No. 6 Michigan celebrate Senior Night with victory against NC State
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Sixth-ranked Michigan had eight scores at 9.900 or better in a 197.250-194.800 victory against North Carolina State on Senior Night on Saturday at Crisler Center. Sophomore Nicole Artz led the way for the Wolverines, winning the all-around (39.525).
Sophomore Talia Chiarelli had one of the best meets of her career, winning floor exercise (9.975), tying for first on balance beam with Artz and junior Briley Casanova (9.900) and tying for third on vault (9.875). Freshman Brianna Brown also had a great meet, finishing second in the all-around (39.350), winning uneven bars (9.900) and tying for fourth on balance beam (9.800). Senior Sachi Sugiyama, in her final regular-season home meet, scored only 38.900 in the all-around due to a fall but was solid on the other three events, taking second on vault (9.900), tying for second on uneven bars (9.850) and third on floor exercise (9.925).
The Wolverines stared out strong on vault, scoring 49.325, tied for their highest total on that event this year. The highest score came from Sugiyama, as the senior scored 9.900 with only a tiny hop forward on her Yurchenko 1.5; Chiarelli and junior Austin Sheppard each scored 9.875s on Yurchenko fulls despite some movement on the landings. Artz scored 9.850 in the third position, while Brown, who was in the leadoff spot for the first time this season, put up a 9.825 with a stuck Yurchenko full.
The uneven bars rotation started out with four consecutive sticks before some trouble on the last two. Junior Lindsay Williams got the ball rolling with one of her cleaner routines of the season, hitting in the leadoff spot for a 9.850. Artz followed with a 9.825, complete with a stuck, sky high double layout dismount. Sugiyama fought to keep from going over on the second handstand in the third spot, scoring 9.850, leading into Brown's 9.900, complete with a well-executed Ray-to-Pak series. The last routine came from senior Brooke Parker, who hit a 9.650, but she took a pretty large step forward on her double front dismount. At the halfway point, Michigan led 98.400-97.650.
The Wolverines had to maneuver around a fall in the second spot on balance beam but did that in magnificent fashion, scoring 49.300 on the apparatus for the third consecutive week. Three gymnasts received 9.900s, including Casanova in the leadoff spot, one week after doing a similarly strong routine that had a two-tenth difference between the judging panel. The other two came from Artz and Chiarelli at the end of the rotation, securing the hit rotation. Williams and Brown each hits following the fall, both scoring 9.800.
Michigan carried that momentum over to floor exercise where it put up its highest score of the season (49.550). After a low score in the first spot from Williams (9.650), the remaining five picked it up, escalating the scores the rest of the way. Brown started the hits with a solid routine in the second spot (9.825), followed by Parker, who performed one of the best routines of the season (9.875). Following her was Sugiyama, who tied a career high with an inspired 9.925 performance, a big rebound from her fall in the previous rotation. The highlight of the rotation, though, was Chiarelli, who unquestionably had the best performance of her career at 9.975, including a 10.0 from one judge. Artz followed her, scoring 9.950 to secure the victory.