March 14, 2014
CHICAGO – The UIC women’s gymnastics team prepares for its last home meet of the season on Saturday when it hosts conference-foe Illinois State at the Physical Education Building, with competition set to begin at 5 p.m. CT. The Flames will additionally honor senior Catherine Dion in a Senior Day ceremony following the meet.
"We have had a very good home season this year and are hoping to continue this on Saturday against another conference opponent," co-head coach Peter Jansson said. "The depth that this team has now, after most of the gymnasts healing up from the early season injuries, has really paid dividends lately. There is no doubt that we want to finish our home schedule on a high note as we are going into the conference tournament next week.”
UIC is back home after suffering a 195.075-194.225 loss at Western Michigan on March 9. Despite the loss, the Flames produced their second-highest score of the season and defeated the Broncos on bars by a 48.925-48.800 margin.
Dion produced the best scores for the Flames on each event, in addition to tying redshirt-junior Kimberly Randall on vault with 9.800. Dion was named MIC Gymnast of the Week after she tied for first with 9.825 on bars and took first on beam with 9.875, while placing second on vault and floor (9.875) and matched her best to take the all-around with 39.375.
Illinois State enters into the meet with UIC after falling to Southeast Missouri, 195.025-192.425, on March 9. The Redbirds are ranked fifth in the MIC with a 191.770 regional qualifying average, while they come in 59th nationally.
Saturday’s competition will serve as the third meeting this season between the Flames and Redbirds. The two teams were first challenged in a quad meet against Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan at the State of Illinois versus State of Michigan meet and then faced off at the Illinois Classic against Illinois and Northern Illinois, with UIC outscoring Illinois State in both meets.
At the conclusion of Saturday’s meet, the Flames will hold a presentation to honor Dion, their lone senior, for her efforts made throughout her career at UIC.
"It is bittersweet to honor Cat as she has been absolutely amazing in regards to what she has brought to the program over these four years," Jansson added. "We will miss her leadership and, of course, her incredible gymnastics, but we are so proud of how she has turned into the consummate student-athlete, excelling in every fashion to the absolute highest level, both in the classroom and in the gym. We could not have asked for more.”