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Women’s Gymnastics: Ohio State back on the road for quad-meet against Rutgers

OSU gymnastics team celebrates senior Kaitlyn Hofland, who earned a career high of 9.925 on uneven parallel bars during 2018 season premiere after recovery from shoulder surgery. She competed against Minnesota and Illinois State Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018 at St. John Arena. Credit: Megan Russell | Senior Lantern Reporter

After claiming its first victory of the season in a record-setting night during last weekend’s tri-meet, the Ohio State women’s gymnastics team (2-3, 1-2 Big Ten) looks to keep the momentum going Saturday in a quad-meet against Rutgers, West Chester and Wisconsin-Whitewater at Livingston Recreation Center in Piscataway, New Jersey.

“That was our first win of the season, but it was a great opportunity for us to look at it and say, ‘This was great, but where can we go from here?’” senior Alexis Mattern said.

The Buckeyes had a relaxed week of practice in the gym to ground themselves from their last win. The team focused on improving details of performances through repetition of routines.

Mattern said after scoring a season-high 196.775 points in a tri-meet against Minnesota and Illinois State, the team is hoping to enter this upcoming competition with the same mindset, ready to prove it can score 196 anytime it competes.

The Buckeyes will see a different rotation of events than they have in their three previous away meets since the upcoming competition is a quad-meet.

As they have before, the Buckeyes will start the night on uneven parallel bars, but will then move to balance beam as their second event. They will compete in floor exercise as their third rotation and finish the completions on vault.

“Certainly, not having to do beam last on the road is different, so that’s good,” head coach Meredith Paulicivic said. “But honestly, what I tell the team is, ‘You have to compete all four [events]. It doesn’t matter when you get to them, you got to get to them.’ So we just try to stay in the moment where we are, one thing at a time.”

As the Buckeyes progress through the season, their away-meet scores will play a more important role in the national rankings. Ohio State still holds a score of 193.200 from their first meet on the road against UCLA.

But in Week 7, the team has a chance to drop its lowest road completion score when the NCAA season switches to the regional qualifying score standards. The road completion score determines which 36 teams advance to the regional championships, the first elimination round in the NCAA gymnastics postseason.

“This weekend is critical, because we need to have a good score, so that we can drop that 193,” Paulicivic said. “And not just that it’s on the road, and not just that it’s dropping, but about doing what we’re capable of.”  

Ohio State will face Rutgers, Westchester and Wisconsin-Whitewater at 7 p.m. Saturday.

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