EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State gymnastics had successful Spartan debuts from freshmen Ashley Hofelich and Alaina Raybon, as they each won an event in MSU’s season-opening dual meet with North Carolina State Saturday afternoon at Jenison Field House.
Hofelich won the vault with a 9.800, while Raybon took top honors on floor with a 9.850. The Wolfpack won the duel by a score of 193.750-191.700.
“We had some great individual performances today, and I really like some things we saw on floor, vault and beam,” MSU head coach Mike Rowe said. “Vault is typically our weakest event and we did well there for the most part. What we saw today from Ashley Hofelich and Alaina Raybon is exactly what we’ve been seeing in the gym, so that was great. Having freshmen come out here and do that is a good sign.”
NC State’s Meredith Robinson won the bars with a 9.775 and teammate Caitlyn Fillard captured medalist honors on beam scoring a 9.800.
Michigan State tallied a 48.550 on vault, a 46.625 on bars, 47.800 on beam and 48.725 on floor for its final score of 191.700. NC State posted a 48.575 on bars, 48.200 on vault, 48.725 on floor and 48.250 on beam for a winning score of 193.750.
MSU opened on vault, with Hofelich taking top honors with her 9.800, completing the Spartans’ rotation in the six spot. Sophomore Ashley Beatty tied her personal-best with a 9.750 to tie for second. Junior Lea Mitchell posted a 9.700 to finish sixth and redshirt-freshman Gabriella Douglas tallied a 9.675 in her first official Spartan competition after missing last season with an injury.
“It felt great to get out there and show everybody what I’ve been working on through the long preseason,” Hofelich said. “I had a lot of my club teammates come out and watch me today, so that was really good to have a lot of familiar faces in the stands for my first meet.”
On beam for rotation three, junior Alexandra Hoyer and Mitchell shared top honors for MSU with 9.725’s, placing second. Douglas followed in a tie for fourth with a 9.700.
Finishing on floor, Raybon took top honors with the 9.850. She was followed by her fellow freshman Hofelich, who took second with a 9.825. Mitchell placed fourth with a 9.800.
“It was an experience like no other to get out there and compete in my first meet,” Raybon said. “It felt good to go out there and do what I know how to do, like we’ve been training for. Floor is an event where we can let everything go and have a good time. I know what I need to work on moving forward and I thought I handled my nerves well for the first meet.”
MSU hits the road next week for its first away meet of the season, a quad in Anaheim, California where the Spartans will face No. 1 UCLA, No. 8 California and UC Davis.
Want the latest breaking MSU news delivered straight to your email for FREE? Sign up for the DAILY Spartan Nation newsletter WHEN YOU CLICK RIGHT HERE! Don’t miss any of the latest up to the second updates on Michigan State Sports when you follow on Twitter @HondoCarpenter