Hawks fall with the smallest of margins against hornets
SACRAMENTO, California.- A late Sacramento State rally in the final rotation pushed the Hornets into a winning position, as the Air Force was on the unfortunate end of a final score of 194.225-194.00.
“We made mistakes at the start which are difficult to overcome on the road,” said the head coach Jennifer Green. “We are committed to having the courage to grow and fearlessness.”
The Air Force started the encounter on the bars, although there was no stage fright for the young Falcons. First-year student Genevieve Sabado placed first in the event with a 9.825 while her new career-best all-around score of 39.300 was also first among the qualifying field.
Ayla McKean, another freshman, produced a 9.750 on bars, good for one of her three second-place titles. McKean, the MPSF outgoing rookie of the week, tied her career high of 39.100 overall, where she also placed second overall.
Stapleton cameo The floor routine was the best of her college career, as the senior drilled the floor to the tune of 9.900. Stapleton Performance Matches by Briona Carswell 9,900 as season records so far for the Air Force.
The Falcons’ overall score on the floor was once again superlative. A judged range of Stapleton, Sabado, McKean, Daija Stevenson, and Velandra Brochi posted a 49.125 to tie the team’s season-high score in the event. All five gymnasts scored at least 9.775 as the Falcons have now posted identical floor exercise scores for back-to-back meetings.
Carswell placed third on balance beam in a crowded field, where she clocked a season-best 9.850. Brochi’s 9.800 was also the best beam score of his first season.
The Falcons’ success on the court saw the away team take a small lead in the final rotation, but the Hornets followed with their own clean routines, scoring a 49.225 in the final event to clinch the narrow victory.
“We’re getting so close, but we have to learn to put an exclamation mark on our performance,” Green said. “We’re going to go home and make some adjustments.”
Then the Air Force will travel again for the MPSF competition when the Falcons travel to San Jose State on Friday, February 11. The match is scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m. MT.