LIVE BLOG: No. 20 Missouri and No. 50. UIC at No. 28 Illinois

This meet is not quite as lopsided as it appears. While Illinois struggled early this season, its high score is only .025 behind Missouri’s 196.375. If the Illini put up a complete meet and Missouri falters just a bit, things could get very close. To keep pace early, Illinois needs to push its vault lineup of all fulls into the 9.8s, which means clean landings and eliminating bent elbows and piking. Illinois’ advantage comes on beam, where Bridget Hodan and Karen Howell excel. Missouri is the stronger floor team, capable of big numbers from Kennedi Harris, Allison Bower and Aspen Tucker.

While UIC is behind in terms of team score, this is still an important meet. The Flames currently lead the MIC conference, and a solid 194 away score would be a boost in conference standings when RQS kicks in on Monday. UIC is led by standout Mikailla Northern and freshman all arounder Ashley Albrecht, who has broken out in recent weeks. The team also features an exciting bar set from Toni Alicke, and Kayla Baddeley can put up a very dynamic vault. The Flames have all the pieces of a solid meet, and it will be exciting to see if they can break out.

This is a princess/superhero meet, so here are some adorable pictures of the Illini as kids to tide you over until we get started.

It’s time! It’s time! But the feed hasn’t started up yet. If you’ve read any of my live blogs, you know that the Big Ten doesn’t exactly adhere to the timeliness and fast pace of the SEC (Friday Night Heights we love you). We’ll start…at some point.

WELL no stream yet. I’ll stick with it in case they come back, but until then we’ll rely on tweets and scores.

Rotation 1: Illinois vault, Missouri bars, UIC floor

Haylee Roe (Ill.): 9.725

Aspen Tucker (Mo.): 9.85

Daniela Maciel (UIC): 9.7

Jordyn Givens (Ill.): 9.725

Brooke Kelly (Mo.): 9.75

Serena Baker (UIC): 9.0

Nicole Biondi (Ill.): 9.675

Tia Allbritten (Mo.): 9.75

Toni Alicke (UIC): 9.675 long long waits on these floor scores.

Bridget Hodan (Ill.): 9.8

Shauna Miller (Mo.): 9.9

Abby Hasanov (UIC): 9.825

Rae Balthazor (Ill.): 9.725

Morgan Porter (Mo.): 9.875

Kayla Baddeley (UIC): 9.8

Kasey Meeks (Ill.): 9.65 Oof. She’s almost always around a 9.8. Tough vault rotation for the Illini. Without seeing any vaults, I’d guess they were hoppy and lacking amplitude, both chronic problems for the team. It’ll be an uphill battle to catch Missouri now.

Madeleine Huber (Mo.): 9.875

Mikkaila Northern (UIC): 9.875

After 1: Illinois: 48.7, Missouri: 49.075, UIC: 48.875

Ouch, Illinois. Missouri will be very happy with that excellent bar rotation, and UIC will also be excited with a season-high floor performance. Thankfully, Illinois’ two best events – bars and beam – are next. The Illini will need big hits on both to catch up.

GUYS WE HAVE VIDEO! And it includes commentary, which is new for Illinois streams. Hooray! This will get more exciting now.

Rotation 2: Illinois bars, Missouri beam, UIC vault

Serena Baker (UIC): FTY, knees wild and a big pike.

Albritten (Mo.): Front toss + split, nice.

Biondi (Ill.): Pike Jaeger nice. Pretty bail hand. Stuck Double tuck.

Ashley Albrecht (UIC): Saw half of her FTY, pretty piked.

Tucker (Mo.): Bhs layout to two, nice. Beat + loso, medium sized break.

Katie Snyder (UIC): FTY, piked, big step back.

Lyndsey Dwyer (Ill.): Big piked Jaeger. Small step on double tuck.

Riley Mahoney (UIC): Yhalf, pretty.

Porter (Mo.): Front toss + bhs, nice. Front aerial, good.

Givens (Ill.): Didn’t show most of the routine, double tuck with a small hop.

Kayla Baddeley (UIC): FTY, medium step.

Gottula (Mo.): Bhs bhs loso little wobble. Small step on gainer full dismount.

Sarah Lyons (Ill.): PERFECT bail handstand. So solid. Dlo, really low in the knees, but stuck.

Mikailla Northern (UIC): BIG FTY, small step.

Kelly (Mo.): Off on front aerial, redoes it to connect to bhs, much better the second time. LOVELY straddle + sheep. Hop on front full dismount.

Karen Howell (Ill.): BIG piked Jaeger. Nice handstands. Stuck double tuck, lovely.

Exo, not announced (UIC): FTY, bent arms on the table, low and close.

Balthozor (Ill.): Gigantic Tkatchev + bail, little loose on the bail. Hop forward on half in half out dismount.

Ward (Mo.): Pretty mount. Bhs bhs loso, completely secure. Switch + pike, nice. She looks very comfortable. Cat + side aerial, solid. RO 1.5, stuck. Gorgeous anchor routine.

Rotation 2 scores: Illinois: 49.225, Missouri: 49.15, UIC: 48.65

After 2: Illinois: 97.925, Missouri: 98.4, UIC: 97.525

Much better from Illinois, but Missouri is on tonight. This could end up being close! UIC is also having a great meet.

Rotation 3: Illinois beam, Missouri floor, UIC bars

Albrecht (UIC): Shaposh, bail hand, little short. Small step on double tuck.

Roe (Ill.): Pretty bhs loso. Cat + loso, no problems. RO 1.5, teeny hop.

Miller (Mo.): Can hear her music but the camera isn’t panning over. Announcer saying it was clean but not spectacular. Sure.

