Ah, the play-ins. I know they’re controversial, and they certainly have flaws, but I adore them in the abstract. Yet, here we are again, with a team ranked high enough that it should have a first-round bye but was denied because…geography? But, only kind of, since individuals from the Midwest got sent to Seattle. Everything makes sense!
Iowa State is the favorite to advance to round two play, with a higher season best that beats the Broncos’ by more than a tenth. Still, Western Michigan’s average and high don’t lag too far behind. Both squads had strong late-season numbers and performed well at their conference championships. It’s also worth noting that the Cyclones will be without Andrea Maldonodo, who tore her Achilles last week. She was a significant floor scorer.
The winner here will face Florida, Denver and Ohio State in round two session two and begin on beam.
Rotation 1: Iowa State VT, Western Michigan UB
Parker (ISU): Yfull, very crooked, didn’t get it around, sat down. Maybe missed a hand on the table? 9.1
Freeman (WMU): Jumping back up after what seemed like a fall. Good giant 1/1 to stuck double tuck. 8.8
Loyim (ISU): Long wait here for her. Yfull, good hips, low chest and a hop forward. 9.75
Petrousek (WMU): Toe hand to Maloney, leg sep on the release but good on the backswing. Bail hand was clean. Short handstand. Blind full bit late double pike stuck. Some soft knees. 9.75
Bergstrom (ISU): (We missed Boychuk, since routines are concurrent and ESPN+ apparently can’t do a split screen?) Yfull, chest forward on the landing but holds her feet. 9.9
Roy (WMU): Maloney, leg sep on the backswing. Toe hand good to bail hand. FTDB, slung it out, chest low and a big hop forward. 9.65
Steinmeyer (ISU): Y1.5, soft knees and wasn’t quite ready for the ground, had to take two shuffle steps back. 9.8
Murphy (WMU): Front giant to half to Deltchev, good. Short handstand. Ah, off on her blind full, WMU will count a fall. Toe front half, good finish. 8.975
Maxwell (ISU): Y1.5, some form on the table, landed a bit off balance. 9.8
Moravansky (WMU): Long wait while the judges sort out Murphy’s score. Hect mount. Blind to Jaeger immediate bail. Just some soft form throughout, good otherwise. DLO stuck. What a way to close a tough rotation! 9.85
Quoss (WMU): Oops Moravansky wasn’t last! I have trouble counting when we go multiple routines at once in a dual. Short handstand. Big Tkatchev, not a ton of turnover. Bail hand, hit her feet, that’s a fall plus a deduction for bent arms on the catch. Short handstand, blind full double tuck. Oh, WMU. 9.125
AFTER 1: Iowa State 49.100, Western Michigan 47.350
Bit of a tough start all around, but the Cyclones were able to drop the opening fall, while Western Michigan had to count two falls. It’ll be uphill from here for the Broncos.
Rotation 2: Iowa State UB, Western Michigan VT
Thomas (WMU): Yfull, clean in the air, hop back. 9.8
Maxwell (ISU): Blind to Jaeger, slightly bent arms on catch. Arched bail hand. DLO holds the stick. 9.825
Petrousek (WMU): Yfull, pike down, hop. 9.8
Cooke (ISU): True Shaposh, good, pak was clean, just lacking some amplitude on both. Short handstand. DLO, small hop back. 9.8
Moravansky (WMU): Yfull, twisted early, piked down some and hops back.
Loyim (ISU): Blind to clean pike Jaeger. Pak, good. Great toe and leg form throughout. Short by a bit on the last handstand. DLO hop back. 9.825
Faulkner (WMU): Yfull, very high! 9.775
St. Claire (WMU): Tsuk tuck 3/1, hand slipped on the table and she can’t pull it around, hand down. 9.125
Palacios (ISU): Blind to pike Jaeger, good. Bail hand just a little loose. DLO, really piked it in and a step. 9.775
Ludwig (WMU): Yhalf, very high, step forward. 9.75
Basuel (ISU): Hect mount. Good handstand. Blind to Jaeger, HUGE! Bail hand, loose in the core and short of handstand. DLO slung it out a bit and stepped forward. 9.775
Orrego (ISU): Maloney, some leg sep on the backswing. Pak, good. DLO small shuffle backward as she raised her arms, a very generous judge could give it a stick. 9.85
AFTER 2: Iowa State 98.175, Western Michigan 96.425
Much better from the Broncos! What a way to come back from a tough start. Iowa State remains very comfortably ahead after a clean bar rotation. Mistakes were small, just some missed handstands and poor landing positions.
