Despite posting season-highs in several competitions, the Illinois State gymnastics team fell to Southeast Missouri State (SEMO) by a score of 192.625-191.575 in a dual meet last Friday evening at Horton Field House.
Friday’s meet also marked the Redbirds' annual PINK meet in support of women’s cancer awareness.
“It was great competing at home in front of our Redbird fans,” junior Danci Cha said. “The atmosphere was great especially since it was our annual PINK meet. Despite the loss, I think we came together as a team and it was a step forward.”
Junior Amanda Mohler won both the uneven bars and the balance beam competitions with season-high scores of 9.850 and 9.825, respectively.
“The team’s mentality was strong tonight,” head coach Bob Conkling said. “Their fight on the balance beam was fantastic and I knew that determination was there all along. We have to put it all together to get all 24 routines, and we almost did that tonight.”
Sophomore Kristyn Bossle placed second in the vault competition with a score of 9.825 while junior Sarah Fisher placed third with a score of 9.650.
“Bossle’s vault performance was incredible,” Conkling said. “Eventually she will stick it and score even bigger.”
ISU dominated the bars during the second rotation. Senior Sami King, sophomore Samantha Ward and Mohler placed first, second and third in the uneven bars competition. As a whole, ISU scored a 48.475 on the bars.
“King put on her best bar routine ever here at ISU,” Conkling said. “Bars were a very good event for us tonight.”
Despite a couple falls in the floor competition, Cha earned a season-high score of 9.825.
“The hard work we have been putting in during practices is paying off,” Cha said. “Each week we have progressed and I can’t wait to see how we do the rest of the season.”
Conkling was also pleased with ISU’s floor routines and overall performance.
“Overall, I’m really happy we were right next to SEMO the entire competition,” Conkling said. “I was impressed with Danci’s floor performance and thought there was no better way to end the meet.”
Cha has been a consistent performer for ISU throughout the season.
“We came so close to defeating our conference rivals from last year,” Cha said. “We are going to be facing them again this weekend in Arkansas so we will try to prepare ourselves even better.”
The Redbirds will be able to avenge their home loss this week when they travel to Fayetville, Ark., for a tri-meet against SEMO and Arkansas. Friday’s meet is scheduled for 7 p.m.