EAST LANSING, Mich.– Michigan State gymnastics collected its first win of the season in dramatic fashion in picking up three wins on the way to beating Rutgers, Towson and Pittsburgh in a quad meet with a team score of 193.925 on Saturday afternoon. MSU won or shared two individual events while capturing two team event top scores.
Junior Elena Lagoski led the Spartans, placing in the top three in two events, sharing the floor crown with junior Holly Ryan, senior Nicola Deans was co-winner on vault and senior Lisa Burt placed third in the all-around.
The Spartans led at the halfway point of the meet with a 97.125, but slipped to third after three rotations, but logged a 49.100 on floor to regain the lead and win the team crown. MSU finished the day with a 48.700 on vault, a 48.425 on bars, 47.700 on beam and 49.100 on floor, which was the only team score over a 49.000 on the afternoon. The vault, floor and team scores were all the second-best of the season for the Spartans.
“I think the team was disappointed in their beam performance, but we knew we had it in us to put a great floor score together,” head coach Kathie Klages said. “We knew we needed to get the job done and get the W. We really work on the fact that you want to leave the event, no matter what happened good or bad, and then move on to the next event, which we did on floor.”
Towson was second with a 193.800, followed by Big Ten Conference foe Rutgers with a 193.550 and Pittsburgh with a 193.100. The result with Rutgers counts towards MSU’s B1G ledger. With the win, Michigan State evened its overall record at 3-3 and is now 1-2 in B1G action.
The Spartans started the quad meet on vault, where Deans took the crown with a season-high 9.850. Lagoski followed, posting a 9.800 to place third overall. Burt also snagged a season-high on vault, logging a 9.775.
MSU then moved to bars, where freshman Jessica Ling impressed, posting a 9.800. The score was a career-high and ranked her third overall in the meet. Burt earned a 9.775, just edging Lagoski, who received a 9.750.
Beam was the toughest event for the Spartans, but redshirt senior Ashley Noll led the team posting a season-high 9.775 to rank sixth overall. Burt notched a 9.725, just ahead of sophomore Victoria Huehn’s 9.675.
Floor proved to be the best event of the afternoon for the Spartans, where the junior duo of Lagoski and Ryan both posted a 9.850, earning the top spot overall. This was Ryan’s first time officially competing in the event this season, topping her exhibition score versus Iowa by .050 and just missing her career-best mark by .025. Junior Kira Frederick followed close behind, earning a 9.825 to rank her fourth overall. Burt followed with a season-high 9.800 to place sixth overall.
“Even though we were a little rocky on beam, we came back strong on floor,” Lagoski said. “We came out today with the same attitude as last week. We wanted to stay very positive and try to stay hype for each other, and I think that that’s how we came back for our floor routines.”
The Spartans will remain in the friendly confines of Jenison Field House to continue their two-meet homestand when they take on Big Ten opponent Penn State next Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. The event is also being recognized as the Jan Howard Memorial Breast Cancer Awareness Meet and will take place at 2 p.m.