DEKALB, ILL. - The Bowling Green State University gymnastics team couldn't hold on to an early lead over Northern Illinois, suffering a loss in the Mid-American Conference opener, 192.775-192.525. The score was still the highest of the season for Bowling Green.
"Unfortunately, we weren't able to get the win tonight we were hoping to," said head coach Kerrie Beach. "I thought the effort from the team was much more focused and I think our performance showed that if we had hit our skills, we certainly could've had a great opportunity to get our first MAC win. We'll have to look for that next weekend at Eastern."
The Falcons started the meet on uneven bars, an event that gave them significant trouble at the last meet. But for the second time this year, the Falcons hit six routines, led by event winner Amanda Lievendag's 9.75.
Trailing the Huskies heading into vault, Bowling Green came alive in the second rotation, ignited by Megan Harrington's winning 9.85 for a nailed Yurchenko full. Lievendag (9.825), Danielle Wishart (9.8), Sunny Marchand (9.775) and Alyssa Nocella (9.725) rounded out the Falcons' season-high 48.975 performance.
The Huskies came apart on bars with four misses, as the Falcons took a commanding 96.775-95.300 lead at the halfway point.
The Falcons then went to floor, where they suffered only one fall, but minor mistakes from Caroline Ellingboe (9.425), Katrina Carpenter (9.35) and Jamilah Ali (9.225) kept their score down at 47.500. Nocella and Gina Locigno performed solid routines to earn matching scores of 9.75.
Meanwhile, the Huskies hit beam to tighten the meet back up, with the Falcons holding only a narrow lead, 144.275-144.100.
The pressure was too much for the Falcons on beam, as both Maria Salvia and Nocella came off the apparatus to seal the team's fate, as the Huskies performed well on floor in front of their home crowd. The Falcons finished on beam with strong routines, as Harrington tied her career-high 9.8 and Ali won the beam title with a score of 9.825.
The Falcons fall to 0-3 (0-1 MAC) with the loss, but will get another opportunity at a conference win when they travel to take on Eastern Michigan next Saturday, Jan. 26.