the coaching staff have taken notice of Tong's consistency.

"We started off the meet amazing," MacDonald said. "(Tong) has done an amazing job in (the leadoff) spot, in fact, she's probably earning herself up in the lineup." 

Pedrick, sophomore Kennedy Johnson and senior Abbie Zoeller each scored a season-high of 9.900, 9.800 and 9.725, respectively. The Chippewas notched their season high on the vault with a team score of 49.050.

Bowling Green took to the uneven parallel bars for the first rotation where they had a pair of falls. That resulted in scores of 8.750 from junior Lexi Augustine and 8.825 from freshman Katelyn Goldstrom. 

The Falcons highest individual score was 9.550 from junior Jovannah East. BGSU finished the first rotation with a team score of 46.450.

Plaksa led CMU on the bars with a 9.800. Junior Hayley Porter was close behind Plaksa with 9.775. Zoeller notched a 9.750, while Johnson and Pedrick each came away with a 9.700. The Chippewas scored 48.725 as a team.

The Falcons scored a 48.775 on the vault, as their performance was led by East and senior Lauren DeMeno – each scoring 9.800. 

CMU took a 97.775-95.225 lead at the halfway point of the meet.

In the third rotation, the Chippewas hit the balance beam and the Falcons took to the floor exercise. 

CMU notched five scores of 9.700 or better. Pedrick and freshman Sierra DeMarinis led with a 9.850 posting. Hilliker notched a 9.825 in her only event of the meet. Senior Skyler Memmel and Tong rounded out the Chippewa scoring with 9.775 and 9.725, respectively.

CMU scored its season-high score of 49.025 on the beam.

BGSU picked up a 9.875 posting from East on the floor. Senior Kayla Rose followed closely behind with a 9.775. Fellow senior Katie Morsefield posted a 9.750 and sophomore Elena Lawson scored 9.725 as the Falcons posted a team score of 48.775. 

The Chippewas held a commanding 146.800-144.000 lead going into the final rotation. 

In that fourth and final rotation, the Falcons went to the beam while the Chippewas took their turn on the floor.

CMU scored a 48.975 led by a 9.875 posting from Zoeller and a 9.850 score from Pedrick. Demarinis added a 9.825 and sophomore Nora Fettinger scored a 9.775. 

Bowling Green was close to its season-high with a 49.050 posting on the beam. Junior Taylor Worthington led the Falcons with a 9.900 posting. East put up a 9.875 and sophomore Jasmine Jones notched a 9.825. 

Pedrick edged East in the all-around, 39.300-39.100. 

MacDonald said that the depth of this team attributed to the fact that they found success with athletes stepping into a different spot in the lineup. 

"We are right where we need to be mid-season," MacDonald said. "We made great adjustments today and we showed great maturity."

Up next

The Chippewas hit the road to Ball State for their next meet. CMU and the Cardinals square off March 3 at 1 p.m. at Worthen Arena in Muncie, Indiana.