Jan. 28, 2017
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The No. 20 Ohio State women’s gymnastics team earned the 10th-best team score in program history in a 196.800-196.450 dual meet setback at Minnesota Saturday afternoon at Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis. The score was the highest for the Buckeyes since a 196.600 against Ball State in a dual meet March 8, 2014.
“The team really stepped up and fought hard tonight,” Carey Fagan, Ohio State head coach, said. “I’m impressed week after week with Jaine (VanPutten) starting the team off strong on vault and bars as she’s stepped up into a leadership role and his having her best season setting the tone for the team. What I love most about this group is their ability to take pressure off of each other and enjoy every moment. It’s going to be a really fun season and we’re just getting started.”
Ohio State began the meet on uneven bars, tallying a 49.050. Kaitlyn Hofland tied her career-high 9.900 to finish second while Olivia Aepli earned a career-best 9.850 to tie for third with Alexis Mattern.
The Buckeyes then notched a season-high 49.325 on vault in the second rotation. Mattern tied her career-high 9.900 to finish second while Jamie Stone also posted a career-best 9.875 to tie for third on the event.
At the midway point, Ohio State held a narrow 98.375-98.300 lead over the Golden Gophers.
Ohio State followed that up with another season-high 49.225 on floor exercise in the third rotation. Mattern again led the Buckeyes with a 9.875 to tie for fourth while Aepli, Stone and Stefanie Merkle each tallied a 9.850.
Mattern capped off her day with a career-high 39.375 to tie for the all-around title with Minnesota’s Bailie Holst. Mattern’s score was the best for the Buckeyes in the all-around since Melanie Shaffer tallied a 39.425 at Big Ten Championships in 2014.
“Alexis is getting stronger and settling into a great competition mindset,” Fagan added. “Overall, I think we’re in a great position and this is a team that will be in top form when championship season comes around.”
The Buckeyes host Rutgers in a co-ed meet with the Ohio State men’s gymnastics team at 4 p.m. Saturday.