Jan. 25, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS – Led by sophomore Lindsay Mable’s school record-tying 39.6 all-around performance, the 13th-ranked Minnesota women’s gymnastics team defeated No. 11 Illinois in its first Big Ten conference competition at the Sports Pavilion Saturday night. The Golden Gophers broke the 196-point mark for the third consecutive meet, winning by a final score of 196.225-195.35.
Big Ten regular-season co-champions in 2013, the Gophers opened league action with a win and improved to 7-0 on the season with a 2-0 mark against ranked opponents at the team's Pink Meet.
The vault competition gave Minnesota an early advantage as the Maroon and Gold posted a 49.3, while the Fighting Illini put up a 48.85. Mable, as she did in every event on the night, led the way with a 9.925 score, tying UI’s Amber See for first place in the event. Co-Meet Most Valuable Performer Kylie Schermann place third with a 9.9, tying her career-high.
Illinois took home its one event win of the night on the uneven parallel bars, eking past the Gophers, 48.875-48.85. Mable and Jenny Covers tied the UI’s Sarah Fiedler to for the event win with a 9.825 and Madie Hanley placed fourth with a 9.8, but the next top four finishers were all Illini.
With the running score at 98.15-97.725 in favor of Minnesota going into the third rotation, the Gophers scored a 48.65 on the beam led by Mable’s 9.875. Dusti Russell and Hanna Nordquist each made the top three by scoring 9.825. Illinois’ third rotation yielded a 49.050 on the floor, so that the running score entering the final rotation was 146.8-146.775 Minnesota.
The fourth rotation pitted the Illini’s second-ranked balance beam contingent against the Gophers’ fourth-ranked floor exercise unit. Minnesota prevailed, tying a season high team score of 49.425. Mable, the final performer, matched a career-high score with a 9.975 to win her fourth event of the evening, while See and Cierra Tomson tied for second with 9.9 routines.
Mable’s 39.6 score gave the sophomore her third all-around title in four 2014 meets and her four event wins pushed her total to 10 wins on the season.
Minnesota resumes play next Saturday at No. 9-ranked Nebraska, which averages a 196.438. The Gophers’ season average is now 195.756.
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