March 16, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The Spartan gymnasts traveled to Ann Arbor, Mich. on Friday (March 16) to compete in the final regular-season meet of the year. MSU battled but ultimately fell to rival Michigan 196.025-192.700.
Michigan State started on the uneven bars and finished with a 48.450 team score. Senior Jackie Berg was the only Spartan to place in the event. Berg's 9.800 mark put her in third place on the bars, while senior Selina Rodriguez and redshirt sophomore Taira Neal's 9.750 was tied for fourth.
On the vault, Neal was the top gymnast once again as she posted another 9.925 score. It was the second week in a row and fourth this season that Neal tied her personal-best 9.925 mark. Michigan's Katie Zurales and Sachi Sugiyama took second and third place on the vault with scores of 9.875 and 9.850, respectively. As a team, MSU scored a 48.875 in the second rotation.
Next, the Spartans performed in the floor exercise and tabbed a 48.500 score. Sophomore Dani Levy earned a second place finish when she tied her career-high 9.875. Zurales finished first in the event with a 9.900 score and Joanna Sampson was third with a score of 9.850.
Michigan State concluded the meet on the balance beam with a 46.875 team score. Michigan swept the event with Zurales' meet-high 9.875 score. Shelby Gies was second-best with a 9.850 mark and Annette Miele and Sampson were tied at third with 9.825 scores. Neal was the top Spartan on the beam with score of 9.775, which tied with Sugiyama for fifth place.
Four Wolverines competed in the all-around category and all scored over the 39-mark. Sampson and Zurales each notched 39.350 scores for first place. Levy was the only all-arounder for MSU and finished with score of 38.325.
Next weekend, Michigan State will travel to Iowa City, Iowa to compete in the 2012 Big Ten Championships. Action for the Spartans begins on Saturday (March 24) at 3 p.m. (ET) and will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.