Rotation 3: Iowa State BB, Western Michigan FX
Loyim (ISU): Switch switch, clean. Bhs loso, soft knees but solid. Front aerial to beat, clean. RO 3/2 stuck. 9.825
Moravansky (WMU): Good double pike to open. Great double tuck, textbook lunge and she shows it off. Front lay front full, little back on her heels and lunges back, that’ll be a small deduction. 9.75
Steinmeyer (ISU): Front toss to beat, clean. Big leg up check on her bhs loso. Soft knees through her leaps. RO 3/2 stuck, great way to close after a mistake! 9.675
Petrousek (WMU): Clean double tuck. Good through her combo pass. Double pike, deep chest but good lunge. 9.825
Bergstrom (ISU): Clean series. Switch switch, good. Stuck dismount. 9.8
Gruber (WMU): She has great style and performance! What a fun opening bit of choreo. Front lay to front tuck, she missed the punch, maybe put a hand down, the chyron was in front of her. She’ll have SV issues. Double tuck, just foot form. 9.35
Basuel (ISU): Cat to Switch half, big check, she dropped her chest and picked up a foot. Bhs loso, falls. Switch to split, clean. Side aerial 1/1, stuck. Good recovery. 9.075
Roy (WMU): Full-in, leg sep and very low chest, bounced out of it. Tour jete 1/1. Nice switch side Popa. Front through double pike, low chest but lunged out well. 9.725
Boychuk (ISU): Switch to split, foot form on both. Clean series. Cat to front toss, medium check, good to see her hit that after some bobbliness in the touch. Side somi, another small check. Gainer 1/1.
St. Claire (WMU): RO 3/2 front lay, excellent body positions, just back a bit on her heels on the landing. Tour jete half to popa, short of 180 on the tour jete. Punch front 2/1, wow! Great! 9.85
Ludwig (WMU): Front through double tuck, clean. Short of 180s on her leaps and a little off balance, stepped out of them to the side. Double pike, doesn’t get around and falls, she’s injured. 9.0
Semple (ISU): Bhs loso balance check. Lovely 180s on her splits. Side aerial 1/1 stuck. 9.8
AFTER 3: Iowa State 146.900, Western Michigan 144.925
Today is not Western Michigan’s day. Hopefully Carissa Ludwig is not too badly injured. Her fall means the Broncos had to count Gruber’s 9.35, making for another sub-49 event total. Iowa State was rocky, too, counting two wobbly routines in the 9.6s.
Rotation 4: Iowa State FX, Western Michigan BB
Faulkner (WMU): Clean leaps, just some foot form on her straddle 3/4. RO 2/1, hop back. 9.775
Boychuk (ISU): Double pike, just foot form. RO 3/2 front lay, just arched the lay a bit. Double tuck, low chest. 9.75
Thomas (WMU): Bhs loso, soft knee on the bhs. Small check on her front aerial. Side aerial stuck 1/1. 9.75
Parker (ISU): Pike full-in, low chest, bounced OOB. Front through double tuck, low chest. 9.6
Gallmeyer (WMU): Front aerial, small check. Bhs loso, off balance on the landing, kind of held a scale rather than putting her back foot down, but stays on. Clean leaps. Side aerial 1/1 stuck. 9.65
Orrego (ISU): Excellent double tuck, high and good control in her lunge. RO 3/2 front lay, really floated that. Switch half popa, little shy of 180. Double pike, short, low chest and forward lunge. 9.8
Loyim (ISU): DLO, bit low chest on the landing but lunges out fine. RO 3/2 front lay, really well done. Clean switch side popa. Double tuck, deep knees and steps back uncontrolled. 9.775
Moravansky (WMU): Rough form on her triple series. RO 3/2, back on her heels and took a step to lunge. 9.75
Diab (ISU): FHS 2/1 front lay, gorgeous. Tour jete 1/2 popa, good. Tidy combo pass. This is vintage Diab. FHS rudi HUGE loso, great landing.
Gruber (WMU): Bhs loso, good. Cat, pauses and resets. Cat to switch half, good. Split to straddle 1/4, her lines are stellar in those splits. RO 3/2, step back.
Looks like Iowa State is just going five-up after the Maldonodo injury last week.
Murphy (WMU): Pike front toss small check, missed a connection to a split jump. Check on her full turn. Bhs loso, good. Beat to split ring, big arm swing. She’s working through an injury and it shows, she’s definitely in some pain. Side aerial 1/1, small hop. 9.55
FINAL: Iowa State 195.750, Western Michigan 193.575
Tough day for the Broncos, with falls, an injury and Murphy not at full strength. The Cyclones will head to round two competition tomorrow against Florida, Denver and Ohio State!
Live blog by Emily Minehart
Like what you see? Consider donating to support our efforts throughout the year!