Junior Laura Kappler finished with a career-best all-around score of 39.125 at NC State
Feb. 1, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. - Behind juniors Laura Kappler and Rachel Updike's exceptional all-around performances, the Tigers produced a solid team effort Saturday night in Raleigh, N.C. After a late push on the team's third and fourth rotations, Missouri was neck and neck with the NC State Wolfpack, but would end up falling just short. The Wolfpack claimed the meet with a 194.675 to 194.525 score.
On the first rotation for Missouri, the Tigers started out well with a team total of 48.775 on bars. The bars lineup showed incredible consistency, as four-of-six Tigers gymnasts finished with an exact score of 9.775. Juniors Briana Conkle, Rebecca Johnson, Laura Kappler, and Rachel Updike all ended with the before mentioned score and the team headed to vault for their second rotation.
The Tigers were led on vault by Updike's score of 9.900, and finished with a team total of 48.700. Freshman Alyson Heimsath continued her impressive first year at Missouri, with a new career-high of 9.750. Kappler and freshman Angie Kern concluded the solid second rotation after producing a 9.800 and 9.700 respectively. Halfway through the meet in Raleigh, the NC State Wolfpack led 97.850 to 97.475.
Missouri then moved their way to floor for their third rotation of the evening. Heimsath, as she has consistently done all season, kicked things off in a positive way with a 9.725 score. Kappler continued her solid all-around effort with a 9.750 and it marked a new career-high for the junior. Conkle was up next for the visiting team, and finished with a 9.775 score.
Up fourth in the Tigers floor lineup was Kern, and she came away with a new personal best score of 9.825. After being limited on the event in the beginning of the season, Updike made her floor debut and tallied a 9.825. Freshman Anna Bowers, fresh off a team-leading floor score from last week's contest against Kentucky, once again delivered with a score of 9.750. After three rotations at the Reynolds Coliseum, the Tigers barely trailed the Wolfpack with a score of 146.750 to 146.400.
Saturday evening in Raleigh concluded on beam for Missouri, and Kappler would finish off her tremendous individual night. The junior's 9.800 on beam tied her previous best, and her 39.125 all-around score established a new career-high. After a pair of down scores for the Tigers, senior Mackenzie McGill matched her teammate with a 9.800 of her own.
After the Wolfpack slipped as a team on their fourth and final rotation, the Tigers had an opening to steal the meet victory. It came down to the last few gymnasts for both Missouri and NC State, and the Wolfpack's late push on floor would prove to be enough. The final team scores at Reynolds Coliseum showed NC State's 194.675 to Missouri's 194.525.
Updike's score of 9.900 on vault proved to be good enough for the event title, and marked her fourth event championship of the 2014 season.
The Tigers return home to Columbia, Mo. next Friday for the popular Beauty and the Beast meet coinciding with the Missouri Wrestling team. Missouri Gymnastics will host SEMO, while the wrestling program takes on Buffalo. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. CT.
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