Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Post Team Season High, Defeat Illini

By NU Athletic Communications

Lincoln, Neb. -- The No. 18 Nebraska women's gymnastics team (3-1, 2-0 Big Ten) defeated Illinois (4-4, 1-1 Big Ten) with a season high team-score of 197.250-194.675.

In the meet, 10 Huskers set or tied career high on all events. Adnerys De Jesus took home her first event title of her career hitting with a score of 9.90 on vault and finished the night with career highs in all her events. Illinois' Rae Balthazor took home the uneven bars event title with a score of 9.925, senior Sienna Crouse finished first on balance beam with a career high 9.90, junior Big Ten Gymnast of the Week Taylor Houchin took home the floor and all-around event titles and finished tying a career high on floor with a score of 9.95 and a season-high in the all-around with a score of 39.525.

Rotation One
Beginning on vault, freshman De Jesus led the way with a career-high 9.90. Houchin and Anika Dujakovich both hit for 9.85s, tying a career high for Dujakovich, while Sienna Crouse stuck a powerful 9.80. Kaylee Quinn and and Makayla Curtis would round out the Huskers with a score of 9.75 and 9.70, respectively. 

On uneven bars, Illinois put together a strong team score led by a 9.925 by junior Balthazor. Karen Howell also posted a 9.90 with two Illini posting scores of 9.875 in their best rotation of the night. Illinois led Nebraska 49.425-49.150.

Rotation Two
Continuing onto uneven bars, the Huskers strung together their best rotation of the season thanks in part to two 9.90 routines from Verceles Carr and Houchin. Freshmen De Jesus and Johnston both stuck fantastic routines for new career highs with a score of 9.875. Fellow freshman Hargrove continued the strong rotation with a score of 9.825 for a career high. Senior Kelli Chung rounded out NU with a score of 9.70 for a career high as well.

On vault, Illinois lost a step with Kasey Meeks leading the way for the Illini with a score of 9.775. Howell posted a score of 9.750 and Mary Jane Otto finished with a score of 9.725. The Huskers posted a season-high team score of 49.375. Nebraska led Illinois 98.525-97.725.

Rotation Three
After two rotations, the Huskers moved onto Beam where Crouse stuck a 9.90 after a stellar routine tying a career high. Sierra Hassel continued her beam excellence with a 9.875 and Houchin was not far behind her with a score of 9.825. Makayla Curtis and Hargrove rounded out the Huskers with scores of 9.80 and 9.775, respectively, a career high for Curtis. 

On floor, Kylie Noonan posted Illinois' best score with a score of 9.875, Howell hit with a score of 9.825 and Balthazor finished with a score 9.725. Nebraska continued their best meet of the season with a team-score of 49.225 on beam. After three rotations, NU led 147.750-146.675.

Rotation Four
Going into the final rotation, Nebraska was poised to continue their dominant performance. Houchin tied for a career high 9.95 while Hassel hit with a career high 9.925 and Crouse tied a career high with a 9.925 as well. Schweihofer hit with a score of 9.875 and De Jesus finished her best meet with a score of 9.825, another career high. Johnston rounded out the Huskers on floor with a score of 9.750.

On beam, the Illini struggled the most due to two falls. Otto hit with a score of 9.825, while Balthazor and Howell both posted scores of 9.80. Nebraska posted a season high team-score of 49.500 on floor. The Huskers exploded past Illinois in the final rotation to defeat the Illini 197.250-194.675. 

In the all-around for Nebraska, Houchin finished with a season-high 39.525 and for Illinois, Howell finished with a score of 39.275 and Balthazor, a score of 38.925.

Nebraska will continue Big Ten competition with a road trip to defending Big Ten Champions Michigan on Sunday, Feb. 3 at 3 p.m. CT with national television coverage provided by ESPN. NU will then return home for a home match against Minnesota at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 5 p.m. CT with national television coverage provided by ESPNU. 

Name Vault Bars Beam Floor All-Around
Kelli Chung 9.70*
Sienna Crouse 9.80 9.90* 9.925*
Makayla Curtis 9.70 9.80*
Adnerys De Jesus 9.90* 9.875* 9.825*
Anika Dujakovich 9.85*
Sarah Hargrove 9.825* 9.775*
Sierra Hassel 9.875 9.925*
Taylor Houchin 9.85 9.90 9.875 9.950* 39.525
Abby Johnston 9.875* 9.75
Kaylee Quinn 9.75
Megan Schweihofer 9.825 9.875
Megan Verceles Carr 9.90*

Team Vault Bars Beam Floor Total
Nebraska 49.150 49.375 49.225 49.500 197.250
Illinois 49.425 48.300 48.750 48.750 194.675

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