Live Blog: No.18 Iowa State at No. 50 Illinois State

We’ve got the battle for the supreme ISU in this Sunday’s matchup! Iowa State comes in as the easy favorite, as a disastrous meet would still likely result in a win. However, the Cyclones did unexpectedly have to withdraw from competing at Metroplex last weekend after some positive COVID tests within the program’s staff, so how they’re able to bounce back from that adversity will be key to watch.

The biggest strength for Iowa State this season has been its roster size, with 17 different gymnasts having competed so far. Junior transfer Addy De Jesus has been leading the way so far as the team’s lone all arounder, and she also earned a perfect 10 on her second vault of the season. Vault has been the most consistent event for the Cyclones, earning a No. 8 ranking, while floor has surprisingly been their downfall. Iowa State has several great floor workers, including Maddie Diab and Andrea Maldonado, but early lineup misses have hindered the ability to build scores and let Diab and Maldonado bring in massive numbers.

After struggling in its first three meets, Illinois State finally put things together in its second meet of week six. The Redbirds just missed hitting 195 by one tenth, but that score is marvelous compared to the 190 they put up two days prior and their 187 debut score. Depth is also a strength for Illinois State, having used 14 gymnasts so far this season, but hitting has been the main issue. Sophomore Angelica Labat, reigning MIC Gymnast of the Week, has been the most consistent competitor for the Redbirds, having the team’s second best average on three events, but she’s been struggling on bars just like the rest of the team. Labat also competed a Yurchenko one and a half in her freshman season but has vaulted only a full in 2021. Getting that 10.0 start value back into the lineup would be huge for Illinois State’s scoring potential.

Follow along this afternoon with scores and video on Illinois State’s Facebook Live. Since the Redbirds’ video will be the only video for this meet I’m not sure we will get many/any looks at Iowa State routines, but I will be sure to update scores and link to tweets of routines worth watching!

Rotation 1: Illinois State Vault, Iowa State Bars

No stream just yet, but we’ve got a bars lineup for the Cyclones.

Doctor (Ill St): Y1/2. Good block and nice form in the air, pretty decent hop forward. 9.700

Lots of cheering in the background, signaling both teams are competing at the same time and not alternating. Likely only Illinois State routines on the stream unless the Redbirds finish an event early.

Fox (Ill St): Another Y1/2. A little bit loose with the form throughout and a small hop. 9.625

Heard (Ill St): Yfull. Nice form in the air, a little crunched on the block and a step sideways on the landing. 9.750

Neely (Ill St): Y1/2. Great height off the table and great form right until the end, a little early bending the knees to prep for the landing. Only a small hop. 9.775

Labat (Ill St): Yfull. Good height and gets some fantastic distance. Slides back on the landing. 9.675

Bandy (Ill St): Yfull tucked. Very loose in the tuck and a little off-balance on the landing and takes a step sideways. 9.525

Stream ended right after the last Redbird vault, so no video on the Cyclones today unfortunately. The scores page is also not working so I will update when I am able!

After 1: Iowa State 49.050, Illinois State 48.525

A solid start to the meet for both teams, as the Redbirds and Cyclones posted their second best scores this season on their respective events in the first rotation. This bodes well for Illinois State moving forward as last week it started hot on vault and used that momentum to post a new season high score. Lets hope the Redbirds can repeat that performance today!

Rotation 2: Iowa State Vault, Illinois State Bars

Decroo (Ill St): Just caught the end. Giant full to double tuck dismount, small hop. 9.650

Heard (Ill St): Mounts to the high bar, nice first handstand, clear hip to tkatchev to overshoot, solid, small arm circle on the jump to high bar, double layout dismount and lets go way too early, swings far out and lands on her knees. 9.025

Fox (Ill St): Giant full to bail, nice handstand, toe shot to high bar, messy double layout dismount but sticks it! 9.675

Doctor (Ill St): Gets things started on the high bar, short on the first handstand, great giant half to jager, bail to handstand, a little loose, hops to high bar, dismounts with a double layout, small hop and very piked at the end. 9.725

Labat (Ill St): Opens up with a toe on, Ray to overshoot, a little leg separation, hops to high bar and hits the handstand, sticks a FTDT dismount! 9.875!

Iribarren (Ill St): Mounts directly to the high bar, giant half to jager, perfect, great handstands so far, that continues with the bail, jumps back to high bar, giant half to double front, just a small hop. Great routine! 9.850

A look at an Iowa State vault and scores…

Rotation 2: Iowa State 48.850, Illinois State 48.775

After 2: Iowa State 97.900, Illinois State 97.300

Another hit rotation for Illinois State! The Redbirds’ ability to bounce back and hit after a fall was rewarded with a new season high on bars. For a team that has scored in the 46s on the event, a high 48 is huge! Iowa State scored a little lower than usual on vault, especially with the difficulty the Cyclones bring to the table. I doubt the Redbirds will be able to manage an upset, but Iowa State needs to get it together if it wants a useable NQS road score.

