March 15, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State gymnastics team will face the No. 13 University of Denver on Saturday, March 16, at 8 p.m. ET. The Spartans posted a 195.600 last weekend to top Pittsburgh, 195.175.
“We have had a great week of practice and are excited to get back onto the competition floor,” said head coach Kathie Klages. “We look forward to seeing Denver and finishing our season on a high note.”
The Spartans notched their first win of the season as they edged Pittsburgh, 195.600-195.175. MSU posted a season-high on floor of 49.150 as well as topped the Panthers on vault, beam and floor.
Senior captain Taira Neal paced the Spartans as she tied her career high of 9.925 on vault to take first place. On uneven bars, freshman Kate Filosi led the way posting a 9.825 to take third. Freshman Nicola Deans notched a career-best 9.875, to take first on the balance beam for the first time in her career. Tying for first place on the floor was junior Dani Levy with a score of 9.875.
No. 13 Denver
The Pioneers posted a 196.150 on Monday to defeat the Air Force. Denver earned a season-high mark of 197.200 against Arizona State and Illinois State earlier this season. The team averages a 196.240 to rank 13th in the nation.
Leading the Pioneers on vault is Moriah Martin with an average mark of 9.920 to tie for third in the national rankings. Nina McGee leads Denver on uneven bars (9.890), balance beam (9.855) and floor exercise (9.895). McGee sits at 15th in the nation for bars and floor, while placing 31st on beam. Martin averages a score of 39.190 in the all-around to take 27th in the nation.
Denver posts an average of 49.185 on vault to take 14th in the nation, while it ranks 10th on bars averaging a 49.220. The Pioneers take 17th on balance beam, marking an average of 48.990. On floor exercise, Denver posts an event-high score of 49.225 to sit at ninth in the nation.
The teams met last in 2005 and MSU fell to Denver and UIC in a tri-meet, recording a 192.550.
Spartans in the Rankings
In the national rankings, Michigan State ranks 38th with a team average of 194.585. The Spartans have their highest team score of 48.905 on floor, taking 39th in the nation. In other events, the Green and White ranks 32nd on vault (48.880), 57th on bars (48.190) and 30th on beam (48.770).
Leading the Spartans on vault is senior captain Taira Neal, averaging a 9.880, to tie for 34th in the nation. Freshman Lisa Burt tops MSU on uneven bars (9.805), balance beam (9.770) and the all-around (38.705). On floor exercise, freshman Nicola Deans leads the Spartans with a 9.820.
MSU will host the Big Ten Championships on Saturday, March 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.