Northern Star

 

Advertisement

 

 
Northern Star

Northern Illinois University’s student news organization since 1899

 

Ensure student journalism survives. Donate today.

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

NIU sophomore gymnast Kiera O’Shea is introduced ahead of the first session of the semifinals round of the NCAA Fayetteville Regional on Thursday at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Arkansas. O’Shea made her NCAA Regional debut Thursday after battling sickness and injuries during her first two years as a college gymnast. (Courtesy of Meaghan Frazier)

Through illness and injury, O’Shea prospers

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter | April 4, 2024

Sophomore gymnast Kiera O’Shea was standing in line March 2 at Jeni’s Ice Creams in Raleigh, North Carolina, waiting to place her order – a scoop of chocolate sheet cake and a scoop of salted peanut butter, adorned with a waffle chip. As she...

NIU sophomore gymnast Kiera O’Shea salutes at the end of her vault routine during the Huskies’ home-opening tri-meet against Central Michigan University and Eastern Michigan University on Jan. 28 at the Convocation Center. O’Shea was one of two NIU gymnasts to qualify for NCAA Regionals on Monday. (Courtesy of NIU Athletics)

COLUMN: NIU’s keys to breaking through regionals

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter | March 28, 2024

In the 43 years since the NCAA introduced women’s gymnastics as a sport in the 1981-82 school year, NIU has sent 36 gymnasts to compete as individuals at NCAA Regionals. Of those 36, NIU hall of famer Sandy Menard is the only Huskie to ever advance...

Then-junior gymnast Alyssa Al-Ashari starts her beam routine at the EMU gymnastics meet on Feb. 17. Al-Ashari was named to the All-MAC second team Tuesday. (Northern Star File Photo)

Al-Ashari, O’Shea named to All-MAC Second Team

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter | March 19, 2024

DeKALB – NIU gymnastics senior Alyssa Al-Ashari and sophomore Kiera O’Shea received All-MAC recognition for 2024 after both were named to the All-MAC Second Team announced by the conference office Tuesday.  “We are super excited for both...

NIU senior gymnast Alyssa Al-Ashari salutes at the end of her bars routine in the second rotation of the Beauty and the Beast Meet on Feb. 9 at the Convocation Center. Al-Ashari serves as one of the Huskies four team captains while being a consistent standout on the uneven parallel bars and the balance beam. (Totus Tuus Keely | Northern Star)

Alyssa Al-Ashari’s ascent to bar and beam stardom

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter | February 26, 2024

Every routine for Alyssa Al-Ashari starts the same way. Once the shamrock green flag waves from the nearby judges table, she gives her opening salute, and takes a deep breath in. As she expels the air from her lungs, the noise around her fades to...

NIU freshman gymnast Dawsyn Sallee salutes at the end of her vault routine during the second rotation of NIUs road meet against Eastern Michigan University on Sunday inside the George Gervin GameAbove Center in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Sallee scored a 9.850 in the fourth spot of the Huskies vault lineup to match her personal best in the event. (Steve King | EMU Athletics)

Huskies drop EMU rematch despite strong finish

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter | February 18, 2024

Six NIU gymnasts placed on their respective events Sunday as the Huskies took a second crack at a MAC foe in enemy territory. Despite their efforts, NIU’s gymnastics squad failed to overcome Eastern Michigan University at Sunday’s MAC meet inside...

Freshman gymnast Isabella Ross poses while her teammates cheer for
her completed routine. NIU gymnastics will face Eastern Michigan University Sunday. (Totus Tuus Keely |
Northern Star)

‘We got a little payback in us’: Huskies ready for rematch with Eagles

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter | February 16, 2024

DeKALB – Before she blossomed into NIU gymnastics’ bar star and beam queen, senior Alyssa Al-Ashari got her start in the Great Lake State of Michigan. Nearly halfway into her swansong season at NIU, Al-Ashari’s set to compete in her home state...

NIU gymnasts cheer and head coach Sam Morreale oversees the start of sophomore Kiera O’Shea’s vault routine during Sunday’s dual meet against Kent State University at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center in Kent, Ohio. O’Shea tied for first place on the event after implementing a Yurchenko full-and-a-half into her anchoring routine. (Cadence Pierce | Kent Stater)

Gymnastics falls to flashy Kent State

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter | February 12, 2024

On Sunday, NIU gymnastics sophomore Kiera O’Shea got to showcase a new move on vault: the Yurchenko full-and-half, a move that comes with a start value – or maximum score – of a perfect 10.0. O’Shea took home a 9.875 for her efforts, tying...

Junior gymnast Isabella Sissi poses during her floor exercise routine at NIU gymnastics and wrestlings Beauty and the Beast meet Friday. Sissi, an all-arounder, finished Fridays quad meet with a total score of 39.100. (Totus Tuus Keely | Northern Star)

Gymnastics take second at Beauty and the Beast meet

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter | February 10, 2024

DeKALB – Following a disappointing start to its home meet schedule, NIU gymnastics has begun to find its footing with a runner-up finish at Friday’s Beauty and the Beast Meet at the NIU Convocation Center. NIU (4-6-1, 1-2 MAC) finished second with...

A graphic shows NIU senior gymnast Alyssa Al-Ashari as the Huskie of the Week. Al-Asharis career-best bars routine have allowed her to become the first NIU gymnast to receive Huskie of the Week honors. (Eddie Miller | Northern Star)

Al-Ashari lands Huskie of the Week honor after bars victory

By Northern Star Sports Staff | January 22, 2024

DeKALB – A first-place bars routine and season-best finish in Tennessee have enabled NIU senior Alyssa Al-Ashari to become the first NIU gymnast to capture Huskie of the Week honors. Al-Ashari championed the bars at Friday’s Tennessee Collegiate...

NIU sophomore Kiera OShea strikes a pose during her floor exercise routine at a Jan. 13 meet against Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. OShea scored a 9.900 on vault, a score that is tied for the fourth-best in program history. (Courtesy of Dena Martz)

Huskies explode with team-record scoring in ‘meet of the year’

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter | January 20, 2024

NIU gymnastics found its rhythm Friday after putting together one of the greatest performances in team history: multiple season-highs, even more personal bests, three podium finishes, and a new program record. Eight Huskies achieved personal bests...

Then-sophomore Emmalise Nock poses during her floor routine at an NIU gymnastics home meet on Feb. 17, 2023 at the Convocation Center. Nock tied for second place with NIU freshman Mikayla Brown on the floor exercise event to lead the Huskies to a victory over Bowling Green State University on Saturday. (Mingda Wu | Northern Star)

Gymnastics grounds Falcons in MAC opener

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter | January 14, 2024

Six different Huskies earned podium finishes as NIU gymnastics earned its first victory of the season in the first meet of its MAC competition schedule. NIU (1-2-1) outperformed conference rival Bowling Green State University (0-2) on three of four...

Then-junior gymnast Alyssa Al-Ashari poses during her beam routine in a home meet against Eastern Michigan University on Feb. 17, 2023. Al-Ashari placed fourth on beam at the Mizzou Invitational on Saturday. (Mingda Wu | Northern Star)

Gymnastics ties for third at Mizzou Invitational

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter | January 7, 2024

NIU gymnastics tumbled and stumbled to begin the new season after tying for last in its first showcase of 2024 and posting its worst team score in a season-opener since 2018. The Huskies scored 192.755 as a team, tying with Southeast Missouri State...