LIVE BLOG: No. 43 UW-La Crosse at Lindenwood

Welcome to another meet where we haven’t seen the host team in action yet this season due to a cancellation! This time it’s Division II powerhouse Lindenwood taking on UW-La Crosse. Last weekend, La Crosse easily defeated Gustavus in its home opener. Highlights included event wins from Rachel Chesley and Olivia Opheim on vault and floor, respectively. I’m excited that we’ll actually get to see live video of Chesley’s vault this week! I was sad that her debut 9.650 was nowhere to be found. Senior Emma Grant was noticeably missing from all of her usual lineup spots last weekend. With the capacity of scoring upwards of 9.800 on beam and floor, Grant is a must if the Eagles want to keep this competition within arms reach. 

Lindenwood enters 2022 looking like a completely different team than at the end of last season. With six seniors graduated and the early departure of Nikki Baars, there are quite a few holes that will need filling. Returners Jenna Eagles, Simone Evans and Riley Daniels appeared to step into some of the gaps at Lindenwood’s Black and Gold Intrasquad last month. Bars and vault continue to be the largest question marks in my mind. Hypothetically, there are plenty of team members on the roster to have depth this season. However, competitive experience is a little on the slimmer side in comparison to recent years. Oh and don’t forget that this is the head coaching debut of Catelyn Orel! Stay tuned!

I quite literally have my popcorn ready for this matchup. Waiting to see if the live stats are going to work out today. Currently it says “resource cannot be found.” So there’s that.

Bear with me. This is my first live blog from a non-power five conference stream.

I love getting the intel about how head judging and score flashing works. Intros are about to start!

Rotation 1: Lindenwood VT, UW-La Crosse UB

Am I crazy or is that not where the floor used to be?

I was just going to say…hopefully the vault camera angle changes. But we’re back in business.

I want to say this is Lindenwood alum Lauren Cartmell commentating. They’re doing their 4 minute touch presently.

Caffey (LU): Leading off with a vault debut! Yurchenko full, a little high onto the table, decent shape in the air with a hop. 9.675

Vanderpool (LAX): Blind full to overshoot to toe up to high bar. Blind full double tuck. Pretty large step. 9.525

Eagles (LU): Also her first vault in college! They’re making her WAIT… Rude. Yurchenko full, a little short with a hop forward. 9.500

Can confirm the stats do not work, so I will be relying on the commentators for scores at the moment.

Farley (LAX): Clear hip to Tkatchev. She’s hitting the handstands strong. Overshoot. Short. Strong save on that last handstand with a large arch. Double tuck with a step forward.

Moon (LU): She’s ready to serve this vault up on a platter. Idk what happened with the camera angle. Looked like a decent Yurchenko full. With a medium step back. 9.600

Scores are back. Sorry I’m impatient with these things. There aren’t any fans in Highland today. I hate that for the gymnasts, but got to stay safe out there.

Bar judges are still conferencing over Farley’s score. It’s an 8.85.

Sandvik (LAX): Overshoot. Full twisting tkatchev. Blind full to double tuck. Lands just short and has to put her hands down. I’m sad. I loved the originality of that routine. 8.500

Lopez (LU): Yurchenko full. A little flat and short landing with a hop forward. 9.575

Beck (LAX): Blind change to Jaeger. She missed it today. Not sure if she got her finger tips on the bar to still get credit for the skill. Good height on that though. Overshoot. Peeled off on the bottom trying to kip out. That surprised her for sure. Blind full, double tuck. Short to her knees. She was just a bit off today.

Wojcik (LU): Okay do they pronounce her last name incorrectly here or at Michigan? Yurchenko tucked full. Very short. Nearly put her knees down. Large hop. 9.050

Chesley (LAX): Huge Tkatchev! Blind change, front giant half to overshoot. A hand just slipped, and she’s off. Double layout! Pretty! She’s going to be a strong bar swinger for the Eagles! 8.950

Griswold (LU): She went for the 1.5! 10.0 SV did not pay off today. She came up well short and sat it down. She took the vault a little too far out and not enough up in my opinion. Maybe rushed the twist some to add the extra half. 9.150

Legault (LAX): Maloney to overshoot to stalder. Up to high bar. Stalder to double tuck. I love the way she swings bars! Pretty lines! We need more stalders in the NCAA. 9.300. Seems a little low to me…

Two exhibitions coming from La Crosse today! Hello depth! How are ya?

Cotton Eyed Joe is playing while we wait for the score!

