Spartan gymnastics now looking to improve on details after loss to Western









The Spartans looked at the Western Michigan meet as a confidence booster, senior Dani Levy said last week.

Although they reached their highest team score of the season, they now have to look at fixing the details that have been preventing them from winning some meets this season.

“We were pleased with the score being higher, but were disappointed on floor when we didn’t do as well as we wanted,” head coach Kathie Klages said.

Earlier in the season - on Dec. 20, 2013 - the team beat Western Michigan 144.250-142.300 at a scrimmage at Jenison Field House, but the Broncos showed their new strength.

“Western improved massively since December. That night they were on point and deserved to win,” Klages said.

The winner was defined by a fall that hurt MSU’s score and kept the team from winning the meet, Klages said, despite the close scores.

“It was a situation that we counted a fall and they didn’t,” she said. “We’re just focusing on the little things now, like eliminating landing deducting - which we improved on at this meet.”

Sophomore Lisa Burt, who placed first in the all-around competition for the second time this season, said even though MSU didn’t win, the high score shows the team’s improvement from week to week.

“We knew what we had to do - our warmup wasn’t great,” Burt said. “We’re going in being more confident and energetic this week.”

Before the meet started, the Spartans had a fall during the warmup.

That was when sophomore Brittany Holmes found out she would be competing in all-around for the first time.

“It was the first time I placed and my first 9.825 ever. I was just excited, like ‘Finally, I did it,’” Holmes said.

Holmes’ third place in the all-around competition and second on beam helped the team post the 194.775 score.

With two falls on floor - by freshman Elena Lagoski and Levy - the team has to focus on the minor details of their routines.

“The big picture is fine, we just need to fix the little details,” Holmes said.

Burt said that from now on, the focus is on having straight legs on, pointing their feet and sticking their landings.

“It’s not just hitting our routines, we have to know we have it all together,” she said.

Teammate and junior Ashley Noll said that they kept the energy going, but that their confidence level dropped once they made mistakes in the meet.

“We’re focusing on competing like we practice,” Noll said. “We’re building to move forward and to do better this week.”

Because of the Spartans’ victory in December, Noll said the Broncos were probably nervous going into the meet, but came out strong at the end.

“They wanted to redeem themselves,” she said.

Despite the few mistakes on floor - their third event of the meet - Klages said her team stepped up at the last event.

“They finished strong on balance beam and they fought through the meet and the mistakes,” she said.

Knowing they can reach such a high score - and even higher if they fix the minor details - they will proceed the rest of the season with confidence and hard work.

“They’ll build confidence from finishing strong,” Klages said.

Denver will visit MSU and compete against the Spartans at 7 p.m. on Friday at Jenison Field House.

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