Illini fall to Hawkeyes


Justin Wolfe | The Daily Illini

Lizzy LeDuc on the floor during the match against Michigan at Huff Hall on January 22, 2016. Michigan won 196.825 to 195.15.

By Tyler Fedak

The Illini (2-4, 2-3 Big Ten) were without junior Mary Jane Horth in competition for the second consecutive weekEJ. Last week, with Horth sidelined for an injury, a few of the gymnasts had to step up to fill the large gap that the all-around gymnast left.

This week, the team had to adjust for her loss, and fell to the Big Ten-leading Hawkeyes with 196.275-195.125.EJ

The Illini started on vault, an event that they have averaged 48.655 points on this season.EJ All-around junior Erin Buchanan led the team in the event with her 9.775 routine, adding to the team’s event total of 48.625.EJ The Hawkeyes had a more successful first rotation, scoring a 49.125 on the uneven bars and giving them a .500 lead over the Illini.

On the uneven bars, freshman Lizzy LeDuc and senior Giana O’Connor each scored a 9.825 to tie for third in the event.EJ This routine was a career best for LeDuc, who averages a 9.455 on bars.EJ The Illini ended up with an event score of 48.800, the second-best total that they have seen this year.EJ

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    Going into the second half of the evening, the Illini trailed the Hawkeyes by .700.

    In the third rotation, senior Sunny Kato got fourth place with her 9.825 beam routine.EJ Illinois came out of the event scoring a season low 48.625, trailing Iowa by over a point.EJ

    The Illini had an impressive showing on floor, garnering a shared event title from O’Connor and Buchanan’s 9.875 performances. EJThe gymnasts totaled a 49.075 in the event, finishing off the meet with a 195.125 total.EJ

    This win continues the Hawkeyes’ undefeated conference season, bringing their record to 5-0. The Illini have lost consecutive Big Ten matches and are back on the road next week for their last Big Ten dual matchup at Michigan Statemp.

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