ST. CHARLES, MO. - The Bowling Green State University gymnastics team was successful on the road Saturday, defeating Lindenwood by a score of 192.850-192.050. Jamilah Ali (vault), Amanda Lievendag (uneven bars) and Alyssa Nocella (floor exercise) each claimed individual titles in the Falcons' win. It was the team's second away meet victory of the year, after downing Eastern Michigan on Jan. 26 with a season-high 194.025.
The Falcons got off to a shaky start on bars, with several gymnasts struggling to get through their routines. Lievendag was on-point as the anchor, showing impressive strength and control to save a handstand that teetered on the edge of disaster. Lievendag was rewarded with a 9.775 score, earning her fourth win on bars of the season as the Falcons totaled a lackluster 47.400 to trail the Lions after one event.
"Amanda did a really good job given that we were fairly inconsistent on bars," said head coach Kerrie Beach. "It was really nerve-wracking for her, but she really got everything together and hit a solid routine."
Bowling Green made strides on vault, outperforming Lindenwood with cleaner and more difficult flips. Gina Locigno (9.525), Nocella (9.7), Sunny Marchand (9.725) and Lievendag (9.775) all hit, setting up Ali for a meet-high 9.825 and the event win. After two rotations, the Falcons had taken control of the meet, 95.950-95.475.
The momentum carried over to floor for the Falcons, as all six gymnasts hit their routines. Nocella won the event, sticking her tumbling to score a season-high 9.85. Megan Valentini returned to the lineup, also hitting a season best of 9.775. Locigno (9.725), Harrington (9.725), Caroline Ellingboe (9.7) and Ali (9.65) also came through with strong performances to help the Falcons earn a 48.775 on the event.
Bowling Green closed out the night with a confident performance on beam, hitting all six routines to secure the win. Harrington and Nocella each scored 9.7 to lead the Falcons, with solid efforts from Locigno (9.65), Ali (9.55), Ellingboe (9.525) and Maria Salvia (9.4). The 48.125 score was far from the team's season best, but was the first time the Falcons have hit all six beam routines this year.
"The story of the night was really the comeback after bars," Beach said. "The girls did not get phased by anything that was happening. They just stayed focused and came back strong and looked confident. And then hitting six-for-six on beam to end the meet was really encouraging."
The Falcons face another tough road contest next week, traveling to Raleigh, N.C. to participate in the Sweetheart Invitational, hosted by N.C. State. It will be the first time this season for the Falcons to face multiple opponents, as George Washington University, Pittsburgh, North Carolina and William & Mary round out the six-team competition.