Junior Kelsey Joannides finished third in the all-around with a 39.075 at Crisler Arena.
Jan. 14, 2011
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - After winning the all-around title last week, junior Kelsey Joannides again reached the award podium on Friday night and led the No. 21 Illini to a runner-up finish at Michigan's tri-meet. The Frederick, Md., native improved her overall score from a week ago by .025 and took third in the all-around with a 39.075. As a team, Illinois came in second with a 194.475, which edged Penn State (194.450) but fell short of knocking off No. 3 Michigan, who won the meet at Crisler Arena with a 194.900.
"It was another really good step for our team," interim head coach Kim Landrus said. "We hit 23 of 24 routines, and the girls really came together to make it a total team effort. It was a good feeling to knock off Penn State and be close to Michigan because down the road we are going to see them both again. We performed better than we did last weekend, and if we continue to do that every weekend, we will be where we want to be in the end."
During rotation two, the Illini notched their top event score of the night, combining for a 48.975 on floor exercise. Senior Allison Buckley and Joannides led the way for the Orange and Blue, tying for third on the event with scores of 9.825. Freshman Amber See bettered her season-opening score on the event by nearly half a point, as she scored a 9.800 and placed fifth. Sophomore Alina Weinstein tied her career high and turned in her best score of the meet on floor with a 9.775, and senior Melissa Fernandez wrapped up the scoring with a 9.750. Senior Samantha Perino also competed on floor and finished with a 9.700.
"I was very proud of Amber tonight," Landrus said. "She is a phenomenal floor worker, so it was great to see her hit her routine. She will be a crowd favorite."
Illinois began the night on balance beam and recorded a score of 48.600, which was paced by a trio of 9.750s. Fernandez, Joannides and Perino finished tied for fourth on the event after each tallied a 9.750. Freshman Sarah Fiedler posted a 9.700, a two-tenths of a point improvement from her debut performance a week ago. Buckley rounded out the event scoring with a 9.650 while Weinstein turned in a 9.600.
On vault, Buckley, an All-American on the event, was the top Illini scorer with a 9.875, which tied her for fourth with Penn State's Sharaya Musser. Joannides had the next best mark with a 9.775 while sophomore Elise Gill matched a career high with a 9.675 and sophomores Alina Weinstein and Jaclyn Kantecki each added a 9.625 to give Illinois a 48.575 total on the event.
The Illini wrapped up the night on uneven bars with a score of 48.325. Joannides and Kantecki posted scores of 9.725 followed by Weinstein with a 9.700. Fiedler turned in a 9.650 and Buckley closed out the scoring with a 9.525.
Illinois had four gymnasts compete in the all-around, with Joannides finishing as the top Illini followed by Buckley (38.875), Weinstein (38.700) and Fernandez (38.525). Penn State's Sharaya Musser (39.275) took second while Michigan's Kylee Botterman won the all-around title with a 39.550.
"Kelsey is a true competitor," Landrus said. "She continuously performs at the meet the way she does at practice, which is exactly what we need her to do."
Up Next: Illinois remains on the road for the third straight week, as the Illini head to Columbus, Ohio, to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, Jan. 22 at 11 a.m. The meet will be aired live by the Big Ten Network from St. John's Arena.