ATHENS, Ga. – The No. 18 Ohio State women’s gymnastics team opened the 2019 season with a challenging dual meet match-up in No. 7 Georgia, falling to the Bulldogs, 196.600-194.900 at the Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga.
“I think this was a really good starting point,” said Ohio State head coach Meredith Paulicivic. “We didn’t have any major problems. We definitely had our share of mistakes, but overall compared to where we started last year, a much better start and a way better confidence-building experience for the kids. That arena was loud and rocking with 10,000 people, and for them, a young and inexperienced team, to be able to go in and handle that, I was really proud of them.”
The Buckeyes opened the night on bars, with freshman Colby Miller impressing in her first outing as a Buckeye by scoring a 9.800 for a team-high. Amanda Huang, Peyton Hinterberger and Jenna Swartzentruber each added a 9.750. The squad finished with a 48.725 overall.
Ohio State moved on to vault for the second rotation, registering a score of 48.650. Defending Big Ten vault champion Jamie Stone led the way with a score of 9.750.
On floor, OSU was revitalized with a 48.950. Janelle McClelland gave a strong performance, scoring the highest of the night for the Buckeyes with a mark of 9.850. Competing in her first meet, Claire Gagliardi showed confidence with a 9.800.
Rounding out the night, the team tallied a 48.575 on beam. Stone placed third to bring the Buckeyes back on track, earning a 9.800.
“Their resiliency was way better this time,” Paulicivic said. “Last year’s team, when things started getting off course it continued to go. We spent a lot more time in the fall this year prepping to have each other’s backs and get back on track. I was really proud of the team today when the first kid went down and everyone got back on track. They got up and handled it. It’s a testament to the kids and our training plan and the differences in the things that we did.”
Stone (39.000) and Olivia Aepli (38.425) finished third and fourth in the all-around, respectively.
The Buckeyes continue a month-long road swing against NC State on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 6 p.m. in Raleigh, N.C.