EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State gymnastics teams travels to Champaign, Ill., to square off with Illinois on Friday night at 8 p.m. ET in Huff Hall. The teams will be battling for the ‘Victory Plank,’ a rivalry trophy between the two schools in its eighth season of existence that goes to the winner each year. The live stats and live stream links to follow the meet can be found on msuspartans.com.
Michigan State enters the weekend 3-5 overall and 0-5 in the Big Ten, while Illinois sits in a tie for fourth in the league with a 6-3 overall record and 3-2 mark in conference action. MSU averages a team score of 194.250 with a high score of 195.625, while Illinois averages 195.517, registering a high score of 196.050 on the season.
The Spartans best event is on the floor exercise, where they average 47.708. MSU also ranks tied for sixth in the Big Ten and seventh in the central region on the balance beam with an average score of 48.596.
Illinois ranks second in the Big Ten on beam with an average score of 49.125, while ranking third in the conference on the floor exercise with an average score of 48.979.
Last Saturday as the program was celebrating its Alumni Day, Michigan State earned a season-high score of 195.625 in a loss to No. 7 Michigan at Jenison Field House. The Spartans have set a season-high score in consecutive meets and topped the 195 plateau for the first time this season. MSU captured a season-high score of 48.975 on beam. Freshman Gabriella Douglas was the top Spartan on the event with a season-high score of 9.850. Hailee Westney was tied for fifth with a 9.825, which was also a season high.
Westney has tallied four event titles on the bars this season and MSU has won the event in four of five meets, with Lindsey Lemke earning the other title. Nicola Deans is having a successful senior campaign, with four vault titles, two floor titles and two all-around titles. She ranks tied for 13th in the Big Ten in the all around, while ranking ninth in the conference in vault.
Another senior finding success this season is Kira Frederick. Frederick has two floor titles and ranks tied for 10th in the Big Ten with an average score of 9.824 this season.
Up next, MSU returns home to host Arkansas on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 2 p.m.