The ASU gymnastics team kicked off its home schedule with a bang on Friday night, defeating the Brown University Bears 191.325 to 186.875 at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Sun Devils grabbed their first win of the season despite another shaky performance on the balance beam, where ASU has yet to find its rhythm this year.
“I am really pleased with how hard my kids are working, but we’re still not confident enough on the balance beam,” ASU coach John Spini said. “When you take four falls, you’re taking away almost two points in that one event. It really hurts us to keep struggling on beam, [but] we have plenty of time to make some changes there.”
ASU jumped out to an early lead with their performance on vault, leading the Bears 48.125 to 46.324 heading into the second rotation.
“I thought we vaulted rough, but I wasn’t displeased,” Spini said.
The Sun Devils then moved on to the uneven bars, where they held their lead as freshman Emily Warfield and sophomore Tina Salavec both posted career best scores of 9.825.
“Bars was so aggressive — we had a lot of good things happening,” Spini said. “Tina Salavec is so dynamic on bars, I think she can move to that 9.9 range and be an All-American in that event.”
ASU went to the balance beam next, where the Sun Devils had four falls but were still able to keep an overall lead over the Bears.
“The kids are going to have to be a lot more mentally tough than they have shown when it comes to balance beam,” Spini said.
The Sun Devils went to floor exercise for the final rotation, where they hit all five of their routines with a score of 48.725, cementing the overall victory.
“I think as a whole, we were all pretty pleased with the way we performed,” junior Madison Snowden said. “I don’t think the scores really represented how we felt about the meet, because we were pretty disappointed with our team score.”
Snowden also recorded a career best with a 9.900 on the floor.
While ASU was pleased to come away with its first victory of the year, the team realizes there is still plenty of room for improvement, especially on the beam.
“Right now, my whole focus is building up their confidence as a team on the balance beam,” Spini said. “I think if we do that, then the Arizona State gymnastics team is going to have a very successful season. I think that’s the only thing standing in our way.”
Snowden agreed, saying the win gave ASU something to build on but that it also showed where the Sun Devils must improve.
“I think the win definitely gave us some confidence going into a big meet like Utah,” Snowden said. “I think it also highlighted some areas we need to work on.”
ASU’s next competition is this Friday in Salt Lake City against the No. 4 Utah.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com