BG gymnastics team falls short despite confidence

Terrance Davis and Terrance Davis

The Bowling Green State University gymnastics team came into its Sunday afternoon matchup with Central Michigan with an abundance of confidence.

Central Michigan sat tied for first place atop the Mid-American Conference with Northern Illinois and had never lost a home meet to the Falcons.

The Chippewas have dominated the conference for the past decade and have been regarded as the gold standard in the MAC.

However, Bowling Green was on the heels of its best three-meet stretch in program history and looked prime for an upset.

It didn’t happen.

The Falcons lost to the Chippewas 196.125–192.700.

“I was extremely disappointed in today’s performance,” said head coach Kerri Turner. “We had a strong start with our first few competitors on bars, but after that things just unraveled quickly. Our energy was gone and our focus wasn’t there. It was a complete let down and we just didn’t show up today.”

With the loss, Bowling Green’s record fell to 5-6 [1-3 MAC], while MAC-leading Central Michigan improved to 8-3 [4-1 MAC]. The Falcons haven’t beaten Central Michigan since 2008.

“I think they were a bit in shock that they weren’t performing to their caliber,” Turner said. “They seemed to lose confidence as the meet progressed. They performed decently on floor, but beam was just … I can’t even explain it, that just didn’t even look like my team out there.”

The Falcons have had a knack for slow starts this season, but in most cases, they’ve been able to rebound with strong second-half finishes.

They had no such luck on Sunday.

Bowling Green scored a 48.725 on floor, 48.675 on bars, 48.125 on vault and 47.175 on beam.

Individually, sophomore Laura Feely had a strong day for the Falcons. The 2014 MAC Freshman of the Year placed tied for second on vault with a 9.850, scored a season-high 9.700 on beam to finish fourth and registered a 9.775 on floor to place tied for sixth.

Junior Caroline Ellingboe scored a team-high and new-career high, 9.875, on bars to place third in the event. Freshman Laura Mitchell earned a 9.850 on beam to place second on the apparatus.

Despite their lackluster performance, Bowling Green was able to drop the 192.425 that they earned at Eastern Michigan on Jan. 24, improving its Regional Qualifying Score from a 194.125 to a 194.180.

The Falcons will regroup as they host Western Michigan this Saturday at Anderson Arena. Coach Turner said her team needs to put forth a better effort than the one she just witnessed.

“I really don’t plan to dwell much on this meet in practice. Rarely, do we ever perform this bad. They are aware I’m not happy with that performance and neither should they,” Turner said. “We still have quite a few meets left but I need to them to put together better efforts from here on out.”