The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

No. 25 Illinois women’s gymnastics prepares to take on No. 10 Michigan State 

Graduate+all-around+Mia+Townes+tries+to+stay+balanced+on+the+beam+against+Rutgers+on+Feb.+4.+Townes+fell+on+the+beam%2C+which+has+not+happened+in+two+years.+
Jacoby Banks-Hull
Graduate all-around Mia Townes tries to stay balanced on the beam against Rutgers on Feb. 4. Townes fell on the beam, which has not happened in two years.

No. 25 Illinois women’s gymnastics is coming off a narrow win to Rutgers this past weekend 195.650-194.925. This was Illinois’ first conference win of the season and helped it rebound from back-to-back losses at Nebraska and No. 12 Ohio State. 

Graduate student all-around Mia Townes spoke about how the meet had its hiccups and did not go exactly as planned. Such hiccups included a fall on the beam, which head coach Nadalie Walsh said they have not done in over two years. 

“It certainly wasn’t the meet we had hoped,” Townes said. “We’re just trying to make sure we’re fine-tuning things.”

Despite the mishaps for the Illini, they came together as a team to win and Townes herself won the floor title with an impressive score of 9.900. Townes talked about how she relies on the confidence she has built up over her years on the team when it comes to her performances and how she’s taking everything she can for her last year. 

“I was proud of myself,” Townes said. “Coming back in a short period of time, just relying on my confidence that I’ve had.”

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    Going off of energy and support, freshman all-around Destiny Denning shared how both the coaches and upperclassmen are supportive of the whole team regardless. 

    “In the gym, our whole team gathers around each other,” Denning said. “We really do support each and every single person.”

    For this upcoming week, the Illini have a tough battle ahead as they prepare to take on the No. 10 Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing, Michigan. While both teams have a 6-3 for their overall season, Michigan State has a 3-0 record for the conference while Illinois has a 1-2. Townes spoke about how each week the team focuses on improvements as a takeaway to what they could do better for their next meet. 

    “We really just go into each meet focusing on what we could’ve done better last week and really try to emphasize it the next week,” Townes said. “We are going into it pretty aggressively.”

    As for team competition, while Townes said that they want to support the team since they are in the same conference, at the end of the day, Illinois wants to walk away with a win. 

    “We’re supporting them 100% just because we do come from the same conference,” Townes said. “We want to walk away with a win and we’re doing all that we can.”

    Townes also mentioned the team’s dedication and how they want to win and are putting in their best effort. Townes also mentioned how despite the team’s current record and eighth-place standing in the Big Ten, they are far from out of the race.

    “Even though our record looks a little shaky right now, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re out of the running for regular season or Big Ten,” Townes said. “It’s a long season and you never know what could happen.”

    Illinois women’s gymnastics will travel to East Lansing, Michigan, to compete against No. 13 Michigan State on Friday at 6 p.m. 

     

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