Taylor (LAX): Geinger? Delchev? She had a large leg separation so I couldn’t quite tell. She got her hands on the bar but couldn’t hang on. Clear hip handstand, Pak salto. Blind… Didn’t quite make the blind full over the bar. Needed some more juice. Giant to double tuck. Pulls in a touch. Small step back. I’ve decided on the first release being a Geinger based on training videos.

Saladin (LAX): Blind change, Jaeger, overshoot. A little low on the shoot. Has to put her feet down, but keeps swinging through. Blind full. She dropped down. Looked like a planned conclusion to me.

AFTER ONE: Lindenwood 47.500, UW-La Crosse 45.125

Both teams counted some mistakes in the first event today. Lindenwood’s very young lineup couldn’t quite hang with the vault performance we’re used to seeing. However, Trinity Caffey pulled out a strong score of 9.675 in the lead off spot in her collegiate debut. La Crosse showed some beautiful skills on bars but couldn’t quite hang on consistently today. Highlights included Chesley’s beautiful double layout and strong routines from Vanderpool and Legault. The handstands were honestly pretty decent for January. Don’t worry. The Eagles definitely have the scoring potential to improve from here.

Rotation 2: UW-La Crosse VT, Lindenwood UB

Dickson (LAX): Yurchenko layout, strong shape in the air. Had to pike down a little with a hop back. 9.525

Griswold (LU): New to the bar lineup this year. Swing half to Tkatchev. Overshoot. Some leg form on the catch. Good last handstand. Double layout. Stuck, I think. There was a human in the way. Good lead off routine. Some handstand issues at the beginning.

Hawkins (LAX): Yurchenko layout. Held the shape nicely there, good height. Step back. 9.525

Scott (LU): Geinger. Tight legs. Clear hip to Pak salto. Blind full to double tuck. Short landing with a bounce forward. I feel lied to. Last minute lineup change to Sydney Lopez. 9.300

Beck (LAX): Yurchenko Layout. These Eagles have some POWER! Pretty decent sized step back, but good height and rotation. 9.575

The real Carley Scott (LU): Delchev. Overshoot. A little short of HS. Good last HS. Double layout, stuck! Good routine for the freshman! 9.525

Wood (LAX): Yurchenko layout. A little far back on the table for my liking. Good distance and height with a step back. 9.525

Moon (LU): Shaposh to overshoot to toe up to high bar. Clean routine so far. Double layout with some leg separation and a pike down to land. Step back. 9.575

Vanderpool (LAX): Yurchenko tucked full. Good height, a little off center with a medium sized step back. 9.550

Wojcik (LU): Maloney to overshoot. Some legs on the shoot. Good last HS. Double layout. Some leg separation in the air, less pike down than the last with a hop back. 9.575

Chesley (LAX): She sat down her Yurchenko half this week. Good shape in the air, just not quite enough height to rotation ratio. 9.075

Daniels (LU): Okay Riley in the anchor spot! Tkatchev. Toe hand to overshoot. Good feet on the bail. Blind full to double tuck. Stuck. Yes ma’am! 9.650

I think we’re starting exhibitions now.

Danninger (LAX): FHS front tuck. Pretty low landing, but keeps it to her feet.

Cooper (LU): Blind change to piked Jaeger. Overshoot. About 45 degrees. Good last handstand. Double layout. Small hop in place. Put her in, coach.

Taylor? (LAX): Another FHS front tuck with a deep squat and a lunge forward.

Gatzlaff (LU): Clear hip to Geinger. Large leg separation at the end. Couldn’t quite get her dowel all the way around on that one. She’s going again. This one was even further away. Unsure why they had her repeat if her hands touched… Maybe for experience; maybe she was supposed to connect to a low bar transition. Blind full to double tuck with a step forward.

AFTER TWO: Lindenwood 95.275, UW-La Crosse 93.075

Well La Crosse just beat Lindenwood on vault. This is real life. Consistency? Consistency. The Eagles counted only scores between 9.525 and 9.575, dropping the missed routine from Chesley. Their vault score will only improve when Chesley puts her beautiful half to her feet again. Lindenwood didn’t count any misses on bars, but their scores were held back by some handstand issues and built in form deductions. Also, please put in Kaylee Cooper. Thank you.

Rotation 3: Lindenwood BB, UW-La Crosse FX

They’re not alternating anymore. Bless me. We took too long on the first two events, I suppose. I’m STRESSED.

