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Gymnastics to Face the Fighting Illini

Jan. 24, 2013

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State gymnastics team travels to Champaign, Ill. on Saturday, Jan. 26, to take on Illinois at 5 p.m. ET.  The Spartans and Fighting Illini are both 0-2 on the season. 

“We are focusing on the importance of hitting the routine to produce a good score,” said head coach Kathie Klages.  “We are enhancing their belief in hitting a routine on call and adding pressure to practice.  With the added pressure, we will see the team focus more in practice and that can carry into the competition.”

Looking Back
The Spartans fell to the Cornhuskers 196.700-192.100 in their first Big Ten meet of the season.  Michigan State posted their highest score, 48.450, on vault, while Nebraska recorded a 49.050. 

On vault, sophomore Alina Cartwright and freshman Lisa Burt scored 9.750 as part of a three-way tie for fourth place.  Finishing sixth on uneven bars was freshman Nicola Deans with a 9.825, later leading the Spartans on floor notching a 9.850 to take third.  Burt compiled a score of 9.825 on the balance beam, placing third for the event.

Insight on Illinois
Illinois fell last weekend to Michigan 197.350-195.100, in their first Big Ten Meet of the season.  On vault, the Illini tallied a score of 48.600 as Giana O’Connor and Alina Weinstein led the team, both scoring 9.775.  Weinstein tied with Sunny Kato for fifth place posting a 9.825, as Illinois recorded a 48.950.  For first place, Kato scored a 9.875 on beam to help Illinois compile their highest score of the evening of 49.250.  The Fighting Illini produced a 48.300 on floor exercise, as Weinstein led with a 9.925 to take second place. 



The Victory Plank
Three years ago, Illinois and Michigan State added a trophy to their rivalry, The Victory Plank.  The first two years the Fighting Illini edged out the Spartans by .100 in 2010 and .225 in 2011.  Last season the Green and White took the trophy back after a tie in score, 195.175. 

“We have a very intense competition with Illinois and the Victory Plank adds a little bit of fun,” said Klages.  “Last year they brought the Victory Plank home to East Lansing, the team wants to keep it here and we are prepared for a great competition to do so.” 

The Michigan State gymnastics team will host an Autism Awareness meet against Ohio State on Saturday, Feb. 16, that will air live on the Big Ten Network.  Other meets to be on Big Ten Network include Illinois at Michigan (Jan. 19), Penn State at Nebraska (Feb. 10), Minnesota at Iowa (Feb. 22), and Big Ten Championships (Mar. 23).

Big Ten Championships
MSU will host the Big Ten Championships on Saturday, Mar. 23.  The meet will be divided into two sessions featuring teams ranked 5-8 at 1 p.m. and 1-4 at 6 p.m.  An all session pass can be purchased for $12 for adults and $10 for students, youth and seniors, while single session tickets will be $7 for adults and $5 for students, youth and seniors.  

Next Up
Michigan State will return home on Friday, Feb. 1, to face Minnesota for the Jan Howard Memorial Breast Cancer Awareness Meet.  The competition will begin at 7 p.m. in Jenison Field House. 

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