March 9, 2018
COLUMBUS, Ohio – No. 23 Ohio State returns to St. John Arena to wrap up its 2018 home slate when it host No. 24 North Carolina State and Central Michigan Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. The Buckeyes will celebrate their four seniors – Stefanie Merkle, Alexis Mattern, Kaitlyn Hofland and Taylor Harrison.
Princesses & Superheroes will be the theme for Sunday’s meet. The first 200 kids will receive light up crowns and the first 2,000 fans will receive glow wands. All fans are encouraged to dress up as their favorite princess or superhero. Fans will be able to interact with the Buckeyes during a post event meet and greet.
Sunday’s meet will be the final meet at St. John Arena for the Buckeyes’ senior quartet. Over four years, Stefanie Merkle, Alexis Mattern, Kaitlyn Hofland and Taylor Harrison have led Ohio State to 33 regular season wins and three straight NCAA Regional appearances.
LAST TIME OUT
The Scarlet & Gray dropped a 196.850-195.725 decision to No. 9 Kentucky over the weekend. Ohio State matched its season high behind a 48.925 on balance beam while Jamie Stone posted the highest score by a Buckeye on the apparatus this season with a career-high 9.900 to take third. Janelle McClelland tied her career-high 9.825 on vault and had a 9.825 on floor exercise for third place in both events.
SCOUTING THE CHIPPEWAS
Central Michigan is coming off a second-place finish (194.625) in a quad meet at San Jose State. Gianna Plaksa was first in the all-around with a career-best 39.050. Sunday’s contest will be the second meeting of the season between the Buckeyes and Chippewas, who faced off less than two weeks ago in a tri-meet at Bowling Green. Ohio State took home the victory with a 196.125.
LOOKING AT THE WOLFPACK
N.C. State picked up a 196.075-195.650 win over New Hampshire last Friday. Along with scoring above a 49.000 on both beam and floor, Chelsea Knight tied the highest individual all-around score in the EAGL this season as she matched her-career high of 39.525.
Ohio State is ranked No. 23 with a team RQS of 195.925. The Buckeyes average a 195.536 and is the fourth-best team in the Big Ten behind No. 7 Michigan, No. 13 Nebraska and No. 22 Minnesota. Based on the RQS, Ohio State sits in the top-25 on three apparatuses, with its best coming on floor exercise. The Buckeyes are No. 18 in the nation on floor at 49.175 while checking in at No. 22 on bars (49.085) and vault (49.010).
In OSU’s home opener, Kaitlyn Hofland nailed her routine on uneven bars to tie her career high on a 9.925 for the fourth-best mark in the country. Jamie Stone recorded the highest balance beam score for the Buckeyes this season on a 9.900 mark. On vault, Olivia Aepli ranks sixth in the Big Ten with a 9.845 RQS.
SHOW UP, SHOW OUT
The Buckeyes truly shined when they stepped into St. John Arena for their home opener on Jan. 27. The squad won three events in stellar fashion as Ohio State’s 49.325 on uneven bars tied the top score in program history, recorded on Feb. 25, 2012 against Penn State. The team score of 196.775 is the sixth-highest total in OSU history.
GET YOUR TICKETS!
There is only one opportunity left to see your Buckeyes in St. John Arena this season. Ohio State will have its final home meet on Sunday, Mar. 11 at 2 p.m. ET. Single-meet tickets are also on sale at $8 for adults and $5 for students, youths and seniors (62+). Youth under the age of 6 are free. For more information on Ohio State women’s gymnastics tickets, visit http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/sports/ticket-sales/spec-rel/w-gym-tix.html.
Ohio State will conclude the regular season at the Big Five Meet on Saturday, Mar. 17 at 2 p.m. ET, hosted by Michigan State. The Buckeyes will challenge the Spartans, Illinois, Nebraska and Maryland.