Buckeyes step out of conference action for three meets, starting vs. Mountaineers

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s gymnastics team remains on the road, visiting West Virginia at 8 p.m. Friday in Morgantown, W.Va. The Buckeyes enter the matchup with a 1-4 overall record and 0-2 Big Ten ledger while the Mountaineers are 10-3 and 6-0 in the EAGL.

Live streaming and scoring for Ohio State’s road contest vs. West Virginia can be found on the women’s gymnastics’ schedule page at The live stream is free of charge.

The Buckeyes returned eight gymnasts from the 2009 squad that finished ranked 17th in the GymInfo national rankings with a 195.735 RQS. However, Ohio State has lost the service of senior Beth Ann Ballard and sophomore Krissi Woodward for the season because of injury. In addition, freshmen Sarah Gillespie and Vanessa Kowis are sidelined with injuries, while classmate Lauren Ritter is slowly working her way back from a serious injury sustained her senior high school season.

The Buckeyes have been fighting their way through the first half of the year, holding a 192.470 team average to rank seventh in the Big Ten. Ohio State’s season-high team total of 194.200 came on the road vs. Pittsburgh Jan. 22.

On vault, sophomore Nicole Krauter owns the best Buckeye average with a 9.781 to rank 10th in the Big Ten. Krauter notched a season-high 9.800 on vault twice this season vs. Oregon State (Jan. 16) and Pitt (Jan. 22). 

Sophomores Taylor Jones and Casey Williamson lead Ohio State on the uneven bars with a 9.630 average to rank 24th in the league. Jones hit a season-high 9.775 vs. Iowa last Saturday while Williamson has scored a 9.600 or higher, including a season-best 9.700 vs. Oregon State, at the last four meets. Senior captain Hillary Dow is 26th in the Big Ten with a 9.620 mean after hitting a 9.750 on bars to finish second on the event vs. Pitt.

On beam, two Buckeyes rank in the conference’s Top 20. Junior Rebecca Best holds 12th with a 9.705 average, freshman Colleen Dean is 16th with a 9.670. Best has scored two 9.800s on beam and has hit a 6.500 or better at four of five meets in 2010.

Dean owns the highest Buckeye ranking on floor with a 9.730 to tie for 16th while Kristin Perchatsch is tied for 18th with a 9.725 average. Dean has been outstanding for Ohio State on floor, scoring a season-high 9.825 for her first career event win vs. Pitt. She also notched a pair of 9.800s vs. Oregon State and on the road at Iowa.

WVU (10-3, 6-0 EAGL) last scored a 194.475 last weekend as it defeated William & Mary (187.725) and lost to then-No. 15 Michigan (196.400). Junior Faye Meaden was named Co-EAGL Rookie of the Year, helping the Mountaineers to score a 48.725 on floor and 48.55 on bars.

Since opening the season 1-2 at Michigan State on Jan. 8, WVU has put together a 9-1 record in its last four meets.

Ohio State owns a 14-10 lead in the all-time series vs. West Virginia. The two teams last met March 22, 2008 in Morgantown, Va., where Ohio State upset the Mountaineers on their home floor, 194.775-194.025. In the last six seasons, Ohio State and WVA have met four times with a 2-2 series record.

Despite recording three event season-high totals, Ohio State lost a close one in Iowa City, Iowa, falling, 194.925-193.025, to the Hawkeyes last Saturday. The meet will be aired on a tape delayed basis at 7 p.m. Saturday on the Big Ten Network.

The Buckeyes opened the meet with an event score of 48.600 on bars, added a 49.050 vault and a 48.600 on floor – all season-highs.

For the Ohio State women’s basketball and gymnastics team, Feb. 21 will be focused on ‘Building Awareness against Breast Cancer.’ As the women’s gymnastics team takes on UIC in St. John Arena, the Buckeyes will get in the spirit by donning pink instead of its normal scarlet.

Join the Buckeyes in the fight against breast cancer by attending the meet and wearing pink. Admission to Ohio State home meets in St. John Arena is free of charge during the regular season. On Feb. 21, the first 500 fans will receive pink Ohio State Construction hats while donations for the Stephanie Spielman Breast Cancer Awareness Fund will be collected at the door.

The Scarlet and Gray are thrilled to bring the 2010 Big Ten Conference Championships to St. John Arena for the first time since the 2001-02 season. Head coach Carey Fagan is excited to host the league meet March 27 after hosting the NCAA regional championships last year.

“The regional championship was a great dress rehearsal for hosting the 2010 Big Ten Championships in Columbus,” Fagan said. “The conference championships are a big deal so I think it will attract even more attention than the regional championship did a season ago so the atmosphere will be electric.”

For tickets, call 1-800-GO-BUCKS!

Next, the Buckeyes finish their five-meet road swing at Kentucky at 7 p.m. Feb. 19 in Lexington, Ky. Ohio State then returns to Columbus Feb. 21 to host UIC in St. John Arena at 2 p.m. for a ‘Buckeyes Go Pink’ outing.