Michigan State’s gymnastics program opened the 2016 season at No. 18 Arizona on Friday night, and fell on the road to the Wildcats, 195.700-193.775.   Junior Kira Frederick picked up her first event win of her career on floor exercise, Lisa Burt shared a win on the bars, and Elena Lagoski captured her first-ever collegiate All-Around title.

<a href=” http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/msu/sports/w-gym/auto_pdf/2015-16/box_score/stats_20160109aaa.pdf”> Final Results</a>

Arizona swept the first four spots in both vault and beam, but with MSU’s three titles, there were certainly bright spots for MSU.  The Wildcats did not have any athletes compete All-Around, and Lagoski edged Burt by one-tenth of a point, 38.40-38.30.  It was Lagoski’s first-ever collegiate All-Around title.  The junior made her collegiate debut on bars in this opener against the Wildcats, opening the door for her to compete All-Around for the first time in her career.

The Spartans had a pair of career debuts on bars, as freshman Jessica Ling and Lagoski each took their first turn and helped MSU to a 48.725 team score.   Brittany Holmes opened for the Spartans scoring a 9.6, and Lagoski followed with her career debut on the apparatus, scoring an impressive 9.75.  Kira Frederick (9.775) and Ling (9.75) each posted strong routines, and Nicola Deans finished strong after an early fault, posting a 9.175.  Lisa Burt capped the Spartans’ effort on the bars with a team-best 9.85 (taking second overall) to boost MSU to the 48.725 team score.     The Wildcats, who entered the meet ranked No. 17 in the country on bars, tabulated a 48.925 to edge MSU.

The Spartans got a slow start on the vault, Anna Gamelo had her first action of the season as she led off the Spartans by scoring a 9.675, and Burt followed with a 9.65.  The next two vaults were first-time Spartan competitors:  graduate student Haley Sedgwick with a 9.625, and freshman Drew Hendershot a 9.575. Lagoski posted a team-best 9.775, and Deans rebounded from her bars routine by matching Lagoski’s 9.775 to share the team lead. That pushed MSU to a 48.50 score on the apparatus, compared to a 48.975 for the host Wildats.

The Spartans moved to floor for the third rotation, it’s strongest event with a national ranking of No. 16 a year ago.  Holmes led off with a 9.65, and Hendershot’s second performance of the night was a 9.725 after her turn on the vault.  Ashley Noll, who had her 2015 season cut short by injury, returned to the floor after receiving a medical redshirt and compiled a 9.675 in her first routine of 2016.  Burt posted a 9.050, but Frederick followed with a very strong 9.825, making it a hard act to follow for MSU’s anchor, Lagoski. The junior came away with a 9.8 in a strong finish for MSU, which posted a team score of 48.675.  Arizona finished strong on floor as well, edging MSU with a 48.850.   Frederick tied for the event win with Arizona’s Kennady Schneider, and Lagoski tied for third.

Holmes led off on the beam for MSU, posting a 9.575.  Noll posted a strong 9.75 in her second event of the night, and Holly Ryan recorded a 9.6 in the No. 3 spot in her first action of the night.  Lagoski recovered from a fall to record a 9.075, and Frederick had a 9.2 in the No. 5 spot.  Burt, who had faltered on the floor, recovered with a 9.75 (tying Noll’s team-best on the apparatus) to cap MSU’s competition.  The Spartans fell to their hosts by a 48.95-47.875 margin on beam.

The Spartans open the home portion of their schedule next Friday, hosting Big Ten rival Iowa at Jenison Field House at 7 p.m.  The meet will take place simultaneously with MSU wrestling’s meet vs. Purdue,  billed as a “Tumbles and Takedowns” event that will span the floor of Jenison Field House.