Sophomore Elizabeth McNabb and the Illini will take on Ohio State on Saturday at Huff Hall live on the Big Ten Network.
Feb. 1, 2012
TV: Big Ten Network - Lisa Byington (Play-By-Play) and Kylee Kolarik (Analyst)
The No. 19 Fighting Illini will battle the No. 11 Ohio State Buckeyes at Huff Hall on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 3 p.m. The conference showdown will be aired live by the Big Ten Network with Lisa Byington and Kylee Kolarik on the call. Last season, the Orange and Blue (3rd, 196.075) finished ahead of OSU (5th, 194.900) at the Big Ten Championships while the two squads tied with a score of 195.350 during the dual meet at St. John's Arena.
Scouting the Competition
Ohio State boasts an average of 195.519, which is ranked 11th nationally, and a 3-1 record after defeating Minnesota (195.375-195.075), George Washington (195.900-188.900) and Pittsburgh (195.625-193.500) and falling to Michigan (195.500-195.175). The Buckeyes are also ranked among the top 16 nationally on all four events, as they are tied for ninth on vault (49.144), 16th on bars (48.744), 11th on beam (48.675) and 12th on floor (48.956).
A Look Back
Junior Alina Weinstein turned in the best meet of her career to win the all-around title, but it wasn't enough as No. 14 Illinois fell 194.225-193.700 to No. 19 Michigan following a tough finish on beam. The Plainsboro, N.J., native earned her second career all-around title with a 39.400, which tied the ninth-best mark in school history. Weinstein also took the top spot on bars with a 9.875, shared first-place honors on beam with a 9.825 and tied for third on vault (9.825) and floor (9.875) with career-high scores.
After recording season-high scores on their first three events, the Illini carried a 146.675-145.850 lead into the final rotation at the Crisler Center. The Orange and Blue then uncharacteristically struggled on beam to close out the meet, recording falls on the first three routines. The Illini finished strong on the final three routines and scored a 47.050 but came up short of knocking off the five-time defending Big Ten champions.
Weinstein Named Big Ten Gymnast of Week
Junior Alina Weinstein earned Big Ten Gymnast of the Week honors for the first time in her career following a personal-best meet at Michigan. The Plainsboro, N.J., native scored a career-high 39.400 in the all-around to take home top honors while also winning event titles on bars (9.875) and beam (9.825). Weinstein's all-around score tied the ninth-best mark in school history and ranks as the top score by an Illini gymnast this season. Along with her victories, she also tied for third on vault (9.825) and floor (9.875) with career-high scores.
Taking the Top Spot
Illini gymnasts have totaled 14 individual titles at the first three meets of the season. At the season opener against Minnesota, sophomore Amber See rated first on floor and there was a three-way tie for first between juniors Macy Hyatt and Jaclyn Kantecki and sophomore Sarah Fiedler on bars. The event title was the third career for Kantecki and first ever for Hyatt and Fiedler. Against the Hawkeyes, senior Kelsey Joannides took the top spot on vault, bars, beam and in the all-around while See came away with the floor crown. At Michigan, junior Alina Weinstein grabbed first in the all-around and bars while also sharing top honors on beam with Joannides. See also won the floor title for the third meet in a row. Joannides now leads the team with 19 career crowns followed by See with eight and Weinstein with six.
Illinois has three all-around competitors during the 2012 season and each has recorded a score over a 39 thus far. Junior Alina Weinstein turned in the ninth-best performance in school history with a career-high 39.400 at Michigan and hit all four routines against Iowa to score a 39.075. Senior Kelsey Joannides also has done it twice, tallying a 39.175 at Iowa followed by a season-best 39.300 against Michigan. Sophomore Amber See competed on all four events for the first time in her career in Iowa City, where she posted a 39.100, including a 9.725 in her first time in the bar lineup.
Illini in the Rankings
The Illini checked in at No. 19 in the national rankings with an average of 194.500 after spending the first two weeks of the season at No. 15 and last week at No. 14. The Orange and Blue are ranked in the top 25 on three events, including 14th on beam (48.900), 15th on bars (48.792) and 22nd on beam (48.317). Individually, two Illini boast top-10 rankings, as sophomore Amber See is tied for ninth on floor (9.883) and senior Kelsey Joannides is tied for 10th on beam (9.850).
A Look Ahead
Illinois will compete at a loaded quadrangular meet featuring four nationally ranked squads at Navy Pier in Chicago, Ill. The Illini will square off against No. 7 UCLA, No. 16 Boise State and No. 17 Missouri on Friday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m.
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