LIVE BLOG: Morgantown Regional Round One

Hello, hello! Happy day one of regionals!

Round one of the Morgantown regional features host West Virginia and Penn State. This should be a close matchup, assuming both teams are on their A-game. Forty-four hundredths separates them in NQS; 0.093 in average. Penn State has the edge in both cases, though West Virginia gets the benefit of competing in its home arena.

West Virginia has had quite an up-and-down season. The Mountaineers have topped out at 196.100 but struggled to consistently reach high 195s and low 196s. Beam is the event to watch; if they can hit beam, the Mountaineers will be in good shape. Individually, West Virginia’s duo of Kian(n)as—Kianna Yancey and Kiana Lewis—have impressed thus far, and sophomore Abbie Pierson followed up her freshman campaign with a stronger sophomore season. The potential is there, and head coach Jason Butts believes they are peaking at the right time, especially if they can start strong and build off that positive energy.

Penn State has a lower peak at 196.000. The Nittany Lions, however, have been more consistent with the exception of a few meets. Especially watch their bar lineup; it ranks within the top 20 in the country. Floor could be a make or break event for Penn State, and it’ll want to avoid continuing its downward trend of beam totals for the past three meets. Ava Verdeflor, Cassidy Rushlow and Alissa Bonsall lead the way, and bars is all of their best events as well.

PSU lineups:

Rotation 1

“the journey to a national championship runs through country roads” omg the WV reference

looks like we get a dual screen!

Abarca (WVU): solid, clean bar routine to start. Getting everything situated on my end. 9.775

Bladon (PSU): yfull, pike down, hop back.

Combs (WVU): good first hs; Maloney, some leg sep to pak, sig leg sep; great next hs; blind full some foot sep to double tuck stuck. 9.8

Johnston (PSU): yfull, pretty good in air, maybe the slightest pike, stuck

wait, apparently PSU switched the vault order on us. first was Johnston. 9.675. second Bladon. 9.7

um. why are we playing the Nia floor routine audio. ok. we back.

Hornung (WVU): missed beginning; hit straddled jaeger and bail; good final hs; double tuck, step back. These are the bar routines WVU wanted to see today. 9.8

Cross (PSU): yfull, clean, shuffle step back. 9.75

Bonsall (PSU): yfull, clean, hop back.  9.725

Ka. Yancey (WVU): straddled jaeger to bail hit; short next hs; double tuck, tiny step. Good. 9.7

Rushlow (PSU): yfull, super clean in air, small hop back. 9.8

Ki Yancey (WVU): Maloney to high low transition I missed due to watching vault. good DLO. 9.8

Ayers (PSU): good yfull, small hop. 9.8

Holmes-Hackerd (WVU): good first hs; piked jaeger to bail, solid; good next hs; double back, step forward. 9.8

AFTER ONE: WVU 48.975, PSU 48.775

Penn State at slightly lower than its NQS and average vault total, and WVU hit right on par with its NQS on bars. WVU will be happy with that start to the meet, while PSU looks to close the gap on bars, its strongest event. Vault hasn’t been strong for either team to begin with this season, Penn State showed it. On to the next rotation!

Rotation 2

WVU on vault:


Johnston (PSU): Maloney to bail good; good hs; stumbles forward out of double tuck. 9.625


Hornung (WVU): yfull, good, step back 9.7

Cross (PSU): good release; bail, makes it work; short next hs; blind full double tuck, stuck. 9.8

Ka Yancey (WVU): yfull, some preflight leg form, small step. 9.65

Rushlow (PSU): great first hs; straddled jaeger to bail, super clean and pretty; slightly over next hs pulls it in, double back small hop forward. 9.775

Waldron (WVU): yfull, clean in air, large hop back and a smaller one in place after. 9.65

Verdeflor (PSU): clean so far, missed details due to simultaneous routines. stuck double tuck. Best routine of this rotation so far. 9.85

Lewis (WVU): good yfull 9.8

Pierson (WVU): yfull, good dynamics, small hop. best vault so far for WVU. 9.8

Bonsall (PSU): good first hs; Maloney to bail hs, good; great next hs; dlo, some leg sep and a small step. 9.85

Romagnano (PSU): good first hs; Maloney good to pak, leg sep; short final hs with some bent arms; double tuck, low chest and a step. 9.85 seems…high

AFTER TWO: PSU 97.9, WVU 97.675

Penn State bars wasn’t as good as it could’ve been, but it was enough to take the lead halfway through. That wasn’t the vault rotation WVU wanted; counting a 9.65 isn’t ideal. Floor is the Mountaineers’ best event; let’s see if they can make up ground.