Rotation 3: Illinois State Beam, Iowa State Vault

Remkus (Ill St): Easy full turn, BHS LOSO, a little knees in the air but hits it, switch leap to beat jump to straddle 3/4, small check between the first two jumps, cat leap to side somi, leans forward to catch her balance, front tuck full dismount with a small hop. 9.650

Doctor (Ill St): BHS LOSO to open, comes right off the beam, remounts, cat leap to switch half to beat jump, a little short of 180, front aerial and a huge check, grabs the beam, no problems on the full turn, gainer full dismount with a small slide. 8.775

Quigg (Ill St): Needs to hit after the fall. Front toss to BHS, slight hesitation but should get the connection, sissone to tuck jump full to beat jump, another small pause, side somi and fights hard but comes off the beam, good full turn, stuck RO 1.5 dismount. 9.275

Fox (Ill St): Gets started with a BHS BHS LOSO, very solid, some knee form, split leap to switch half, full turn, small check but covers it, front layout full dismount, small pike in the hips and steps into her salute. 9.775

Kipp (Ill St): Opens with a beat jump, BHS LOSO, big check but stays on, switch leap to switch half, slightly under rotated, clean full turn, dismounts with a RO 1.5, just a step forward. 9.600

Labat (Ill St): Front aerial to start things off, BHS LOSO, huge wobbles, does a full turn to save it but stays on, then wobbles on her actual full turn, switch leap to switch half, soft knees in the splits, BHS 1.5 dismount and sticks it. 9.600

Barron (Ill St): Begins with a sissone to LOSO, small step back to sturdy herself, BHS LOSO, looked straight but immediately turns and falls, remounts, switch leap to back tuck, full turn solid, RO 1.5 dismount with a step to the side.

Some Cyclone highlights:

Rotation 3: Illinois State 47.900, Iowa State 49.175

After 3: Iowa State 147.075, Illinois State 145.200

Lots of little errors for Iowa State costing them a few tenths, but overall a hit rotation for the Cyclones. Big errors cost Illinois State on beam, with a fall or major check in nearly every routine. Definitely not what the Redbirds were looking for coming off two great rotations to open the meet, but they still have a chance to put up a solid performance with a strong outing on floor to finish up the meet.

Rotation 4: Iowa State Beam, Illinois State Floor

Remkus (Ill St): Wolf 1.5, falls on her double tuck, low and opened up late, tour jete half to straddle full to wolf full, a bit off balance, front layout to front full, good form just a bound forward, might have missed an opening pass on the stream. 8.950

Fox (Ill St): Opens with a front layout to Rudi, just some soft knees and ankles, cleanly through her leaps, double pike to close, good landing. 9.800

Decroo (Ill St): Emergency siren opening music, stuck double tuck to open, switch side to straddle full, cleanly around, front full to front layout, a bit whipped and steps forward, finishes with a double pike and a hoppy lunge to end. 9.800

Two falls for Iowa State on beam already.

Labat (Ill St): Struts onto the floor for her opening pose. Gets us started with a front double full, takes a bit of a shuffle to her right on the landing, tour jete full, fully rotated, RO 1.5 punch layout second pass, decent landing, closes with a Rudi, super controlled lunge. Three hit routines after the opening fall! 9.650

Three falls in a row for the Cyclones! Will have to count a pair of 9.175s.

Quigg (Ill St): Mounts with a double pike sans bhs, switch half to wolf full, not a lot of height, great RO 1.5 punch layout, ends with a RO double tuck and an easy lunge back. 9.825

Topp (Ill St): Sporting an Ohashi-esque bun, opens with a front layout full to front layout, clean landing, switch side to straddle full, so bouncy and high, sky high and perfectly stuck double pike and hits a leap to close! 9.875

Barron (Ill St): Exhibition. Starts off with a front layout to front full, slightly under rotated on the twist but covers it with a step, wolf jump 1.5, slightly under rotated as well, double tuck with a bound back on the landing, takes an awkward step and goes down and grabs at her ankle. Stops her routine as coaches come onto the floor to assist her. Starts walking with a limp, takes a few steps and starts walking normally and appears to be ok.

Iowa State highlight from the final rotation.

Rotation 4: Iowa State 46.800, Illinois State 48.950

Final: Illinois State 194.150, Iowa State 193.875

A beam disaster in the final rotation for Iowa State compared to five hits for Illinois State on floor led to a much closer meet than anticipated, and a HUGE Redbirds upset! Falls ended up being the difference today, as Illinois State counted one while the Cyclones unfortunately had to count three. The unexpected week off last weekend did not seem to benefit Iowa State who is going to need to figure out beam to bounce back against West Virginia next week. This meet should give Illinois State some great momentum, especially since these two squads will have a rematch in a tri-meet against Northern Illinois in a few weeks.

Event Winners

Vault: De Jesus (Iowa State) 9.825

Bars: Labat (Illinois State) 9.875

Beam: De Jesus 9.825

Floor: De Jesus, Diab (Iowa State), Topp (Illinois State) 9.875

All Around: De Jesus 39.350

Live blog by Brandis Heffner

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