Kent State gymnastics posts season-high in win over Bowling Green


Kent State’s Sarah Lippowitsch goes through her beam routine as her team looks on during the Flashes’ 195.625-195.400 win over Bowling Green on March 9, 2018, at the M.A.C. Center.

Libby Schrack

The Kent State gymnastics team posted a season-high score against Mid-American Conference rival Bowling Green on Friday, resulting in a 196.625-195.400 win. 

The Flashes (6-7, 3-3 MAC) had one fall during the entire competition, and coach Brice Biggin couldn’t have been happier about it.

“We performed the way that we know we are capable of,” Biggin said. “Today they were all on. I told them I could not be more proud of them.”

Biggin was pleased with the way the team bounced back after its last home meet, a disappointing loss against Eastern Michigan.

“The last time we were here, it was a disaster,” Biggin said. “We haven’t lost to Eastern Michigan in 20 years.”

Biggin felt, coming off that last home meet, it was important to tell the gymnasts to believe in themselves and to be confident in every routine.

Senior Rachel Stypinski took home another all-around title with the third-highest score in school history, a 39.575. Stypinski was more excited, though, about how her team came together and performed on its home floor.  

“I am so happy,” Stypinski said. “It was definitely a good setup for next week, which will be my last meet here in the (M.A.C. Center).”

Stypinski noticed her teammates were focused in on themselves this time. She said they didn’t let any distractions take over, and they concentrated on what they had to do.

Junior Kennedy Plude was the leadoff performer for the Flashes on the balance beam, which was a change in their lineup. Plude set the tone for the rest of her teammates by scoring a 9.850.

“This week, he switched my spot to the first,” Plude said. “I just tried to remain calm and practice exactly what I do in the gym.”

During the last home meet, the beam was the Flashes’ weakest event. Plude said this week the beam team stepped up, but she still hopes to see improvements on dismounts and confidence.

Biggin was thrilled with the confidence the team expressed overall.

“It started on vault,” Biggin said. “We just looked more relaxed when we competed. You could just tell on their faces that they were more confident.”

Not only was Biggin impressed with the improvement on beam, but he was ecstatic with the amount of landings the Flashes stuck on the uneven bars.

“The last couple of weeks, we really have spent a lot of time on stuck landings,” Biggin said.

Along with Biggin, Stypinski, a senior and captain on the team, could not have been happier with the bounce-back performance.

“We reminded the team it is our senior year,” Stypinski said. “We want to enjoy this as a team. That’s what they did, and that’s what they gave us.”

The Flashes will be hosting George Washington and Temple next weekend in the Kent State Tri-Meet.

“We hope to improve on pointed toes, straight knees, and let’s go get some more stuck landings,” Stypinski said.

Libby Schrack is a sports reporter. Contact her at [email protected].