Rotation 3

WVU floor:

Romagnano (PSU): secure bos bos loso, double stag, she just connected another jump to the double stag again, wonder if she missed a connection that I also missed looking at floor. side aerial gainer full stuck. 9.725

Ki Yancey (WVU): great double pike to open. switch ring switch half good; ro 1.5 front half double stag, clean. Ending double tuck, good. Great way to start. 9.8

Verdeflor (PSU): wolf turn, hit; front aerial shush, kinda slow connection. side aerial, secure; double stag, leg check out to horizontal; side somi, big bobble; side somi lay full stuck. 9.525

Linnen (WVU): good first pass; fhs double full good; missed most of this due to Verdeflor beam. 9.825

Ayers (PSU): front aerial bhs, good; switch leap straddle 1/4, secure and extended; ooh, back walkover choreography; hitch kick pause front aerial small lean; side aerial lay full pretty good. 9.675

Holmes-Hackerd (WVU): solid double tuck to open; good splits; clean combo pass; stuck double pike. Another good routine for WVU. 9.85

Johnston (PSU): bhs loso, good, some knees; secure jump connection with a solid sheep; ro 1.5 small step forward. better. 9.775

Lewis (WVU): fhs rudi loso, good; good extension on leaps; double tuck, overrotated but controls it well. 9.875

Cross (PSU): lovely handstand mount right into a bhs loso a la Morgan Lane; secure jumps, sheep not quite there; front toss beat jump good; ro 1.5, deep squat with a step back. 9.75

Combs (WVU): front punch through to double pike, well controlled; good leap series, Jason Butts says it’s so high he could walk under them; double tuck, good. 9.9

Rushlow (PSU): beat jump split 3/4, check; switch leap split jump better; side aerial, hip check; ro 1.5 stuck. 9.625

Pierson (WVU): great dlo; fhs front lay front full good; switch side wolf full, good positions. 9.9

AFTER THREE: WVU 147.025, PSU 146.450

WOW. What a floor rotation for WVU. Season best for the Mountaineers on the event. Penn State decided to Penn State on beam. No falls at least, but that was overall not a pretty rotation, and WVU will take the lead heading into the final rotation. One more to go until we know who advances!

Rotation 4

WVU beam:


Holmes-Hackerd (WVU): tucked front full dismount but missed the rest due to stream difficulties. 9.775

Johnston (PSU): ro 1.5 to lay good control; think she just balked her leap pass? um. my stream just died. love that. ok. we back. 9.575

Hornung (WVU): wolf turn, solid; front aerial, check; repeats front aerial, fall. pressure’s on. cal leap front toss bhs, had to improvise that series. ro 1.5 stuck. 9.075

Bladon (PSU): double tuck, big lunge back; just sat her combo pass. zoned out on the rest to focus on beam. 9.5, maybe her but didn’t quite touch.

Pierson (WVU): standing front to wolf jump, good; bhs lo, secure; switch leap to back pike, good; tuck front full hop forward. 9.75

Rushlow (PSU): opening pass good; ro 1.5 to lay good; good leaps. unsure if I missed something or if it was a two pass routine. 9.85

Combs (WVU): front aerial back tuck secure, slightly low chest; cat leap switch side, good; front toss, fought to not give anything away; another tuck front full, step forward. 9.8

Allen (PSU): dlo, solid; hits her leaps; front punch through to double tuck, maybe slightly low chest.  9.8

Lewis (WVU): split jump split 3/4, good; front toss bhs, solid; wolf jump beat jump, secure; gainer pike stuck. 9.8

Bonsall (PSU): double tuck, good; ro lay half front full, well controlled; clean leaps; double pike, slightly low chest. 9.825

Asper (WVU): bhs loso loso secure; L turn, good; switch leap straddle half, solid; ro 1.5 stuck. WVU won’t be counting a fall. 9.8

don’t think PSU can catch WVU now.

Astarita (PSU): open double tuck, good; solid combo pass; switch side popa, good; double pike, hop forward in lunge position. 9.825

FINAL: WVU 195.950, 195.325

WVU advances with a near-196! I thought this meet might come down to beam—that definitely proved to be true. Penn State didn’t quite have it today, and the higher-seeded Nittany Lions walk out empty-handed.

Individuals advancing from Penn State: Cassidy Rushlow (AA), Alissa Bonsall (UB), Ava Verdeflor (UB), Melissa Astarita (FX)

VT: Rushlow, Lewis, Pierson, Ayers 9.8
UB: Bonsall, Romagnano, Verdeflor 9.85
BB: Combs, Lewis, Asper 9.8
FX: Combs, Pierson 9.9
AA: Rushlow 39.050

Live Blog by Tara Graeve

Like what you see? Consider donating to support our efforts throughout the year! [wpedon id=”13158″]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.