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Solid individual showings not enough for Cardinal in Corvallis

Despite personal collegiate-best showings for senior Kristina Vaculik on vault and for freshman Nicolette McNair on bars, Stanford’s women’s gymnastics team fell just short of a win against defending Pac-12 champion No. 16 Oregon State (3-1, 1-1 Pac-12) in Corvallis, Ore. on Monday night. The No. 12 Cardinal (10-1, 2-1), which suffered its first loss of the season, had early gains in the meet, but was ultimately edged 197.100 to 195.750.

Senior Kristina Vaculik (above) tied her collegiate-highs with a 9.875 score for the vault and a 9.925 score for her floor routine in the Cardinal’s loss to Oregon State. (ZETONG LI/The Stanford Daily)

Stanford performed well initially, with a start on bars that had the first three gymnasts each scoring 9.750 or higher, including two scores of 9.875 from Vaculik and McNair. However, a missed routine and two falls by gymnasts on the back end of the rotation allowed the Beavers to recover from their deficit to take a 49.075-48.500 lead.

“There were great individual performances, but as a team we came up short,” Stanford head coach Kristen Smyth told GoStanford.com. “We have to be able to put a complete performance together.”

With strong performances on vault by Vaculik and McNair, who both posted scores of 9.900, Stanford pulled closer to Oregon State ahead of the floor routines. Strong second rotation floor performances by freshman Rachel Daum, Vaculik and junior Pauline Hanset helped pull Stanford closer with scores of 9.850, 9.925 and 9.700 respectively. Vaculik’s 9.925 matched her previous collegiate best in the event. This was offset, however, by the first three gymnasts on the floor, who each scored 9.650 or lower.

Stanford started the final rotation on the beam trailing by 1.075, and although five team members marked higher than 9.775, Oregon State scored a total of 49.475 in its final rotation, edging past Stanford’s final rotation score of 49.200.

The Cardinal will try to bounce back from its first defeat of the season on Saturday, when it stays on the road to take on No. 24 Washington in Seattle at 4 p.m.

Contact Nitish Kulkami at nitishk2 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Nitish Kulkarni