CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The University of Missouri gymnastics team kicked off its 2023 schedule with a dual against Illinois on Sunday, with the Tigers earning their first victory of the season.
The Tigers scored 196.425 its second highest-ever season-opening score, the Fighting Illini kept it close with 196.275. Mizzou showed great resilience after a tough two first rotations on bars and vault and made a huge push in the second half of the meet.
The Tigers rotated to floor in the third and posted a score of 49+ for the 24th meet in a row and capped it off with a 49.525 on beam, a new program high. The beam lineup was led by seniors Helen Hu and Sienna Schreiber, who scored 9.95 to tie for first place. The Tigers' previous beam record of 49.500 was set in 2017 against Kentucky.
The Tigers began the meet on bars and continued to build as the rotation wore on with a 9.800 from Alisa Sheremeta and a 9.925 from Hu to end the lineup. Illinois finished the event with a 48.650.
Missouri began its vault rotation with a 9.7 Yurchenko full from junior Sydney Schaffer. Freshman Mackenzie Patricelli made her NCAA vault debut, putting up a 9.825. Sophomore Jocelyn Moore added a 9.90 from her stuck Yurchenko one and a half, and the Tigers posted a 49.050 on vault.
The Tigers had some work to do as they headed to floor, and started off strong with Schreiber earning a 9.800. Sheremeta posted a team-high 9.90 in the fourth spot. Graduate student Hannah McCrary followed with a 9.825 before Moore delivered a rock-solid routine of 9.875 and rounded out a Mizzou floor score of 49.200
Freshman Addison Lawrence and sophomore Grace Anne Davis had the Tigers off to a steady start with a 9.850 and 9.9 in the second and third spots on beam. Sheremeta did not let off the gas, earning a 9.875 to keep the momentum going. Both Hu and Schreiber showed tremendous poise in the fifth and sixth spots, scoring matching 9.95s to put a bow on a record beam rotation of 49.525 for the Tigers.
The Tigers return home for an SEC matchup on Jan. 13 against Georgia. The meet is set for 6 p.m. at Hearnes Center and will serve as Mizzou Inclusion Night. They will be featured on SEC Network.