GW hangs with 12th-ranked West Virginia squad

In what was an extremely close competition last weekend, the GW gymnastics team lost to nationally ranked West Virginia University, 193.925 to 193.575.

Ranked 12th in the nation, West Virginia did not win any of the events by more than seven-tenths of a point.

“We definitely surprised them,” said GW head coach Margie Foster-Cunningham. “What’s good for us is that we’re still pumping out these scores of 193 and 194. In this sport, it’s the score that gets us into the NCAAs, not the win-loss record. Of course, we would have liked to have won, but we still made an excellent showing.”

On the vault GW lost 48.425 to 48.225. Freshmen Devin McCalla and Jamie McNally each had a score of 9.700 and sophomore Darden Wilee scored 9.675. Unfortunately for the Colonial women, that was only good enough for third place as Nikki West and Kristen Macrie of West Virginia had scores of 9.900 and 9.800, respectively.

Though GW lost the uneven bars, the Colonial women continued their new-found success on the apparatus, which started last month in a home meet against James Madison University. Wilee had the highest finish on the event for GW, placing fourth with a score of 9.775. She was closely followed by McCalla and Jessica Mantak, who had scores of 9.750 and 9.700.

Mantak also had the highest finish for GW on the balance beam, placing second with a score of 9.825. Lindsey Ferris, competing for the first time on the bars, gave the Colonial women a big lift in morale and in the point total. GW captain Meena Lakdawala, who went first in the rotation, fell twice on her routine.

The Colonial women posted three out of the top four scores on the floor exercise, which they won 48.575 to 47.750. McCalla came in first for GW with a score of 9.825. She was followed closely by Wilee and Kelley Banks.

On the all-around, sophomore Darden Wilee won for the second time in the last three meets, beating West Virginia’s Kelly Foley by a score of 39.000 to 38.925. McCalla came in third with a score of 38.750.

“If you compete like nobody’s going to knock you over, you gain a tenth of point here and there,” Foster-Cunningham said. “In a tight match like this one, that’s very important.”

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