Gymnasts look to bounce back against Huskies

Doug Gulasy

Kent State gymnastics coach Brice Biggin said the team talked for a while after its last meet about getting past its first losses of the season.

“We were very disappointed in our performance,” Biggin said. “We talked about changes we had to make, both mentally and physically to avoid this kind of loss.”

The Flashes came in third place of five teams in the meet, finishing behind Penn State and West Virginia. The team’s score in the meet was 192.275, off its previous average of 193.925.

The team looks to bounce back Sunday afternoon with an away meet against Mid-American Conference opponent Northern Illinois. Biggin said it is important for the team to respond, especially against a MAC opponent.

“Any MAC meet is huge, so we have to focus on this weekend’s meet,” he said. “It would’ve been nice to beat a Penn State or a West Virginia, but our MAC games are must-wins, so we have to put our last meet behind us.”

The Flashes currently have a record of 2-0 in the MAC and were picked to win the regular season conference title in the preseason coaches poll.

“If we want to keep our goals of winning the MAC and making regionals, we need to move on and win to stay undefeated in the MAC,” Biggin said.

Biggin said Northern Illinois is a dangerous opponent because the Huskies have been steadily improving.

“Northern Illinois has been a team that we’ve watched get better every year for the past five years,” Biggin said. “They’re at home, so they’ll be comfortable, but if we go out there and focus on ourselves, I think we’ll be fine.”

Biggin stressed the importance of a fast start this weekend after their early struggles last week.

“Being away from home, we need to get out to a fast start, and this week, we start on bars, which is one of our best events,” Biggin said.

“Gymnastics is such a mental sport that it’s important to score well on the first event and build momentum,” he said. “Then the other team is working from behind and can’t make any mistakes.”

Although Biggin said the losses were disappointing, he is confident the Flashes will be able to rebound from it, beginning Sunday.

“I really think that although we had a little lapse in performing, we’ll be able to bounce back,” he said. “If we take it one meet at a time and keep plugging away, we should be fine.”

Contact gymnastics reporter Doug Gulasy at [email protected].