No. 19 Illini women’s gymnastics prepares to defend Huff Hall from traveling Cornhuskers


Photo courtesy of Jamie Mitchell / Illinois Athletics

The women’s gymnastics team bring their hands in at the 2022 NCAA Regional meet on April 7. On Saturday, the Illini will defend against Nebraska at Huff Hall.

By Theo Gary, Staff Writer

Ranked 19th in the country and coming off a road win against Rutgers, Illinois women’s gymnastics returns to Champaign Saturday for a home meet against the unranked Nebraska Cornhuskers. Fresh off of a 195.325 to 195.875 home loss to Maryland, the Cornhuskers have the same overall record as Illinois (3-2), but the opposite record in Big Ten competition (0-1). 

In Nebraska’s Big Ten opener, sophomore Emma Spence won the vault, floor and all-around titles. She has been consistently excellent through the young season, winning the floor and all-around title in the Huskers’ first meet against Arkansas. A meet they lost by a full point — 195.00 to 196.225.

In the aggregate, Nebraska hasn’t scored as well as Illinois all season. Its best score, 196.150 in the Lindsey Ferris Invitation, would be the Illini’s third-best score of the year. 

Other outstanding performers for the Cornhuskers are sophomores Ayzhia Hall and Emma Simpton, who, alongside Junior Sophia McClelland, shared the balance beam title in the Lindsey Ferris Invitational. Also in the Lindsey Ferris Invitational, junior Kinsey Davis won the vault and uneven bars title. 

Last time, although scoring a little low, Illinois carried on its winning ways. Senior Mia Townes earned two event titles, helping the Illini shake off an underwhelming start. Her 9.900 on vault and 9.250 on floor carried Illinois across the finish line.

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The meet will commence at 2 p.m. in Huff Hall as the Illini look to come out on top of a formidable Nebraska squad. 


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