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Ohio State women’s gymnastics lose to Michigan, improve overall team score

Shelby Lum / Lantern photographer

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The Ohio State women’s gymnastics team strove for perfection but fell short of victory against No. 3 Michigan Friday at St. John Arena.
No. 20 OSU achieved a season-high score of 196.250, but the Wolverines’ 196.925 earned them the win.
The Buckeyes will still move up in the polls, though, said OSU coach Carey Fagan.
“Win-loss is really not recorded in gymnastics,” she said. “It’s an average team score, so this being our season high, this is will boost our team score and we will bump up.”
From the start of the meet, OSU lagged behind Michigan as the Wolverines led after the first rotation, 49.250-49.000.
The teams then moved to the uneven bars, where senior Aly Marohn rotated, swung and landed a career-high 9.900, but Michigan kept its lead, 98.625-98.100
The balance beam brought another OSU gymnast a new career high as junior Victoria Aepli posted a 9.850. Junior Sarah Miller tied for the event title, earning a 9.875.
Despite the personal bests, OSU was unable to make up any ground and continued to trail Michigan, 147.025-147.875 heading into the floor event.
There, Aepli achieved another career best of 9.875 which garnered her third place honors.
Junior Melanie Shaffer earned a career best 39.275 in the all-around, taking home second place in the category.
The team welcomed back freshman Audrey Tolbert, who had been out with mono, at the meet. Tolbert scored a 9.775 on the vault.
Having Tolbert back in the rotation was a great help, especially against a team such as Michigan, Fagan said.
“We were looking to score every single tenth that we could out of our routine.”
Shaffer said she hopes to build off the momentum from the new high scores moving forward.
“We hit 24-for-24, which is always a goal for me, and we were really excited for that,” she said.
Because there are six gymnasts who compete in four events, it is called going 24 for 24 when a team completes a meet without falling.
Miller said one area the Buckeyes need to particularly work on is landing.
“We can do a better job of our landings and just be sharper,” Miller said. “You can always get better.”
Miller added, though, that she thought the team did a good job of staying focused during the meet.
“We only watch our routines,” Miller said. “We only focus on the next girl who is up. I think we have definitely improved since the first home meet (Jan. 19 against Iowa).”
OSU is next set to go up against Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich., on Sunday at 5 p.m. 

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