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Mitchell’s Career Night Not Enough As MSU is Edged By Iowa

Jan. 13, 2018

Complete Results

Complete Results

  --  In its Big Ten opener, Michigan State gymnastics was edged by Iowa, 193.375-192.900 Saturday on Alumni Night at Jenison Field House.

The Spartans fall to 0-2 overall on the young season and 0-1 in B1G contests. The Hawkeyes improved to 1-3 overall and 1-0 in conference competition.

For the second-straight meet, a Spartan captured the all around with freshman Lea Mitchell taking the title Friday night with a 38.950. Last week’s all around champion, junior Roya Shirley, finished second with a score of 38.825. Mitchell had a standout night, tying for the event win on floor with Shirley with matching 9.775 scores.

“Winning my first all around here in my collegiate career means the world, because I’ve waited all my life for this moment,” said Mitchell on her win. “My parents always told me to just work hard in silence and let success make the noise, so I’m happy I got to show on the floor tonight.”

Michigan State began the meet on vault with a season-best score of 48.125. Junior Roya Shirley was the top finished for MSU with a 9.700 which placed her tied for fourth in the event. Freshman Lea Mitchell finished tied for seventh with a score of 9.675.

“It was great having girls coming back into the lineup. Michelina Lupinetti is a very, very strong beam-worker and you know, first meet jitters in front of the home crowd that’s going to happen. Am I making up excuses? No, because on a daily basis they hit consistently,” said head coach Mike Rowe. “It was nice having (Jessica) Ling back in the bar lineup as well and she had a little fall on her routine, but overall we’re thrilled with the performances, because we think we had a better meet tonight even though the final scores didn’t necessarily reflect it. We know what we have to do and we’re going to get back into the gym in order to fix what we have to do."
The Spartans took the lead in the second rotation with a solid 48.625 on bars. Senior Hailee Westney earned the even victory with a season-high 9.875. Mitchell was second with a 9.800. Shirley finished fifth with a mark of 9.675, while Tessa Jaranowski had a personal-best score of 9.675 to finish sixth.

Iowa took the lead after the third rotation with a 48.650 on floor, compared to the Spartans' 47.525 on beam.  The Hawkeyes took the top four spots on beam, led by a 9.850 by Sydney Hogan.  Senior Victoria Huehn was the top Spartan on beam, finishing fifth with a score of 9.725. Mitchell finished sixth with a 9.700, while Shirley was seventh, scoring a 9.650.

MSU looked to mount a comeback in the final rotation with a solid 48.625 on floor. Shirley and Mitchell tied for first on floor with scores of 9.775. Junior Molly Hoerner O’Malley and freshman Tristan Brown finished tied for fifth with a 9.725.

“There are still more kids coming back into the lineup; Anna (Gamelo) got to twist her vault tonight, so that was nice. Ashley Beatty and Lupinetti were also twisting their vaults. So we’re getting everything back, it’s early in season so onward and upward from here and we feel good about it,” added Rowe. “Tonight it was a good feeling. We only counted one fall on beam, improving from last week, so that was great. Bars hit again, floor hit again, so we’ve just got to keep trudging away and taking advantage of the time in the gym and making progress every day.”
The Spartans hit the road to take on Minnesota on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 5 p.m. ET in Minneapolis, before returning home to host a quad meet with Rutgers, Pittsburgh and Eastern Michigan on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. at Jenison Field House in MSU's Pink Night.



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