Jan. 17, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State women's gymnastics team, which broke into the GymInfo national rankings at No. 25, will host Pittsburgh on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 2 p.m. at Jenison Field House.
"We are looking forward to getting back on the competition floor this weekend," said head coach Kathie Klages. "We have had a focused week of practice and I anticipate a great competition against the University of Pittsburgh. I know they will bring their `A-game' so we will have to compete well for a win."
Last Time Out
Despite solid performances on the vault and floor exercise, MSU fell to Illinois 194.150 - 195.352 in the first competition of the 2014 season last Friday. The Spartans team score was the highest in a season opener since 2007 as junior Alina Cartwright won the all-around competition with a career-high score of 39.275.
Cartwright led the Spartans as they beat out the Fighting Illini on both the vault and floor exercise. She tied for first with a score of 9.85 to lead the Spartans vault score of 48.800. On floor exercise, MSU posted a winning team score of 49.025, led by freshman standout Elena Lagoski's debut score of 9.9 that tied for first place overall.
The Plot On Pittsburgh
The Spartans have won five of the last six meetings with the Panthers, with the last meeting ending in a 193.875-193.475 win for MSU in Pittsburgh. Head coach Debbie Yohman is in her 28th season at the helm of the Panthers and led Pittsburgh to a trip to the NCAA Regional in 2013.
Pittsburgh is coming off of a 193.375-190.125 win over Towson last weekend in its season-opener. In the meet, the Panthers posted a beam score of 48.625, good for 20th in the country.
The Panthers are led by senior Katie O'Rourke who recently was named co-EAGL Specialist of the Week after posting a 9.85 on both the beam and floor in Pitt's win over Towson. A career-high for O'Rourke, the score ties her for No. 18 in the nation.
In the Rankings
The Spartans kicked off the season ranked No. 25 in the nation, marking the first time that Michigan State has been ranked in the top-25 since March 22, 2010. MSU is tied for 13th in the nation with a floor exercise score of 49.025, while the team's balance beam score of 48.650 is tied for No. 17 in the country. Michigan State's vault score of 48.800 also has the team tied for 24th.
The Spartans will host their annual Autism Awareness Meet next weekend when MSU welcomes Penn State on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 2 p.m. at Jenison Field House.