Rush (LU): Cat leap, side Aerial. BHS LOSO, solid. split 3/4. Side Aerial to back full dismount. Strong landing. Good lead off for the Lions. 9.675

Wood (LAX): Front lay front full. Good control. A little short of position on all her leaps. Double pike. Lovely height on that! Good start. 9.450

Moon (LU): BHS LOSO. Solid. She looks confident up there. Switch leap, straddle 3/4. Small check. Front Aerial. Gainer full, small foot correction. 9.725

Beck (LAX): Fun Music! Double pike to start. Good amplitude on her leaps. Front lay, front full. Little hop out of it. Double tuck to finish. Might’ve stepped out at the end. 9.400

Daniels (LU): Back roll to start. BHS LOSO. Pretty crooked, but fights to stay on with a leg kick. Front Aerial, wobble, to beat jump. Another bobble on the leap series. Good landing on the gainer full dismount. 9.250

Sandvik (LAX): Rudi to split jump. Good amplitude. Loved that pass. Front full, front layout. Good routine for her as well!

The girls are screaming and huddled up! Must’ve been a good score? Yep. 9.725.

Wojcik (LU): Front Aerial BHS BHS. She was crooked on the first, but went for the second anyway. Strong leap pass. Side Aerial to back full dismount. 9.250

Danninger (LAX): She’s about to have a sassy routine. She just strutted onto the floor. Rudi to split jump. If that was supposed to be a wolf 1.5, it was short. But I’m darting back and forth between beam and floor feeds. Back 1.5 to front pike. Good landing. Ended with a second combination pass. Good landings throughout on the tumbling. Loved her performance quality. 9.600

Griswold (LU): BHS LOSO. Solid landing. The screen went black for a second. Small wobble on the switch half before connecting to the beat jump. RO back 1.5 dismount with a small hop. 9.725

Chesley (LAX): Strong back twisting pass. I want to say a 2.5, but i can’t be sure. Back 1.5 to front layout. Good. Switch half, popa. A little short of the straddle position. Ends with a Rudi. Good height on the landing. The Eagles are bringing the performances today. 9.625

Roberts (LU): 1st team All American last year on this event! No pressure. BHS BHS LOSO right up to the end. Small check. Switch leap to double stag jump. Gainer full. Good landing there. 9.850

Taylor (LAX): Double pike. Slight chest down. Front full, front layout. Good rise on the layout. Fun headstand. Double tuck straight from the round off. Some chest down again but good control. 9.625

Exhibitions next. This is exhibition central today. My goodness.

Hannah Appleget (LU): Switch, switch to pike jump. BHS LOSO. Very solid. Side Aerial. Not quite enough height to save that one. A little around the side. RO back 1.5. Couldn’t see the landing.

Vanderpool (LAX): Back 1.5 to front layout. Lovely lines on the layout. Good leap pass. Another fun routine! Spirit fingers to pull her around! And they worked! Double pike. Some chest down, but controlled the landing.

(LAX): Tour jete full. Around but some loss of control. Back 1.5 to front layout. Good lines on that pass . Tour jete half, popa. Double tuck. Well short, but on her feet with a step forward. Good routine for her. I didn’t hear who that was before she went, so sorry.

AFTER THREE: Lindenwood 143.500, UW-La Crosse 141.100

UWL put up a strong 48.025 on floor, counting four scores above 9.600. The performance quality and tumbling are looking so good for January. Some short last passes will definitely get better as we get further into season. Lindenwood looked a little more like itself on beam. Although the Lions were forced to count a mistake today, the lineup showed fight throughout. Senior Hadley Roberts continued to lead the way with a 9.850.

I am not built for the simultaneous routines. Pray for me in this last rotation.

Rotation 4: UW-La Crosse BB, Lindenwood FX 

Oop. We are just now hearing that Catelyn Orel is the new coach of Lindenwood this year!

Olivia Opheim (LAX): Switch leap, double stag jump. Nice head release. Front Aerial, back tuck series. Slow connection but kept the arms moving. Cat leap, tour jete 1/4. Side Aerial to 1.5 dismount. I think. Good landing. 9.600

Cooper (LU): Double pike. Very high. Front lay, front full. She’s getting it out there. Double tuck. Some chest down, but good control. Good official debut routine. 9.550

Faust (LAX): It was Faust who exhibitioned on floor earlier. BHS LOSO, solid. Likely to get a deduction for that pause before the series though. Split jump, split 3/4. Deep knee bend to save it. Side Aerial, back full dismount. Hop in place. Good amplitude on the full. 9.375

Eagles (LU): First ever floor routine! Double tuck. Good height and control. Switch side, popa. Short of the straddle position. Back 1.5 to front layout. Nice. Is this Taylor Colwell’s old music? Front lay, front full. A little low, but around. 9.550

