TOWSON, Md. – Although freshman Katie Sassa finished first on vault and junior Alexa Davis won the balance beam competition, Towson University (3-4) suffered a rare home loss when the University of Bridgeport used a 194.650 team score to edge the Tigers in a quad meet at the Towson Center on Saturday afternoon.
While Bridgeport won the meet, the Tigers were second with a 193.00 team score. Lindenwood placed third in the meet with a 187.650 score while Ursinus was fourth with a 181.150 team score.
The loss was Towson’s first at home since March 21, 2008 when the Tigers lost to George Washington University. The Tigers had defeated 33 consecutive opponents since then.
The top NCAA Division II program in the country, Bridgeport started the meet on floor exercise and jumped to an early lead. The Purple Knights earned a 49.175 team score as senior Monica Mesalles led the way with a 9.925 score. Sophomore Sasha Tsikhanovich earned a 9.875 score while sophomore Caitlin Perry had a 9.85 score. The Purple Knights’ 49.175 score gave them an early lead on Towson.
The Tigers started on vault and did well, earning a 48.70 score as Sassa won the vault with a 9.85 score. Freshman Lydia Thompson also earned a career best score, posting a 9.825.
In the second rotation, Bridgeport vaulted very well. The Purple Knights posted a 48.95 team score as Mesalles led the way with a 9.825 score. Junior Kamiri Riles and Tsikhanovich each posted 9.80 scores. While Bridgeport was vaulting, the Tigers posted a 48.15 team score on bars, led by freshman Abby Griswold, who earned a 9.675 score.
Bridgeport entered the third rotation with a lead of 1.275 points. Led by sophomore Lissette LaFex, Bridgeport posted a 48.225 team score on beam. LaFex earned a 9.775 score to top the Purple Knights. Meanwhile, the Tigers struggled on beam and had a 47.425 score as they counted a fall. While Davis led the Tigers with a 9.775 score, Griswold posted a 9.70. But no other Tigers topped the 9.55-mark.
In the final rotation, the Purple Knights earned a 48.30 score on beam as they clinched the meet. The Tigers finished strong as they posted a 48.725 team score on the floor exercise but they couldn’t overcome their deficit.
Davis led a very strong showing on floor by the Tigers as she earned a 9.80 score. Senior Britney Russell, Griswold and Sassa each posted 9.75 scores.
Tsikhanovich won the all-around competition with a 39.125 score. Competing as an all-around for the first time in her young career, Griswold had a 38.70 score. Junior Emily Turik of Lindenwood was third (37.275).
While Sassa won vault with a career high 9.85 score, Thompson tied for second place with Mesalles. Each of them had a 9.825 score. LaFex won the bars competition with a 9.775 while freshman Lauren Cartmell of Lindenwood was second (9.70). Griswold and Tsikhanovich tied for third place with 9.675 scores.
Davis and Tsikhanovich tied for first place on beam with 9.775 scores. Junior Melissa Doucette placed third (9.725).
Led by Mesalles, Bridgeport swept the top three spots on floor. While Mesalles had a 9.925 score, Tsikhanovich was second (9.875) and Perry was third (9.85). Riles also took fourth place (9.825) before Davis had a 9.80 score to place fifth.
The Tigers, who posted a seasonal high 193.00 team score, return to action next Saturday with a meet at Cornell.
COLLEGE GYMNASTICS: 1. Bridgeport 194.650; 2. Towson 193.000; 3. Lindenwood 187.650; 4. Ursinus 181.150.
VAULT: 1. Katie Sacca (TOW), 9.85; 2. Lydia Thompson (TOW); Monica Mesalles (BPT) 9.825;
BARS: 1. Lissette LaFex (BPT), 9.775; 2. Lauren Cartmell (LIN), 9.700; 3. Abby Griswold (TOW), 9.675; Sasha Tsikhanovich (BPT), 9.675.
BALANCE BEAM: 1. Alexa Davis (TOW), 9.775; Sasha Tsikhanovich (BPT), 9.775; 3. Melissa Doucette (BPT), 9.725.
FLOOR EXERCISE: 1. Monica Mesalles (BPT) 9.95; 2. Sasha Tsikhanovich (BPT), 9.875; 3. Caitlin Perry (BPT). 9.85.
ALL-AROUND: 1. Sasha Tsikhanovich (BPT), 39.125; 2. Abby Griswold (TOW), 38.70; 3. Emily Turik (LIND), 37.275.