Kent State Tops Eastern Michigan, 194.150-191.050
Goldenberg leads the way on the floor with event-best 9.900 and wins twice; Johnson claims all-around title for second-consecutive meet
KENT, Ohio – The Kent State gymnastics team utilized a high-energy crowd Friday night in the team's home opener against Eastern Michigan, as the Golden Flashes defeated the Eagles 194.150-191.050 at the MAC Center.
"What a phenomenal crowd," said Kent State head coach Brice Biggin. "It's one of the best we've had here. We couldn't ask for a more energetic and enthusiastic crowd tonight. It really helps energize our team."
Notably more confident than the season opener, Kent State benefitted from strong team efforts on the vault and bars to take the early lead it would not relinquish.
On the vault, all six Golden Flashes contributed to a 48.925 score; including ties, all six were among the meet's top finishers. Senior Rachel Goldenberg (Doylestown, Pa.) capped Kent State's performance on the apparatus with a 9.850.
Kent State then turned in a 48.850 on the bars, with junior Rachel Guida (Cumberland, R.I.) taking top honors with a 9.850. The Golden Flashes had the top five scores on the bars to help take over a one-point lead through two rotations.
Although the team struggled on the beam, Kent State wrapped up the evening with a 48.775 on the floor to secure the home win. Goldenberg again was the meet's leader, posting a 9.900 to close out Kent State's scoring. Sophomore Marie Case (Erie, Pa.) took second overall with a 9.875.
For the second straight outing, freshman Whitnee Johnson (Columbia, Mo.) took all-around honors, improving her career-best to 38.625 in her early collegiate career. Johnson finished tied for fourth on the vault and floor and fifth on the bars and beam.
"Overall, we had little mistakes that we need to fix," said Biggin. "I know we won, but it's not about wins and losses; it's about performance. We weren't up to our ability and expectations tonight.
"Our team energy was improved," Biggin continued. "And if we can get everything together consistently, we'll be pleased with our performance."
Kent State hits the road next week for its next meet, as the Golden Flashes will challenge Ball State Friday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m.