MORGANTOWN — The WVU gymnastics team opened its season with a 195.9-194.425 loss to No. 2 Florida, on Jan. 5, before a Coliseum crowd of 2,613.
The Mountaineers hit 24-for-24 routines and earned a 48.575-48.45 edge over the Gators (1-0) on floor. Florida earned the vault (48.95-48.425), uneven bars (49.225-48.75) and balance beam (49.275-48.675) victories.
“I liked our fight. The challenge was to come out and hit 24-for-24 routines, and they did that tonight,” WVU coach Jason Butts said. “Did everything go the way we wanted? Not exactly. We had to make a last-minute substitution, but the team really stepped up. We talked about depth all throughout the fall, and the backup routines hit. Now, we will have a long week of practice and fix the mistakes.”
WVU shone on floor in the fourth rotation. Senior Jordan Gillette was the standout in the No. 2 lineup position, as she tallied 9.85, finishing second.
The mark bested her 2017 season high of 9.825 and was just short of her career high of 9.875.
Junior Kirah Koshinski anchored WVU’s lineup and finished fifth overall (9.8). In her collegiate debut, sophomore Erica Fontaine opened the rotation with a 9.7, good for seventh place. Sophomore Abby Kaufman and freshman McKenna Linnen added marks of 9.675 and 9.55.
Florida’s Alicia Boren earned the floor win (9.925).
Koshinski paced the Mountaineers to start the meet, scoring 9.85 on vault and tying Boren for second place overall. Senior Zaakira Muhammad preceded Koshinski in the lineup and finished fifth overall, with a 9.775. Senior Robyn Bernard and sophomore Julia Merwin tied for seventh place with 9.675s, and in her lineup return, junior Jaquie Tun tallied 9.45.
The Gators’ Alex McMurtry finished first on vault, with a 9.9.
The Mountaineers’ registered their highest team total in the second rotation on bars, as five marks of
9.7 or better put the squad’s score at 48.75. Muhammad paced WVU and finished fourth overall (9.8). Tun finished tied for fifth (9.775), while Bernard placed ninth (9.725). Gillette and junior Carly Galpin added scores of 9.7 and 9.525, respectively.
McMurtry scored 9.925 and finished first overall.
WVU was consistent on beam, as all six gymnasts scored 9.7 or better. Gillette and Muhammed tied for fifth place overall (9.75), the third-best score awarded. A trio of Mountaineers tied for seventh place, as Kaufman, Linnen and Galpin scored 9.725. Koshinski opened the rotation with a 9.7.
Boren tied teammates Rachel Gowey and Alyssa Baumann for first (9.9).
In the all-around, Boren finished first (39.575). Teammate Jazmyn Foberg placed second (39.125), and Muhammad took third (38.85).
The Mountaineers compete again at 1 p.m. Jan. 14, against Arizona State, at the Coliseum.