Photo by Pat Radigan
Story by Pat Radigan
Nebraska wins all four event titles plus the all-around in a dominant display at Devaney.
There were a lot of excuses the Nebraska women’s gymnastics team could have made on Saturday night.
Nebraska switched up its rotation on all four events, thanks to Megan Schweihofer stepping back in as an all-around competitor, and for the first time had a dual without much on the line. The Huskers raced out to a 5-0 start in Big Ten duals, and nearly knocked off No. 1 last week on the road, before returning home to face an unranked Pitt squad in a non-conference matchup.
Yet even with all those reasons to take a week ‘off,’ Nebraska improved on its team score from a week ago and allowed the Panthers just two top-3 finishes all evening on the way to a 196.425-196.300 win at the Devaney Center.
Schweihofer started the night with a win on the vault, and ended with a 9.95 on floor to make it two titles in her return to action. In between those event wins, Husker Sienna Crouse took the titles on the bars (9.925) and beam (9.825), and rattled off a second-straight 39.550 in the all-around to lead NU to an easy win.
As the Huskers tweak their rotations, it was the returning faces that helped Nebraska get ahead early and run away with the win. Schweihofer went for a 9.90 on vault, and was joined by a 9.80 from Kynsee Roby, who did not compete on vault last weekend against Oklahoma. After a 9.10 and a 9.50 to start NU’s bars rotation, Schweihofer stepped in with a 9.825 to steady the momentum.
That set the stage for Crouse and Taylor Houchin, who hit 9.925 and 9.90, as Nebraska went ahead by more than a point after two rotations.
For the second straight event, a slip up started NU’s rotation, this time on beam. Crouse stepped in with her event-winning 9.825, and was followed by four scores of 9.80 as Schweihofer, Grace Williams, Sierra Hassel and Danielle Breen tied for second place on the event.
Nebraska saved it’s best team score of the night for the final event, and put away the Panthers in convincing fashion with a 49.375 on the floor. It started to build with another insertion to the rotation, when freshman Torri Hutchinson posted a 9.80 in her first competitive routine for NU. The crescendo continued with a 9.925 for Crouse, who clinched the all-around title with the mark.
Schweihofer added the final spark of the night with her near-perfect effort in the floor finale, and ended with a career-high 39.475 in the all-around to finish on Crouse’s heels.