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Redhawks defeated, but score improves
Gymnastics is one sport where coaches and athletes can come away feeling good about things even in defeat.
Such was the case Saturday afternoon for Southeast Missouri State, which suffered its first loss of the season.
But there were few long faces in the Redhawks' camp after they bettered their previous high score by nearly two points during a 192.575-192.275 setback to Illinois-Chicago in front of about 300 fans at Houck Field House.
"A 'W' is always nice, but we can't do anything about their score," Southeast coach Tom Farden said. "They're a really tough team, and we hung with them. Our score went up two points. We're getting better every time."
The Redhawks fell to 2-1 in duals. The Flames, coming off a win at Iowa, are also 2-1. UIC, like Southeast a member of the Midwest Independent Conference, qualified for regionals last year.
"Usually the top team in the conference qualifies for regionals. They're top in the MIC and we're No. 2, and it was important for us to test them," Farden said.
Said Southeast junior Tara Boldt, who tied with UIC's Jackie Jaworowicz for the all-around title with a score of 38.875: "We had a good meet. They're our big rival, and we'll see them again at the conference meet. Hopefully we can get them then."
Boldt also tied for second on floor (9.775), tied for third on vault (9.650) and tied for third on bars (9.700).
Southeast's other event wins were from senior Alexis Traylor on floor (9.800) and freshman Mindi Lineweber, who tied for first on bars (9.725).
Also for the Redhawks, senior Katie Bloom tied for third on vault (9.650) and sophomore Natalie Watts tied for third on bars (9.700).
"We're improving every meet," Boldt said. "We're just taking it one step at a time."
The Redhawks competed for the second straight meet without sophomore Brystol Powelski, who is out for the season with a leg injury suffered during practice following the season-opening win at Illinois State in which she captured the vault and tied for first in the all-around.
"We'll miss Brystol, and it's a shame she got hurt, but hopefully our depth will help us make up for it," Farden said.