The Bowling Green State University gymnastics team started strong in its triangular meet at UCLA Sunday, but the Falcons were untracked on balance beam and finished third. BGSU scored a 194.175 to end behind No. 7 UCLA (197.050) and Utah State (196.000).
Bowling Green opened on uneven bars, an event which had statistically been the team's weakest event this year. But the Falcons posted a solid 48.650, its third-best score of the year on the apparatus. Amanda Lievendag, the three-time MAC Specialist of the Week, scored a 9.850 during the opening rotation and had the Falcons in position to post one of their best scores of the year.
BGSU headed to balance beam for the second rotation and the Falcons battled throughout but were unable to keep the momentum going. Alyssa Nocella, who scored at least a 9.700 on all four rotations, led the way with a 9.775 and Megan Harrington added a 9.750 but those were the team's only scores above 9.700. The Falcons posted a 47.975 that effectively eliminated hopes of a 195.000 team score that would improve the squad's NCAA Regional chances.
Despite the frustration of the second rotation, Bowling Green bounced back and finished strong. The Falcons scored 48.825 on floor and 48.725 on vault to finish above 194.000 for the seventh time this year, the most since the 2002 team also did so seven times.
Nocella scored 9.850 on floor and Harrington added a 9.825. Lauren Feely rebounded on the final rotation with a team-best score of 9.825. Nocella had the best all-around score on the team with a 39.050, the fourth time she has gone over 39.000 this year.
Bowling Green ends the regular season with a record of 7-9 overall and the Falcons will enter the MAC Championships as one of the favorites after finishing third in the regular season. The event will take place Saturday at Eastern Michigan University beginning at 2 p.m.