Stypinski, Romito lead Flashes to road win at Western Michigan


Kent State senior Rachel Stypinski performs her floor routine during Kent State’s “Flip for Cure” meet against Central Michigan at the M.A.C. Center on Feb. 19. 2017. [FILE]

Libby Schrack

Senior Rachel Stypinski tied the school record with a 9.950 on the uneven bars for the second meet in a row, and Kent State (5-2, 2-1 Mid-American Conference) earned its highest road score of the season to defeat Western Michigan (3-2, 1-2 MAC), 195.575-194.975, Sunday, Feb. 11.

“I was very pleased with how we performed and how we handled ourselves,” head coach Brice Biggin said. “They hit really good floor routines, and it is really difficult to finish on beam, but we pushed through and did one of our best beam sets of the year.”

The Flashes won three of the four events and scored better than 49.000 on three events for the first time this season.

Stypinski had another solid meet for the Flashes. The all-American won her third all-around title of the season with a 39.350.

Biggin said he was not only impressed with Stypinki’s performances, but also with senior Michaela Romito. On Friday, the senior came down with the flu, and Biggin was unsure if she would be able to compete.

“Michaela Romito came through and did two really great routines for us on the uneven bars and the floor exercise,” Biggin said. “Those are things that really improve your program.”

Kent State scored a season-high 49.025 on the balance beam. Biggin said this was a huge improvement for the team.

“To finish on beam is really difficult,” Biggin said. “During practice, we zeroed in on little things to work on, like stuck landings on dismounts, leap combinations and even their flight series being a little bit stronger.”

Biggin was very pleased with the hard work and focus that was put into practice on beam, and he said it certainly paid off.

The Flashes return to competition to take on No. 19 Central Michigan at 2 p.m. Sunday at McGuirk Arena in Mount Pleasant. Biggin knows this is a big meet for the team, but he wants the girls to just focus on themselves.

“I don’t want us really focused on them,” Biggin said. “I want us really focused on what we need to do as a team to be successful.”

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