Women’s gymnastics set to meet Bowling Green


NIU Gymnast, Sophomore Amanda Stepp, performs a split jump on the beam event at the 2013 season opener against Illinois State University at the Convocation Center Sunday afternoon.

By Matt Hopkinson

Women’s gymnastics will compete in its second straight home meet of the season against its first MAC foe.

The Huskies (1-0) will welcome Bowling Green (0-2) to Victor E. Court on Saturday. Head coach Sam Morreale hopes there is a similar turnout of fans as there was at the team’s last opening meet.

“I would love to stand here and say I expect to see it,” Morreale said. “Hopefully we’ll build a following so as we move forward it becomes more expected. It was great, it’s something the kids feed off of. Victor E. is a great place to hold a meet. When you’re talking about the intangibles of noise and energy, we’re going to get more of that.”

That noise and energy helped NIU secure its first win of the season in its opening meet. Going against Bowling Green, Morreale sees a team similar to last year’s, one NIU defeated 194.775-193.975.

Junior all-around gymnast Kim Gotlund knows the focus for the Huskies lies within themselves and is opposed to worrying about their competition.

“We try not to really focus on the opponent, more on ourselves as a team. [We] just better ourselves each meet,” Gotlund said.

The focus on their own abilities takes form in season and meet goals set in place by Morreale. A key for this meet is to stick landings.

Reaching this goal in small increments, for Morreale, is what he believes can allow NIU to find more success in individual results, in the overall team score. He hopes it will ultimately lead to victory.

“Last meet, watching it on tape and then watching it as a group..the main thing that was kind of glaring was landings,” Morreale said. “We really didn’t have any sticks, that’s really been something that’s a focus since the beginning of the year.

“For everything other than floor…out of the other three events where we have six kids going, 18 stick possibilities, we’re looking for nine. That’s kind of our start goal, [last meet] we didn’t have any. Realistically, that’s a point and a half in our score that we can increase without changing anything else we did.”