ANCHORAGE – Freshmen Simone Penker and M’rcy Matsunami recorded solid all-arounds Sunday as the Alaska Anchorage gymnastics team posted the 3rd-best score in program history in a 193.350-192.850 dual-meet loss to Eastern Michigan at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.
The Seawolves (4-5) pushed the visitors until late in the final rotation, but the Eagles (2-5) hung on despite three falls on balance beam. EMU’s Kahdijah Hudson was a late addition to the all-around competition, and the Eagles’ freshman responded with a winning 38.600 score, edging Penker (38.450) and Matsunami (38.425).
EMU came in averaging 193.800 on the season, while UAA entered its home finale with a 190.638 average.
Penker’s career-high performance was boosted by a 9.75 on balance beam, while Matsunami saw her streak of four straight all-around victories come to an end despite a 9.725 on vault and a 9.625 on bars.
The big score of the day came from another rookie as Marie-Sophie Boggasch sprung a 9.875 vault, equaling the 5th-best score ever for a Seawolf on that apparatus and tying EMU’s Anna Willette for top honors.
UAA’s team score came thanks to the 2nd-best beam total (48.525), 5th-best vault total (48.500) and 13th-best bars total (48.100) in program history, along with a season-high 47.725 on floor exercise.
“I think we are showing a lot more consistency in our last couple meets, especially on floor,” said UAA head coach Paul Stoklos. “Marie-Sophie’s vault was amazing, Emily Petersen kept scoring well on her beam and bars routines, and everyone else stepped up to do their jobs.”
Petersen, UAA’s junior team captain, earned her sixth individual victory this year with a 9.775 on uneven bars, while Morgan Cook had the best effort of her sophomore campaign with a career-high 9.75 vault, a runner-up 9.775 on beam – tying with Petersen – and a team-best 9.6 floor exercise.
The Seawolves used five freshmen in their floor lineup, getting career-bests from Penker (9.55), Stefany Bryan (9.525), Nicole Wetzel (9.5) and Kayli Davies (9.4). Wetzel, from Keller, Texas, also had her best beam routine with a 9.7.
UAA hits the road for the remainder of the 2013 campaign, beginning with a trip to Michigan for a dual at Central Michigan (Mar. 7) and a quad meet at EMU (Mar. 9).
NOTES: UAA’s 192.850 total was its best in four years, trailing only the 193.000 against Kentucky (3/15/09) and the school-record of 193.750, set at the 2004 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships … Boggasch, from Schwarzenbach am Wald, Germany, became just the third Seawolf to post a vault of 9.875 or higher, joining Dominique Ingram (five times, 2004-05) and Lauren Agostino (once, in 2009) … the Seawolves’ 48.525 beam score topped the 48.375 against Kentucky (3/15/09) as the program record for a home meet, while trailing only a 48.575 at Seattle Pacific (2/7/04) for the No. 1 spot … UAA’s 48.500 vault score equaled its season-high for the third time … with Sunday’s 48.100 on bars, the 2013 Seawolves now have five of the program’s top 13 scores on that apparatus.