Illini Comeback Falls Short Against OSU
Feb. 23, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Last week, the #18 Illinois women's gymnastics team rallied on the final rotation to beat Iowa, but fell short this afternoon at #20 Ohio State as the Illini lost 196.300-195.450. The new all-around and floor record holder Alina Weinstein earned the lone Illinois individual title on the day when she tied for first on floor exercise with a score of 9.875.
The Orange and Blue scored above their season averages on bars (48.950), beam (49.225) and floor (48.950) but it was the vault (48.325) that undid the Illini. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes scored a 49 or better in three out of the four events.
Illinois jumped out to the early lead after the first event. Sunny Kato, who earned her first bars title last weekend vs. Iowa, led the Illini again this afternoon with a 9.875, good for second place. Also contributing to the team total on the event were Sarah Fiedler (9.825), Jacyln Kantecki (9.775), Alina Weinstein (9.750) and Giana O'Connor (9.725).
Next, the Illini hit their bump in the road on vault. However, Alina Weinstein secured a second place finish with a 9.850. In addition, Giana O'Connor finished fourth in the event after the freshman tallied a 9.750.
"After a great bars rotation, we went to vault with the mindset to be aggressive and keep the momentum going," said Illinois head coach Kim Landrus. "Unfortunately, the girls held back a little and opened up the door for the judges. Even without Amber in the lineup, we are much more capable than how we performed today. Vault is not an event that you can hold back on and we had too many people do that today."
On their third rotation, Weinstein led the way by earning her fourth floor title on the season. O'Connor followed suit by placing fourth with a 9.850. Furthermore, Heather Foley, who competed on floor for just the second time, improved her score from the last meet by 0.1 to score a 9.775, the same score as Fiedler.
Illinois finished the meet strong on the balance beam where Sunny Kato set a new career high in the event and finished in second place after scoring a 9.900. Elizabeth McNabb also delivered a solid routine, tying her career high of 9.850 and finishing in third alongside teammate Alina Weinstein. Rounding out the score were Sarah Fielder's 9.825 and Giana O'Connor's 9.800.
"Sunny understands her role on this team and holds herself very accountable to get the job done," continued Landrus. "Her performances today were a direct result to how she goes about her business on a daily basis. She is attentive to corrections and will make sure each assignment is done well before moving on. Her hard work is definitely paying off on the competition floor."
Alina Weinstein ended the day in second place in the all-around competition with a 39.325, missing out on first by 0.025. Giana O'Connor recorded a 39.125, her first score above 39 since the Nebraska meet and her fourth on the year. Finally, Sarah Fielder earned her second straight all-around score above 39 with a 39.025.
Up next, the Orange and Blue return to Huff Hall and welcome the Nittany Lions of Penn State in their second co-ed dual meet of the season on March 2 at 4 p.m. CT.