Courtesy: Tim Fitzgerald/CMU Athletics
Taylor Bolender is congratulated by her teammates after posting a career-best 9.925 on floor to capture the event title is CMU's loss to Kent State on Sunday.
No. 19 Gymnastics Falls by 0.025 to No. 25 Kent State
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – A rough time on bars was too much to overcome for the Central Michigan gymnastics team as it fell at home on Sunday for the first time this season to No. 25 Kent State, 195.525-195.500.

The 19th-ranked Chippewas (9-1, 3-1) were forced to count a pair of falls on bars, posting a season-low 47.925, while Kent State (7-1, 4-0) had a 48.975 on the event. That gave KSU a 97.675-96.850 lead midway through the meet, a lead Central Michigan could not overcome despite season highs on the final two events. KSU’s Maria Case led her team to victory with a 39.475 in the all-around including a 9.925 on beam to seal the win.

Central Michigan began the meet on vault with Brittany and Kirsten Petzold tying for first with a 9.825. Freshman Kirstin Stambaugh tied Kent State’s Marie Case with a 9.775 for third place. The Chippewas finished their first rotation on vault just behind the Golden Flashes on bars, 48.975-48.925.

For CMU on bars, junior Kylie Fagan was a bright spot, tying Kent State’s Marie Case for first place (9.875). Sophomore Taylor Bolender placed third for the Chippewas, finishing with a 9.825.

On beam, the Chippewas had a three-way tie for second between Becca Druien, Taylor Noonan and Emily Heinz with a 9.875. Kent State senior Marie Case took the top spot on the event with a 9.925, snapping CMU’s streak at 31 of having an individual at least share for first place on an event. Central Michigan did post a season-high on the event, finishing with a 49.300.

The Chippewas almost made their comeback a reality on floor as Becca Druien started off the final rotation with a 9.850, tying Brittany Petzold and Kent State’s Amiah Mims for a fourth-place finish. Taylor Bolender scored a career-best 9.925 to win the event while junior Halle Moraw tied Kent State’s Case for second place (9.900). The Chippewas ended their final rotation with a 49.350, coming up just 0.025 points short.  

Central Michigan gymnastics hits the road to Illinois next week to take on the No. 15 Illini and No. 20 Ohio State in Huff Hall on Sunday, Feb. 23, at 3 p.m.