MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – After all six gymnasts earned a 9.9 or higher on floor exercise, the West Virginia University gymnastics team posted a season-best team score to top Bowling Green, 196.575-194.8, inside the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown on Sunday afternoon.
WVU’s floor lineup erupted for a season-best 49.575, with all six gymnasts posting a 9.9 or higher for the first time this season. The total is the Mountaineers’ highest on the event since March 6, 2016, when the lineup also scored a 49.575. All six gymnasts earned new season highs on the event, while four either met or set a career-best score.
The Mountaineers’ (8-6, 1-1 Big 12) 196.575 meet total is the squad’s highest since March 19, 2022, while it also ties for the 13th-best team score in program history. Additionally, WVU topped Bowling Green on every event Sunday afternoon, including 49.2-48.925 on vault, 48.875-48.25 on uneven bars, 48.925-48.575 on balance beam and 49.575-49.05 on floor exercise.
Returning to Olympic order, West Virginia’s 49.2 on vault was a season best, as well as the squad’s highest vault score since Jan. 12, 2019, when it also reached a 49.2. The lineup was led by a career-best 9.875 from freshman Emma Wehry, while seniors Kianna Yancey and Abbie Pierson were just behind her with matching 9.85s. Freshman Brooke Irwin posted a 9.825, and junior Kiana Lewis rounded out the scoring with a 9.8. For the first time this season, all five scoring gymnasts recorded a 9.8 or higher on the event.
Moving to bars, the Mountaineers stayed strong through adversity after a fall in the No. 4 spot to put together a solid, 48.875 team score. Sophomore Brooke Alban led the way with a 9.85, and Yancey and fifth-year senior Kendra Combs added a pair of 9.775s. The scoring was completed by a 9.75 from sophomore Anna Leigh and a 9.725 from senior Emily Holmes-Hackerd.
West Virginia kept pace on beam, earning a 48.925. Yancey paced the rotation with a 9.85, just ahead of three scores of 9.775 from Holmes-Hackerd, Pierson and Combs. Leigh secured a 9.75 to round out the scoring in the third rotation.
WVU then moved to floor, where it once again put on a show on its best event. The momentum started with a career-high tying 9.9 from Lewis and just went up from there. Combs, Pierson and junior Ellen Collins also recorded 9.9s, which marked a career best for Collins. Yancey secured a career-best 9.925, before Holmes-Hackerd led the way with a career-high 9.95, West Virginia’s highest score on floor this season. Holmes-Hackerd’s 9.95 also marked the Mountaineers’ highest floor score since Combs reached the mark on Feb. 21, 2022.
Yancey was the lone Mountaineer competitor on the all-around, recording a career-best 39.4 total on all four events. The Hatfield, Pennsylvania, native becomes the 13th gymnast in program history to reach the total on the all-around, as well as the first since assistant head coach Zaakira Muhammad tallied the mark on Feb. 18, 2018.
In the final event standings, Wehry finished second on vault, followed by Yancey and Pierson in a tie for third place. Alban won the bars title, while Yancey and Combs finished tied for third. Yancey earned first place on beam, and Pierson, Holmes-Hackerd and Combs finished in a five-way tie for third place. The Mountaineers swept the floor podium, with Holmes-Hackerd taking first, Yancey placing second and Pierson, Combs, Lewis and Collins finishing tied for third place. Yancey took home the all-around title, topping a pair of BGSU gymnasts.
Of note, the podium finish marks the first of Collins’ career.
Up next, the Mountaineers head back on the road, competing in their first double weekend of the season. First up, WVU travels to Norman, Oklahoma, to take on Big 12 Conference foe No. 1 Oklahoma on Friday, Feb. 24. Action inside the Lloyd Noble Center is tabbed for 7:45 p.m. ET.