Jan. 17, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State gymnastics team will kick off Big Ten competition on the road at No. 7 Nebraska on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 6 p.m. Michigan State and Nebraska both enter the weekend with a 0-1 record.
“We need to improve upon our performance and stay a bit more focused,” said head coach Kathie Klages. “Nebraska is extremely talented and more than capable of hitting their routines. Our focus is not our competition but instead on our team and building confidence from success. This week in practice we have been concentrating on the little details, hand stands and our landings.”
Last weekend, Michigan State fell in the home opener against Western Michigan 193.400-192.725. The Spartans recorded a high of the night on the vault finishing the event with a 48.575 while Western tallied a 49.000. MSU outscored WMU on the balance beam 48.525-48.025 and on floor exercise 48.525-48.025.
Sophomore Alina Cartwright placed first on vault with a 9.900, while senior Taira Neal posted 9.800. Leading again on uneven bars were Cartwright and Neal, both tied for sixth with a score of 9.675. Freshman Lisa Burt posted a score of 9.750 to place third on beam before she tied for first on the floor exercise (9.775).
Competing against the Cornhuskers
Last weekend the Cornhuskers were edged out by the Wolverines 196.900-196.300, in their first meet of the season. Jessie DeZiel and Emily Wong led the all around for Nebraska tying for second place with 39.375. Jamie Schleppenbach placed first on vault with 9.875 leading the competition as Nebraska posted a 48.950 for the event. On bars, they compiled a score of 48.950, as DeZiel led recording a score of 9.875. The Cornhuskers tallied their highest score of the night, 49.325, on the balance beam. Jennifer Lauer produced a 9.950 on the beam to win the first place title. Wong led on the floor exercise as she scored 9.925 of Nebraska’s 49.075 team score.
Nebraska reigned as Big Ten Champions last season in their first year as part of the conference. The Spartans and Cornhuskers have never competed in a dual meet and prior to Big Ten Championships have only seen each other twice at the Masters Classic Invitational in the 1990’s.
Big Ten Season
The 2013 season will be the first with Big Ten Conference scheduling; MSU will face seven Big Ten teams this season.
The Spartans will begin Big Ten meets this weekend at Nebraska and continue at Illinois on Saturday, Jan. 26. Upon returning home, the Spartans will compete against Minnesota on Friday, Feb. 1 in the Jan Howard Memorial Breast Cancer Awareness Meet. Michigan State will then head to Iowa on Friday, Feb. 8. Ohio State will travel to East Lansing for a Big Ten Network televised meet on Saturday, Feb. 16. The dual meet versus the Buckeyes will also serve as the Third Annual Autism Awareness Meet. On Saturday, Feb. 23, MSU will travel to Penn State for a dual meet. To close out Big Ten opponents, the Spartans will face Michigan on Saturday, March 2, during Alumni and Senior Day.