Illinois women’s gymnastics opens season with a victory over Michigan State

Friday, the Illinois women’s gymnastics team began its season with a 195.325-194.150 victory over Michigan State. With the win, the Illini claimed the Victory Plank trophy for the fourth consecutive time. This also marked the first time Illinois opened the season with a score above 195.

The balance beam was the most successful event for the Illini. Senior Elizabeth McNabb took first place with a score of 9.875. Seniors Sarah Fiedler and Amber See, junior Sunny Kato and freshman Emily Lennon each scored a 9.85 to tie for second place. This gave them a team total of 49.275, enough for the third best beam score in school history.

In the all-around, Illinois’ competitors were See (second, 39.250), Fiedler (third, 39.025) and sophomore Giana O’Connor (fourth, 38.650). See led her team in the triumph over the Spartans by placing in the top two on every event, excluding the uneven bars.

In terms of individual event success, junior Jordan Naleway started the season by bringing home her first collegiate uneven bars title with a new career high of 9.825.

Aside from Lennon, freshman Erin Buchanan also made her collegiate debut. Buchanan placed third in both vault and floor with scores of 9.775 and 9.85, respectively.

On Saturday, he women’s gymnastics team will compete in its next meet, which will be the home-opener. The tri-meet will be against Centenary and Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Ashley can be reached at [email protected] and @wijangco12.