BG gymnastics team boosts confidence despite recent losses

Terrance Davis and Terrance Davis

The Bowling Green State University gymnastics team is riding high with confidence after impressive showings in its back-to-back home meets against Ohio State and Ball State last weekend at Anderson Arena.

The Falcons scored a 195.200 in their loss to Ohio St. last Friday [Feb. 6] and then topped that mark with a 195.500 in their win against Ball State, two days later.

Falcons now own a record of 4-4 overall [1-1 MAC].

Junior Alyssa Nocella was named MAC Gymnast of the Week and freshman Laura Mitchell was tabbed as the MAC Specialist of the Week, the conference office announced Tuesday afternoon.

Nocella won the all-around competition in both meets and earned a 39.50 against Ball State, tied for the third-best score in program history. Mitchell earned a pair of first-place finishes on bars for BGSU over the weekend. Mitchell scored a 9.825 to finish tied for first on bars against Ohio State and then claimed the outright title on bars against Ball State with a career-best 9.850.

The two gymnasts played a prominent role in the gymnastics team posting team scores of 195.500 and 195.200 over the weekend. Both scores rank in the top 10 in program history.

“Last weekend was obviously a big step forward for us and a confidence builder,” said head coach Kerri Turner. “But after the meet, we discussed complacency and I challenged the team to use those two home meet performances as building blocks for the rest of the season. They know we can’t afford anymore letdown performances, especially against a MAC opponent. I’ve been impressed with the way they’ve practiced this week, they looked confident, fired up and ready to compete.”

Bowling Green’s two home meets were just what they needed to get their season back on track.

“We really picked up our performance last weekend,” said Mitchell. “Being in a familiar environment with our fans supporting us allowed us to get our focus and confidence back. It was an awesome two meets and the crowd was phenomenal. I was so happy with the turnout. I’m glad we were able to give them a good performance.”

Bowling Green will look to build on their momentum as they head back on the road this weekend.

The Falcons have not performed well in their last three road meets. Sluggish starts and uncharacteristic mistakes plagued the team, particularly in its losses to Eastern Michigan and George Washington. Coach Turner was visibly frustrated with her team’s effort and admitted that the team lacked passion, aggression, energy and focus.

If last weekend is any indication, this team appears to have put the past woes behind them.

“They competed amazingly this past weekend,” said assistant coach Jason Bauer, “For the first time this season, they showed heart and passion, and took what they wanted. They got together as a group, decided what they wanted, and set the goals for themselves. We pushed them to get there, but they’ve done all the work to get back on track. I’ve noticed a completely change in this team, not just in their performance, but also their demeanor.”

The Falcons will look to duplicate those performances when they take their talents to DeKalb, Illinois to compete in a dual meet Alaska-Anchorage and MAC opponent Northern Illinois on Sunday, February 15 at 3 p.m.

“Our meet with Northern will gives us an opportunity to get back out on the road and hit a great meet,” said Turner. “We really haven’t had a breakout performance on the road yet. So if they are able to put it together on Sunday, the sky’s the limit.”