Falcons restore confidence

Terrance Davis and Terrance Davis

Resilience has been the theme of the 2015 season for the Bowling Green gymnastics team.

The Falcons began the season with high expectations after guiding the program to its best finish in 22 years in 2014.

Expectations soared after the Falcons opened the 2015 season with a 194.775 to 194.075 victory over Michigan State, their first over a Big Ten Conference opponent since 2004. The win propelled BG to its second-best national ranking in program history and first placement inside the Gym Info Top 20 in

14 years.  

However, things quickly fell apart after that.

BG’s once-promising season appeared headed for disappointment after the Falcons turned in subpar team performances in their next three meets.

The Falcons had lost their confidence, lacked focus and, at times, appeared disinterested.

After another letdown performance in their loss to Mid-American Conference opponent Eastern Michigan, head coach Kerri Turner finally intervened.

“After a couple rough meets, coach made us come together as a team and had like a three-hour long talk about what we were struggling with and why we were having so many problems,” said senior Gina Locigno. “That meeting helped bring us together and we all have become a lot closer because of it.”

That meeting changed everything, and since that day, the Falcons have been different.

Over its last three meets, BG has recorded a team score above a 195.000. That’s a first in program history.

“We are really excited about the way we performed over the last few meets and those high scores will be crucial for us getting to NCAA postseason which is a huge goal of ours,” Turner said. “Our mindset and our intensity has completely changed and I’m proud of the way these girls have rebounded from those early struggles.”

Eliminating distractions has been essential to the team’s turnaround.

“We had a tendency to look at the scoreboard after we completed our routines and when we didn’t get the scores we thought we should have, we sort of let it get under our skin,” Ellingboe said. “So now we’ve decided to just focus on us, not the other team in the room or the fans or the scoreboard, just us.”

The Falcons travel to Mount Pleasant, Michigan this Sunday, to take on Central Michigan, a team that has owned the MAC over the last decade.

Central Michigan has placed first at the MAC Championships across the last five seasons and has qualified for the NCAA regionals in each of the past six. They currently sit atop the MAC standings with Northern Illinois

at 3-1.

The Falcons know they will have to step it up a notch against the Chippewas.

“Central is a great team and we will need to bring our best this weekend,” Turner said. “Our girls know what they are going up against but we are also confident that we can beat them if keep performing the way we have been.”