COLUMBIA, MO.-The University of New Hampshire women's gymnastics team, ranked No. 27 in the nation this week, took on No. 14 Missouri in Columbia on Saturday evening and suffered its first loss of 2010 (195.125-192.975).
The Wildcats, for the second consecutive week, did not do as well as they would have liked on vault, as Missouri had the top four finishes in the event, all a 9.75 or higher. However senior Helena Diodati (Scarborough, Maine) tied for fourth with to lead the ‘Cats with a 9.75 of her own. Missouri managed to outscore UNH by a 48.875-48.275.
However, UNH fared much better on bars as both teams posted identical marks of 48.575 in the event. Sophomore Katie Lawrence (Lyme, Conn.) was the top gymnast on bars for the Wildcats placing second overall with a mark of 9.775, while Diodati tied for third overall with a mark of 9.75 for the ‘Cats.
UNH then headed into the second half of the meet in their two strongest events of the season, as the Wildcats were ranked No. 19 and No. 12 in the nation on beam and floor, respectively
The team started the second half on floor and recorded a pair of low scores and were forced to count a 9.5 in the event. However, identical high scores of 9.725 by seniors Taryn LaFountain (Utica, N.Y) and Julie Sauchuck (Peabody, Mass.) tying them for fifth place.
UNH found itself down in the meet after three events by a 145.875-145.150 margin and needed to finish strong on balance beam to have any chance of defeating the No. 14 team in the nation. However UNH wasn't able to keep pace with Missouri and scored a 47.725 on balance beam while Missouri posted an impressive team total of 49.250 on floor to earn the victory.
The Wildcats were led on balance beam by senior Chelsea Steinberg (Ridgwood, N.J.) as she placed third with a top score of 9.725 and sophomore Danielle Reibold (Horsham, Pa.) was fourth with a score of 9.7.
The 7-1 UNH women's gymnastics team will return to action at home on Feb. 12 vs. Brown. The action begins at 7 p.m. in Lundholm Gym and tickets for all home meets are available online at www.unhwildcats.com.