#11 Illinois Falls to #13 Minnesota on Final Event
Jan. 25, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - In a meet between two Big Ten schools ranked in the top-15, it naturally came down to the final event. However, Minnesota then got the upper hand and delivered the Illini their first loss of the season by the score of 196.225-195.350. Amber See, Sarah Fiedler and Sunny Kato all took home individual titles on Saturday.
"Three out of our four events were solid," said Illinois head coach Kim Landrus. "Unfortunately we had small mistakes that cost us from matching or exceeding our highs on bars and floor. Our beam team today was not the same one I see everyday in practice. We need to make sure that no matter what the situation is we do our job and I feel like we didn't do that tonight."
Illinois started on bars where it scored a 48.875. Fiedler captured her first title of the season with a 9.825, which tied her season high from last week. The title was the senior's third in her career and second ever on the event. In addition, Jordan Naleway and Kato finished with a 9.775 fifth place showing. At the conclusion of the rotation, the Illini trailed Minnesota by 0.425 points.
Next, Illinois tallied a season high 48.850 on vault, an event highlighted by See. The senior tied her career high of 9.925, a mark she set back on Feb. 25, 2012. The 9.925 earned See her third straight vault title in three weeks. Also, freshman Emily Lennon hit her best mark thus far, scoring a 9.775. Lennon has improved every week on vault, scoring 0.175 points higher than her week two mark.
After recording identical second rotation scores, Illinois remained at its 0.425 deficit. However, the Illini then rallied on floor by scoring a 49.050. See tied her season high and week one score of 9.900 to tie for second place. The Big Ten Freshman of the Week Erin Buchanan tied her week one score as well with a 9.850, as Fiedler followed right behind by hitting her season average of 9.800.
Meanwhile, Minnesota faltered on beam, scoring a 48.650. Therefore, at the close of the third rotation, Illinois was down just 0.025 points.
Yet, the Gophers finished strong on floor, posting a 49.425 compared to the Illini's 48.575 on beam. Kato performed her best beam routine of 2014 with a 9.875, which earned the junior her second straight beam title and fourth of her career. Giana O'Connor finished in fifth place by tying her season high from last week with a 9.800, while See ended her day with a 9.775.
Furthermore, Amber See had a career day by achieving a 39.350 in the all-around, besting her high of 39.325 from March of last season. See finished in second place in the all-around, behind Minnesota's Mable and her 39.600.
Up next, the Fighting Illini look to bounce back when they host Iowa on Friday, Jan. 31. The event will be the Illini's annual Pink Meet and will commence at 7 p.m. CT.