Sandvik (LAX): BHS LOSO. Soft knees but stuck. Side Aerial to Sissone. Nice connection. Beat to split 3/4. Side Aerial to back full. Stuck. Dog pile from the team. Hahaha. I love that. 9.650

Lopez (LU): Double tuck, good control. Front full, front pike. A little stiff-legged on the landing. Very interesting wolf full out of the tour jete. Off on the punch. Back 1.5 to front tuck. A little off line on the front tuck. 9.250

Zepeda (LAX): BHS LOSO. A little too much juice on that. Tries to step back to save it, but can’t quite. A missed connection out of the leap. Beat to split jump. The start value for this routine might be lower. Side Aerial. She just jumped off. 7.600

Caffey (LU): Huge double pike. A couple steps and out of bounds. Switch side, popa. Good amplitude. Front lay, Rudi. A little bouncy out of it. I can’t wait for her to get comfortable performing this routine. Double tucked. Kicked out some and comes up short. Had to put her hands down. 8.875

Dickson (LAX): I didn’t know you could stand on the beam leg for a mount? Okay. BHS LOSO. Got a little excited on the landing. Front Aerial. Large wobble. I thought she saved it, but over corrected. Switch leap, switch half. Nice connection. Gainer pike. Good landing. 9.225

Roberts (LU): Double tuck. Her normal pike on the first flip, tuck on the second. Good landing. Strong leap pass. Double pike. She’s been working on those landings in preseason. I like this floor choreography for her. Back 1.5 to front layout. Should be the best score so far. 9.725

Grant (LAX): BHS LOSO, straight down the beam. Side Aerial with switched legs. Small wobble. That may or may not be an E. Pike jump, straddle half. Gainer pike. Stuck. The team has LOST IT! So excited. 9.725 (with a 9.8 from one judge)

Griswold (LU): FTDT. Huge height, a little short of rotation. Love the E upgrade for her. Front full, front lay. A little back on her heels on the landing. Switch half, wolf full. Good amplitude. Double tuck. Best ending landing by anyone today. Impressive. 9.750

Exhibitions? Probably.

Farley (LAX): BHS back tuck. Missed one of her feet Fell on her back on the floor trying to correct it. Beat to split full. Hard jump there. FHS step out. She has so many jumps… Gainer pike. A little over cooked.

Gatzlaff (LU): Double tuck. Back 1.5 to front tuck. Pulled a little too hard and bounded forward on the landing. Keeps it in though. Rudi to finish. A little low with a slide back.

Is this the end? No. One more exhibition.

Clarmo (LAX): Back shoulder roll. Never gets old. Split jump, split 3/4. Large wobble. Side Aerial to front toss. Unique series. I’m not sure it will get credit though. Gainer pike dismount with a step or two back.

Now THAT will conclude today’s meet.

Final: Lindenwood 191.325, UW-La Crosse 188.750

Sorry for the delay… I’m a little bit speechless. UW-La Crosse came to St. Charles and won both vault AND floor. Those are both typically events where Lindenwood shines. I felt like some routines were sporadically scored tightly; however, the Eagles were in it to win it. What can I say? As expected, vault and bars were areas of difficulty for Lindenwood due to the very young line up. Hopefully, the Lions will come back next week with a little fire under ’em. Beam was much more Lindenwood “normal” with several scores in the 9.7 to 9.8 range. Props to Gayla Griswold for stepping into her first career all around performance tonight. However, some risk vs. reward analysis might need to be done in regards to her upgraded vault. The Lions desperately need a guaranteed hit, and Griswold’s steady Yurchenko full provides that. However, if she hits the 1.5… the score could be huge. Just something to consider…

UW-La Crosse easily bested its season opening score by over three points tonight. That’s… INSANE. The Eagles killed it on floor and were propelled by a 9.800 on beam from Emma Grant in her return to the lineup. (That score was adjusted from earlier so La Crosse must’ve also won an inquiry!) Inconsistencies on bars are the only reason this team did not go over 190 tonight. Hopefully, there will be more catches than misses in coming weeks because UW-La Crosse has some major potential. Note that this team score is the highest of any Division III team this season…

Thank you all for bearing with me amidst the chaos. See you next week.

AA Winner: Gayla Griswold (LU) 38.075

VT Winner: Trinity Caffey (LU) 9.675

UB Winner: Riley Daniels (LU) 9.650

BB Winner: Hadley Roberts (LU) 9.850

FX Winner: Gayla Griswold (LU) 9.750

Live Blog by Tavia Smith

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