Gymnasts win at home

By Matthew P. Lyons

Sports Reporter

The Bowling Green women’s gymnastics team improved to 4-9 on the season Sunday with non-conference victories over the University of Pittsburgh Panthers and Wilson College in a meet at the Eppler Center gymnasium.

BG was led by a host of gymnasts and hit 20 out of 24 routines put up in the meet. The vault squad led off with a strong 48.600 point performance and was led by Kathy Emerson, Ann Marie Kassouf and Jessica Guyer.

Things improved for the Falcons on the uneven bar rotation. Kari Elste swung to an event high for the team and the meet with 9.850 points. Three other Falcons, Melissa Popovich, Kassouf, and Rachel Hall topped all gymnasts on the event. At the half way point in the meet the Falcons held more than a point lead over the Panthers.

BG headed off to beam with a solid lead, but opened the door to Pittsburgh with three falls. Upperclassmen experience came through as Kassouf, Popovich and Emerson helped pull the beam score up to 48.025 points. Emerson’s score of 9.900 led all gymnasts for the meet as well.

Heading into the sixth and final rotation, a lead of more than a full point had deteriorated to a single tenth lead. Thanks in part to the last three Falcons on beam, and two Panther gymnasts who stepped out of bounds on floor, the Falcons held onto the lead. Kristin DiPietro started off the floor exercise with 9.725 points.

That was followed by Kassouf’s 9.625. After a fall, Pia Sjovall kept the Falcons on track with a 9.825. Popovich and Jessica Guyer finished strong for BG. The Panthers had one fall on beam. Head coach Dan Connelly was pleased with the overall performance with the team. “We continue to focus on hitting routines,” Connelly said. “Today we went 20 for 24.”

As the dust settled, Wilson College set a season and school record with 175.300 points in third place. The Panthers came in second with 194.050 points, and the Falcons set a season high with 194.275 points.

With the win the Falcons jump back into the top 50. BG now looks forward to spring break and meets at Ohio State with Kent State and at Central Michigan.