Snyder (UIC): Giant full + Geinger, nice. Pretty toes, short handstands, stuck double tuck.

Biondi (Ill.): Switch + straddle 1/4 pretty splits. Bhs loso, solid.

Bower (Mo.): Caught the landing of her double pike, no problems. RO 1.5 front lay, nice body position. Double tuck, nice, lands with chest very high.

I think we missed a bar routine while the camera was on floor. Oy.

Howell (Ill.): Bhs layout to two, big step back and bends at the hips. Switch + straddle 1/4 chest a little low.

Riley Cholod (UIC): Ray, nice! Bail handstand, solid. Some problems on the low bar, has to do a few half pirouettes to get it right, nice double twisting dismount.

Michaelee Turner (Mo.): Not getting to see the this one, I guess. Double tuck last pass, nice.

Kylie Noonan (Ill.): Bhs loso tiny waver, but saves it. standing loso, solid. Carthweel gainer full, stuck.

Baker (UIC): Blind + Jaeger, very nice. Little shy on a handstand. Dlo, small hop.

Aspen Tucker (Mo.): HUGE tucked full in, solid landing. Fun wolf half shushenova. Love that. Double full loso, loso very very low, but she salvages the landing. Random front tuck. Double tuck to end, big step back, fairly controlled.

Northern (UIC): Announcer telling us she fell.

Balthazor (Ill.): Ah, she’s off on the jump series. Not great, since Howell had the big break.

Harris (Mo.): This routine is always a treat. Double pike, undercooks it a little and has to take a big step forward. Switch side + popa, huge. Front lay front full, solid, tiny leg sep. Double tuck, huge! Good finish.

Hodan (Ill.): Think we’re missing this routine, which is a CRIME. Here we go. Switch, with a bobble. Beat + sissone. Cat + Illusion turn and she falls, not good for Illinois, now counting a big mistake and fall.

Mary Nicholson (Mo.): Tour jete full, love to see that. 1.5 front lay, some knees and archy. Switch side + popa, fine. Not the biggest performance quality for an anchor. FHS rudi, no problems.

Rotation 3 scores: Illinois: 48.3, Missouri: 49.325, UIC: 48.575

After 3: Illinois: 146.225, Missouri: 147.725, UIC: 146.1

UIC and Missouri are right where they want to be! Illinois struggling on what can be its best event is becoming a theme. This team lacks consistency. It’s unlikely the Illini will catch Missouri now. Missouri could very well hit 197 tonight.

Rotation 4: Illinois floor, Missouri vault, UIC beam

Maciel (UIC): Not getting to see this one.

Noonan (Ill.): Layout + rudi, nice. Tour jete full, doesn’t quite get around. Ring leap + split full. 1.5 + punch lay, some knees and arch, good landing.

Miller (Mo.): FTY, we’re told it was solid but we didn’t see it.

Biondi (Ill.): The video is getting very grainey, tough to see feet. Double pike, looked like flexed feet but huge. Double tuck, has to step forward. Tour jete half + Popa, looked good. FHS front lay front full, lost momentum on the full.

I guess we’re just not getting beam this rotation. Sorry, UIC!

Porter (Mo.): FTY little low, small hop.

Hodan (Ill.): Front double full + punch front, lovely! Rudi loso, close to the line but keeps it in. Illusion + Illusion, pretty nice! FHS rudi, no problems. Nice routine.

Albrecht (UIC): Piked gainer off the end, small step.

Harris (Mo.): FTY, almost got the stick, had to hop.

Roe (Ill.): Ooo out of the leadoff spot. That’s exciting for her. She’s a great performer, always grinning. Double pike great landing.Double tuck, no problems. Tour jete half wolf full, not the tightest wolf position. Front lay front full, controls the landing pretty well. Very solid set.

Huber (Mo.): We didn’t get to see this one.

Balthazor (Ill.): She’s also a fun performer. Gets into it from the first beat. Double tuck HUGE, hops out of bounds. Tour jete full, gets it around. Tour jete half + split full, nice. This announcer just calls tour jetes splits and I’m losing my mind listening, because he’s otherwise super knowledgable. 1.5 + punch front, no power on the punch and sits the front.

Tucker (Mo.): FTY, massive! Small hop back.

Northern (UIC): Pretty handstand mount. Bhs loso, solid. She’s very confident. Cat + side aerial, .1 bobble. Switch side, nice.

Howell (Ill.): Missing the beginning. Switch side Popa + wolf full, nice. She dances up to her big Coldplay medley, really nice performance. Double pike, nice landing. Lovely lovely dance.

Ward (Mo.): We didn’t get this one either.

Baddeley (UIC): Falls on front tuck mount, LOVE to see her throw that though. Bhs loso, big bobble but stays on. Beat + split full, another wobble. RO 1.5, tiny step.

Givens (Ill. – exhibition): FHS front lay front full, almost went out, but looks like she kept it in. Tour jete full. Switch side + double stag. RO 1.5, front lay, lands out of bounds.

Rotation 4 scores: Illinois: 49.175, Missouri: 48.9, UIC: 48.0

FINAL: Missouri: 196.625, Illinois: 195.5, UIC: 194.1

A season high for Missouri! The Tigers will be happy with that going into RQS tomorrow. Illinois used a season high floor rotation to salvage what could have been a disaster meet, and puts up a score that will boost its RQS as well – home meets continue to be a struggle for the Illini. UIC just missed its season-high score, but will take this as an away performance!

Event Winners:
VT: Tucker, 9.85
UB: Howell, Miller, 9.9
BB: Ward, 9.925
FX: Roe, Turner, 9.9
AA: Tucker, 39.325

Live blog by Emily Minehart

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