Closely contested Senior Night ends in a loss for the Cardinal

Feb. 25, 2017, 9:50 a.m.

Stanford women’s gymnastics (6-7, 3-3 Pac-12) hit 22 of 24 routines on Friday night, resulting in a season-high all-around team score of 196.325. Despite a top-notch performance, the Cardinal were unable to outdo No. 10 Oregon State (7-2, 3-2 Pac 12), who topped the home team with a 197.125 finishing score.

Competing against one of the top-10 teams in the country, the Cardinal knew that it was necessary to make a strong appearance if they hoped to see victory during their last home match of the year. Friday night was also Senior Night, honoring the four veteran gymnasts who have spent the past four years dedicated to the Stanford squad: Rachel Daum, Danielle McNair, Nicolette McNair and Haley Spector. The seniors have been essential assets, having helped bring the team to the NCAA Championships all three years thus far.

The Cardinal kept up well, only allowing Oregon State to hold a tight, and often challenged, lead throughout the competition. The Beavers ultimately hit all 24 of their routines, giving them the slight upperhand needed to win this highly competitive meet.

On the vault event, the Beavers barely eclipsed Stanford, finishing 49.300 to the home team’s 49.125. Freshman Aleeza Yu and Danielle McNair tied for second place, scoring 9.850 and tying with two gymnasts from Oregon State. Not far behind, Daum came up with a third place 9.825, and Nicolette McNair put herself in fourth (9.800). Thus, three of the four seniors came out strong in their final home meet of the careers. The first place honors was won by the Beavers’ Dani Dessants (9.950).

The bars proved to be an even more contested matchup, ending in a 49.025-49.075 conquest for Oregon State. Nicolette McNair showcased four years of hard work in a first place (9.875), which featured flawless giants, and an incredibly stable landing to finish. Her twin, Danielle, scarcely trailed in third place, tying with sophomore Dare Maxwell with matching scores of 9.825.

The Beavers continued their narrow leads, taking the beam event with a 49.275-48.950 margin, and upping their all-around advantage to 147.650-147.100. Oregon State gymnasts took the first two spots, as Madeline Gardiner won the event (9.925) and teammate Silvia Colussi-Pelaez followed (9.900).

Cardinal seniors here had the chance to showcase the depth of their ability: Nicolette McNair started off the Cardinal routines with a 9.850 that placed her third for the event, and Daum notched herself a three-way tie for fourth (9.825) via a routine featuring a complex layout as her dismount.

Lastly, the team took of the floor event, once again hardly missing the Beavers, who were able to take the event and the match by a small but essential difference. A strong routine that included an almost-perfectly landed double back tuck allowed Elizabeth Price to triumph with a 9.925 score. Daum had the third-highest score, trailing behind a three-way tie between Oregon State gymnasts for second place. Hailee Hoffman also made a strong appearance that placed her tied for fourth.

Although the Cardinal were eventually vanquished by their foe, the performance on Senior Night was one to remember. The team justly saluted four of their finest by putting up a season-best for the all-around. Myriad Stanford gymnasts saw the podium, including the senior class multiple times, and freshman rounded out the team with some high-ranking routines.

The team has a week to recover before heading out to Salt Lake City next Friday to take on the Utes. The competition will commence at 6 p.m.

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