The Illinois State women's gymnastics team hosted University of Illinois—Chicago in its home opener Sunday at Horton Field House. The Flames won the dual meet 192.425-192.00. ISU returns to action Feb. 5 at Central Michigan.

The Illinois State gymnastics team fell to University of Illinois at Chicago 192.425-192.000 on its home opener Sunday night at Horton Field House.

The Redbirds won the vault and floor exercise, but dropped the bars and beams events to the Flames.

Illinois State gymnasts Meredith LaRoche and Gabrielle Cooke finished second and third in the all-around competition, respectively.

The turning point of the meet was the Redbirds’ season-worst score in the beams event. Illinois State saw its strong 48.925 score from last weekend in Bowling Green decline to just 47.800 on Sunday night.

“Last weekend, beams were our best event and for us to come home and have it be our worst, it is very sad for us,” ISU head coach Bob Conkling said.

Cooke’s routine in the floor exercise earned a 9.850 —the best individual score of the meet in that event. Senior Demi Pas achieved an individual win on the balance beam with a score of 9.775.

It was Illinois State’s annual Pink Meet, where the Redbirds showed their support for those that have been touched by cancer by wearing commemorative pink uniforms. The Redbirds were happy to be back home after lengthy road trips the past two weekends.

“We were very excited to be home. It’s always nice when you don’t have to travel and can compete in our own field house,” Conkling said.

The Redbirds are set to hit the road again this weekend for a dual meet on Sunday with Central Michigan in Mount Pleasant.

What does ISU have to do to return to the win column?

“We’re definitely going to work on getting that consistency on balance beam again,” Conkling said. “And cleaning up some form on our vaulting and tumbling.”

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