BOWLING GREEN - Despite season-high scores on balance beam and floor exercise, the Bowling Green State University gymnastics team couldn't keep pace with Kent State, as the Flashes ran away with a 195.800-193.825 victory in Anderson Arena on Saturday.
Freshman Alyssa Nocella led the way for the Falcons, hitting all four events for a season-best 38.825 all-around tally. Gina Locigno, who struggled with bronchitis during the week, hit three events, tying career-high scores on beam and floor.
As a team, the Falcons went 48.700 on vault, 47.700 on bars, 48.600 on beam and 48.825 on floor. Their only misstep came on bars, where both Lindsay Koch and Amanda Lievendag suffered falls in their routines.
"We had a few slip-ups on bars, but the girls did a great job coming right back on balance beam and floor exercise," said head coach Kerrie Beach. "I'm particularly thrilled that we were able to come back and finish the second half of the meet. That's been holding us back so far, so I think they're going to build a lot of confidence from that."
The Falcons started on vault, where Danielle Wishart led the way with a 9.825, followed by a string of 9.75 scores from Sunny Marchand, Jamilah Ali and Megan Harrington. Nocella led off with a 9.625 to complete a 48.700 total on the event, tying the Falcons with Kent State after one rotation.
Then came uneven bars, an event where the Falcons hit the 49.0 mark in their last meet. Caroline Ellingboe posted a 9.725, accompanied by solid routines from Nocella (9.625), Locigno (9.6) and Harrington (9.575). Unfortunately, two falls spoiled the Falcons' lineup, as Kent State hit a massive 49.200 on vault to take the lead.
After the disappointment on bars, the Falcons came back with a season-high beam performance, led by Locigno's 9.775. Nocella and Ali were steady for 9.75 scores, while Ellingboe (9.7) and Maria Salvia (9.625) rounded out the performance.
"I really saw quality [on beam] today," Beach said. "We've been talking about performing under pressure and not just making the routine, but actually doing it at the highest level. Tonight, I think we saw a lot of good, quality gymnastics and a lot more confidence."
The Falcons finished on floor, performing in front of over 700 fans in attendance. Nocella and Locigno, who have been rocks on floor for the Falcons this year, stuck their routines to score 9.825 each. Ali debuted an exciting new tumbling pass (double layout) to score 9.775, with Ellingboe (9.75) and Harrington (9.65) completing another strong rotation for the Falcons.
Despite a rousing comeback, the meet was out of reach for the Falcons, as Kent State posted a 49.100 on beam, highlighted by all-around winner Marie Case's 9.925.
Bowling Green's record now stands at 1-4 (1-2 MAC). Next week, the Falcons travel to St. Charles, Mo. to take on first-year program Lindenwood in a non-conference matchup.