Even though the team managed to pull out a win, the No. 3 Michigan women’s gymnastics team (2-0 Big Ten, 3-0 overall) feel some disappointment in their performance.
The Wolverines took on its first road meet of the season versus No. 21 Illinois on Saturday. With a final score of 194.975-194.325, Michigan won by a narrow margin.
But it wasn’t only the final scores that were close. The Wolverines lost vault by 0.15 points, won bars by 1.475 points, lost beam by 0.1 points and lost floor by 0.575 points.
“It wasn’t what we are capable of,” said junior Emma McLean. “We have more control than we used today.”
Added Michigan coach Bev Plocki: “We couldn’t find a landing to save our lives.”
Plocki did, however, praise the performances of senior Briana Brown and freshman Syd Townsend, calling Townsend’s bar routine “flawless.” Brown received a 9.825 for her floor routine.
When asked if being away from home for the first time this season changed the team’s dynamic, McLean said she felt that being on the road did slightly affect the team.
“(We have to) be able to bring the same level of energy and confidence that we have at home with us on the road,” Plocki said.
Top performers in Saturday’s meet include senior Paige Zaziksi with a winning 9.900 on the uneven bars. McLean also impressed with a 9.875 floor – which also brought her a win – and sophomore Polina Shchennikova with a 9.850 beam debut.
Shchennikova’s last-minute addition to the beam routine as the anchor was one of the meet’s most remarkable moments for the Wolverines.
“(Shchennikova) was ready to go,” McLean said. “We couldn’t ask more from her.”
While the outcome of the meet was favorable for the Wolverines, many mistakes were made. Still, as McLean put it, the result will allow the Wolverines to continue “building on what we’ve created so far.”
“Overall I’m still super proud of every single person on this team,” McLean said. “We fought like no other, it wouldn’t have turned out how it did if we didn’t keep fighting.”
Michigan’s next meet will again be on the road as it travels to Nebraska. By then, the Wolverines will hope to have found a way to correct the mistakes they made in Champaign.