EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State gymnastics posted a season-high team score and won all four events on the way to defeating Rutgers 195.425-194.100 in a Big Ten Conference dual on Alumni Day Saturday afternoon at Jenison Field House.
The Spartans scored a season-high 48.925 on the balance beam and tied their season-high of 49.200 on the floor exercise in the victory over the Scarlet Knights.
Michigan State scored 48.825 on vault, 48.475 on bars, 48.925 on beam and 49.200 on floor for the winning score of 195.425. Rutgers scored 48.750 on vault, 48.600 on bars, 47.975 on beam and 48.775 on floor to total 194.100.
"We went into this meet focused on settling in and doing the quality gymnastics we train for on a daily basis," MSU head coach Mike Rowe said. "I believe we accomplished that goal and then some as we built momentum from vault and continued to compete aggressively with intent, and the results were positive! The Spartans are developing a confidence in themselves and each other; it's starting to show in competition and their scores."
MSU had a season-best nine gymnasts grab at least a share of event wins on the day, including four Spartans as part of a six-way tie on the vault and two atop the bars standings. Freshmen Ashley Hofelich and Sydney Ewing, along with junior Gabriella Douglas and sophomore Lea Mitchell all shared the vault title. Ewing and senior Jessica Ling tied for the bars win, senior Molly Hoerner-O'Malley won the beam competition and Douglas was the floor champion.
Starting the meet on vault, Hofelich, Ewing, Douglas and Mitchell all shared the title with a score of 9.775. The mark was a new personal record for Ewing as she made her MSU debut in the vault lineup. The team score of 48.825 was the second best of the season for the Spartans.
Moving to bars for the second rotation, Ewing continued her strong day by posting a season-high 9.850 to tie for first with Ling, who matched her second best score of the year. Sophomore Tristan Brown tied for third after tallying her second best mark of the season with a 9.800.
The Spartans were on beam for the third rotation, and were led by a personal record tying 9.850 from Hoerner-O'Malley as she took the event win. Douglas wasn't far behind, earning a 9.800 to tie for second place. Mitchell tallied a 9.775 to take fourth place.
Finishing on floor, Douglas recorded a personal best for the third time this season with a 9.925 to take the victory. Senior Drew Hendershot made her season debut on the floor and scored a 9.875 to take second place. Sophomore Tristan Brown tied her personal record of 9.825 to finish fourth and Ewing rounded out the top five with a 9.800.
Mitchell won her second all-around of the season, totaling 39.025. It was the fourth time this season she scored 39.000 or better.
"Molly on beam, Sydney and Ling on bars, they were great," Rowe said. "Floor continues to improve and it was great to have Drew back in the lineup this week. Floor is a tough lineup to crack and now only 9.8's and better are making it in. Going into B1G Five's next weekend we're aiming to hit on all cylinders and take it to the next level."
The Spartans head back out on the road next week for the B1G Five Meet – Elevate The Stage on Friday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. in Toledo, Ohio.
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