NIU Gymnastics Falls to Central Michigan in Home Finale
Feb. 28, 2010
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois's Natalie Blum celebrated senior day with a 9.800 on floor exercise and turned in solid performances on vault and uneven parallel bars, but it was not enough as NIU fell to Central Michigan, 195.850-191.900 Sunday at the NIU Convocation Center.
Northern Illinois dropped its first home decision of the season to fall to 6-4 overall, 2-3 in the Mid-American Conference, while CMU improved to 9-2, 3-1. The Chippewas' score of 195.850 was the highest team score in the MAC this season. For the first time this season, Northern Illinois did not improve its overall team score.
Vault and balance beam proved to be the Huskies' downfall as Northern Illinois tallied a 47.525 on vault to open the meet with Blum and freshman Natalie Sutter leading the way with a 9.575. NIU scored 47.650 on balance beam, but responded on uneven parallel bars and floor exercise with team totals of 48.450 and 48.275, respectively.
"We put ourselves in a hole on vault, so I was pleased to see us score well on bars," said NIU Head Coach Mark Sontag. "We counted a miss on beam and considering that our scoring potential is somewhat limited, those mistakes hit us hard. We've been competing well and improving; we had a little bit of a hiccup today, but we'll continue to work and battle for every tenth."
Sophomore Ashley Guerra also enjoyed a good day for Northern Illinois as the sophomore took third on uneven parallel bars with a 9.775 and tallied a 9.650 on balance beam. Blum's 9.800 on floor exercise was good for third place on that event. Jessica Watanabe led NIU on balance beam as she tied for fifth with a 9.725.
In addition to Blum, seniors Rachel Adams and Ashley Hurley were honored following the meet. The Huskies' return to action next Saturday in Chicago versus UIC. The meet gets underway at 5 p.m. in UIC's P.E. Building.
-- NIU -
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