The West Virginia University gymnastics team tallied a 195.850 team score to finish in fourth place of the first session of the NCAA Pittsburgh Regional Second Round, inside the Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Friday afternoon.
Despite a strong opening rotation, the Mountaineers faltered a bit as the meet progressed to finish in fourth place. WVU posted scores of 49.075 on vault, 48.775 on the uneven bars, 48.650 on balance beam and 49.350 on floor exercise.
No. 7 California took first place with a 197.250, followed by No. 10 Michigan State in second place (196.825) and Western Michigan in third place (196.175). Cal and MSU advanced to Sunday’s regional final and await the top-two finishers from Friday’s night’s second session.
The Mountaineers rotated in Olympic order Friday afternoon, opening the meet on vault. Freshman Emma Wehry led the rotation with a career-high tying 9.9, followed by a 9.85 from senior Abbie Pierson. Classmate Kianna Yancey secured a 9.8, while a 9.775 from sophomore Brooke Alban and a 9.75 from junior Kiana Lewis rounded out the scoring.
Moving to the uneven bars, a leadoff 9.85 from Yancey paced the squad. Senior Emily Holmes-Hackerd and freshman Miranda Smith added a pair of 9.75s. The scoring was completed by a 9.725 from senior Kendra Combs and a 9.7 from Pierson.
The Mountaineers struggled a bit on balance beam, with the top score of the rotation a 9.825 from freshman Carlee Nelson. Holmes-Hackerd scored a 9.8, closely followed by a 9.775 from Yancey. Pierson scored a 9.7, while a 9.55 from Wehry capped the rotation.
West Virginia closed the meet on floor exercise, where all six gymnasts earned a 9.8 or higher. The floor squad was led by a pair of 9.9s from Combs and Pierson. Junior Ellen Collins was just behind them with a 9.875, while Holmes-Hackerd (9.85) and Yancey (9.825) completed the scoring for WVU.
A pair of Mountaineers appeared in the all-around, as Yancey posted a 39.25 and Pierson earned a season-best 39.15.
In the final event standings, Wehry was the lone Mountaineer to make an appearance on the podium, tying for first place on vault. Wehry will await the results of the regional final to see if her finish is enough to qualify as an individual for the national championships.
As a team, West Virginia concluded its 2023 campaign on Friday afternoon, finishing with a 12-9 overall record and a 1-2 mark in Big 12 competition.