After a rocky start to the season in its debut meet against No. 4 UCLA, posting a 193.200- 196.250 score, the Ohio State women’s gymnastics team looks to prepare for its next meet on the road against No. 5 Michigan, a team currently holding two wins under its belt.
“Of course I’m disappointed that it wasn’t obviously the debut we were all hoping for. And it certainly wasn’t the gymnastics that I see in the gym every day, probably less than 50 percent of what we are capable of,” head coach Meredith Paulicivic said. “They got a little overwhelmed with the TV cameras and the six-, seven-thousand fans, so I really feel like the mistakes that were made were just nerves.”
Entering the UCLA meet, eight Ohio State players had no experience performing at the collegiate level, including sophomores who were on the team last year and did not get a chance to compete. With a young group, the focus for the Buckeyes is to help acclimate the inexperienced athletes.
“We’ve done a lot of pressure sets in the gym. We’ve done the preparation that we can do,” Paulicivic said. “They have improved tremendously on their technique, their form. We’ve just got to get them a little more comfortable in the arena, and that doesn’t happen unless you’re in the arena.”
The Buckeyes are set to perform in the same rotation as the last meet, starting on uneven parallel bars, followed by vault, competing third on floor exercise before closing the meet on balance beam.
Ohio State will be practicing every event this week, but the emphasis will be put on improving its performances on uneven parallel bars. An adjustment will be made by switching junior Amanda Huang back in the bar lineup in the No. 2 spot in place of sophomore Peyton Hinterberger, who posted an 8.000 last weekend at UCLA.
Ohio State took the win last year against Michigan, 195.800-195.725.
“I think a lot of people view us now as the underdogs, but we don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing,” junior Jamie Stone said. “We’ve really focused on saying, we have nothing to lose, and just trusting our training and being confident. We had a bad meet [last weekend], Michigan had a good meet, so we’re more capable of having a better meet our next meet.”
Ohio State will be competing in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at 6 p.m. Friday at the Crisler Center.