March 6, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State gymnastics team will head back out on the road for back-to-back away meets this weekend. First, the Spartans will travel to Cape Girardeau, Mo., to take on Southeast Missouri in a non-conference dual meet on Friday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m. ET. Continuing west, MSU will compete in a tri-meet with Oklahoma and Minnesota at Texas Women’s University in Denton, Texas on Sunday, March 9 at 3 p.m. ET.
“The team knows the importance of these next two meets for our RQS, so I hope they use the confidence gained in our last meet to continue hitting routines in competitions,” said head coach Kathie Klages. “We had a mock meet in Wednesday and though not perfect; the team did well again. The opportunity that is ahead of us with two away meets is so fabulous for our RQS and moving up in the rankings. We just need to take advantage of it.”
Last Time Out
Led by MSU’s highest score this season, the Spartans celebrated Senior Night last Friday at Jenison Field House. Michigan State held a lead over No. 21 Denver through two events, but the Spartans lost a hard-fought battle to the Pioneers by a score of 195.550-195.675.
The Spartans posted their highest score of the season on the vault, tallying a 48.900 to tie Denver on the event. For the third-straight meet, junior Alina Cartwright scored a 9.900 to take first-place honors on the event. On the bars, senior Dani Levy paced MSU by tying her career-best score of 9.875 to take home first-place honors. Tying for the 15th-best balance beam score in the MSU record books, the Spartans tallied a season-high 49.075. It marked their highest score since 2012. MSU concluded the meet on the floor exercise, taking a win in the event with a score of 48.800 to Denver’s 48.675.
MSU in the Rankings
The Spartans are currently 40th in the GymInfo national rankings with a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) of 194.135. MSU is No. 26 with a RQS on the balance beam of 48.785, while the team’s uneven bars RQS of 48.475 is tied for 40th. Both scores are also the sixth- and eighth-best, respectively, in the Big Ten conference.
Individually, Alina Cartwright is 10th in the region with her all-around RQS of 38.985 and her average score of 9.885 on the vault is tied for 27th in the nation. In the conference, her vault score is the sixth-best average score this season and she is 10th in the regional all-around rankings.
Friday’s Meet Matchup: Southeast Missouri
Held at the Houck Field House, the Spartans will match up for the 12th time in MSU history against No. 47-ranked Southeast Missouri on Friday. The Redhawks are coming off a season-high score of 194.300 to win a tri-meet that included Sunday’s opponent Texas Women’s, their sixth-straight win. All-arounders Taryn Vanderpool and Alyssa Tucker lead Southeast Missouri with season-high scores of 38.975 and 38.900, respectively.
Sunday’s Quad Meet Roundup: Texas Women’s, Oklahoma, Minnesota
The 46th-ranked Texas Women’s University will host a quad meet featuring the Spartans at Kitty Magee Arena after tying their season-high score of 194.250 that helped the Pioneers to a home win over Bowling Green last weekend, their fifth win of the season. The highest-ranked opponent the Spartans face, Oklahoma sits at No. 3 in the country with a record of 6-2 on the season. They have the top-ranked balance beam score, as they have posted a 49.300 or better on six occasions. The final competitor is Big-Ten foe Minnesota, who sits at 12th in the country. Meeting for the second time in one month, the Spartans fell to the Golden Gophers on Feb. 15, 193.700-196.025.
The Spartans will return home to Jenison Field House to host a Big Ten Quad Meet with Nebraska, Illinois and Ohio State on Saturday, March 15 at 1:30 p.m.