Home, sweet home: Chippewa gymnastics earns win in home opener


Montgomery, Massachusetts junior Sierra Demarinis competes on the floor during CMU's Feb. 11 dual against Northern Illinois in McGuirk Arena.

CMU's gymnastics team showed poise, personality and passion to earn its first home win of the season. 

The Chippewas battled against visiting Northern Illinois back and forth to take a 196.300-194.800 win in Mid-American Conference action Thursday in McGuirk Arena. 

CMU's 196.300 was the highest of the four duals so far this season. 

Coming into the season, the Chippewas (2-2) ranked tops in the MAC and the Huskies (2-3) sat in the second position. 

Continuing the momentum from their first win last week against Bowling Green, the Chippewas showed a growth in confidence. Even when CMU had mishaps, the rest of the lineup was able to post high scores to help pick up the slack. On the floor alone, three Chippewas had career-highs.

Before the fourth rotation, CMU carried just over a half-point lead on NIU. After keeping the match close for three rotations, the Huskies had two falls on the beam and were forced to take one of the two fall scores. On the other side, the Chippewas posted their highest event score of the meet in that final rotation.

Impact moments

The Chippewas had a strong start through the first rotation posting season-high 49.125 on the vault but the Huskies were not far behind with a 49.000 on bars. CMU newcomers had a strong showing as freshman Katie Kowalski posted a season-high 9.900 and freshman Elizabeth Cesarone notched a season-high 9.850. NIU sophomore Natalie Hamp had a career-high 9.875 on the bars. 

On to the second rotation, the high level of competition continued. CMU put up another solid bar performance, posting a 48.925 while NIU scored a 48.625 on the vault. The Chippewas showed consistency throughout the whole lineup while CMU sophomore Savana Kotas posted a career-best 9.850. 

Northern Illinois senior Zoie Schroeder also had a career-high 9.875 on the vault.

After a fall on the first routine on the beam, the Chippewas showed great poise and focus to finish the third rotation strong scoring a 48.925. The Huskies weren’t far behind posting a 48.775 on the floor. CMU junior Morgan Tong once again impressed the judges having the team high as sophomore Ashley Veglucci had a career-high 9.850. 

To cap it off, CMU dominated the fourth rotation on the floor, posting a season-high 49.275. Cheers from the Chippewas flooded the arena as both sophomore Taylor Pitchell and junior Sierra DeMarinis each posted career-highs of 9.950. 

Chippewas leaders

Kowalski had the meet high 9.900 on vault.

Kotas had the team high 9.850 on bars.

Tong had the team high 9.875 on beam.

Pitchell and DeMarinis tied for the meet high 9.950 on the floor. DeMarinis dominated the all-around again with a 39.225.

Huskies leaders

Schroeder had a team high 9.875 on vault.

Hemp had the game high 9.875 on bars.

Senior Mia Lord had the game high 9.900 on beam.

Junior Tara Kofmehl had the team high 9.875 on the floor and posted a solid 39.075 for the all-around.

Up next

CMU is on the road to Kent State at 1 p.m. on Feb. 21 in the Convocation Center in Kent, Ohio. The Golden Flashes come into next week’s meet 3-3 on the season.