Womens gymnastics pull a win over Missouri

By Jacob Onak

The gymnastics team returned home on Saturday as it narrowly defeated Southeast Missouri Redhawks 192.875-192.775.

NIU head coach Sam Morreale said he was proud of the way his team performed in the meet despite having to come from behind to grab the win.

“We have a lot of the right pieces, a lot of kids doing the right things. We’ve got to get out of our own way,” Morreale said in a news conference. “Sometimes you can have too much adrenaline and we want to do so well; that can have a negative effect on some events. We train really well so it’s tapping into the same way we practice and bringing that to the meets. I feel good about where we’re going and the way we are able to stay focused through the end of the meet.”

In the vault, the Huskies outscored the Redhawks 48.325-48.300 thanks to strong performances from junior Kim Gotlund and freshman Jaelyn Olsen. Gotlund scored a 9.725 while Olsen scored a 9.700 but the biggest score on the vault came from Southeast Missouri’s Megan Fosnow with a 9.775.

The bars event was a different story for NIU as the Redhawks took the event 48.150-47.600; the Huskies had two gymnasts with scores under 9.000 despite junior Megan Melendez putting up a 9.750. Melendez’s score was tied for the event-high with the Redhawks’ Taryn Vanderpool. With mistakes to make up for, the Huskies headed into to the beam where, once again, Melendez led the team with a 9.775. Senior Natalie Sutter also added a 9.700 of her own which helped lead NIU to a 48.100-47.900 win in the event.

As NIU went into their final event on the floor and Southeastern Missouri went to the beam, the running scores were 144.875-144.025 with the Redhawks leading the meet.

The Huskies would not be denied victory, though, as they once again came from behind to get the win thanks to scores in the floor event from Sutter and sophomore Amanda Stepp. Sutter had the highest score of the day with a 9.825 while Stepp posted an impressive 9.800.

The Huskies had a couple of slipups in the middle of the meet but Morreale said it they are something that could easily be fixed.

“The fact we’re able to pull these close meets out shows that we’re doing a lot of things well, but we’re just not quite putting it all together,” Morreale said in a news conference. “It’s nothing to panic about, nothing to get worked up about, but we need to get over the hump. Some of our issues are coming in the same places, so we’re going to take a look at that and reevaluate some of that.”