Senior Allison Buckley won the all-around and vault crown on Saturday against Ohio State.
Jan. 22, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Senior Allison Buckley won the all-around and vault title while senior Melissa Fernandez took the top spot on bars on Saturday, as Illinois and Ohio State tied 195.350-195.350 at St. John Arena. The Illini improved their team score for the third straight meet and posted season-high marks on all four events along with hitting 23 of 24 routines. It was the first tie by an Illini squad since 1991 when the Orange and Blue tied for fourth at the Big Ten Championships.
"I was really proud of how we performed throughout the meet," interim head coach Kim Landrus. "We always want to improve with each weekend, and we continued to do that today. This meet really showed how important every tenth of a point can be, and our girls realize that with how close last week was against Penn State and tying Ohio State today."
Buckley tallied season-best scores on all four events on her way to the all-around crown with a combined total of 39.375. Her pair of victories increased her individual total to 45 career wins, including 13 in the all-around and 14 on vault. Fernandez (39.200) and junior Kelsey Joannides (39.100) also turned in season-best all-around scores to finish second and third, respectively.
"Allison had a phenomenal meet," Landrus said. "She performed an updated dismount on vault and nailed it perfectly. Melissa and Kelsey also hit all four routines and were solid for us on each event."
Illinois began the night on bars with a 48.700, led by Fernandez's 9.825. Buckley tied for second with a 9.800 while sophomore Alina Weinstein tied for fifth with a 9.725. Joanndies added a 9.700 and freshman Sarah Fiedler wrapped up the scoring by tying a season-best with a 9.650.
During rotation two, Buckley vaulted to the event title with 9.875 and shared the top spot with Ohio State's Taylor Jones. Joannides was the next best Illini at 9.775 followed by Fernandez and sophomore Elise Gill at 9.700. Sophomore Jaclyn Kantecki's 9.550 was the final score to count for the Illini, who totaled 48.600 on the event.
The Orange and Blue excelled on floor exercise with their first score over 49 on an event this season, earning a meet-high 49.175. Freshman Amber See nailed her routine and scored a personal best 9.850 to tie for second with Buckley. Three other Illini, Fernandez, Joannides and Weinstein, each tied for fifth with a score of 9.825, which also marked a career best by Weinstein.
In the final event of the afternoon, three Illini were among the top four in the balance beam standings, as Illinois notched a 48.875. Buckley and Fernandez tied for second with 9.850s and were just in front of Joannides' 9.800 in third place. Fiedler matched a season best with a 9.700 followed by Perino's 9.675.
Up Next: Illinois returns home to Huff Hall for a dual meet with Iowa on Saturday, Jan. 29 at 12 p.m. CT. The meet will be aired live by the Big Ten Network.