Girls gymnastics: Satisfying night for Meadows' Kane, Palatine seniors

 
By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 11/28/2018 10:34 PM
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  • Palatine's Alyssa Eckels competes on the uneven parallel bars during Wednesday's home meet against Rolling Meadows.

      Palatine's Alyssa Eckels competes on the uneven parallel bars during Wednesday's home meet against Rolling Meadows. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Rolling Meadows' Ava Greifenstein competes on vault during Wednesday's meet at Palatine.

      Rolling Meadows' Ava Greifenstein competes on vault during Wednesday's meet at Palatine. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Rolling Meadows' Nicole Kane competes on vault during Wednesday's meet at Palatine.

      Rolling Meadows' Nicole Kane competes on vault during Wednesday's meet at Palatine. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Rolling Meadows' Roula Zervos competes on the floor exercise during Wednesday's meet at Palatine.

      Rolling Meadows' Roula Zervos competes on the floor exercise during Wednesday's meet at Palatine. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Palatine's Elly Nilsen competes on the balance beam during Wednesday's home meet with Rolling Meadows.

      Palatine's Elly Nilsen competes on the balance beam during Wednesday's home meet with Rolling Meadows. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Palatine's Kristen Ure dismounts from the balance beam during Wednesday's home meet with Rolling Meadows.

      Palatine's Kristen Ure dismounts from the balance beam during Wednesday's home meet with Rolling Meadows. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

Nearly a year ago, Rolling Meadows' Nicole Kane broke her leg while competing on the vault. Although she did heal well enough to finish the season last year, she was just able to compete in one event.

On Tuesday in Palatine, Kane was back in action, competing in the all-around for the first time. She surprised herself and her girls gymnastics team by posting the top all-around score at the dual meet with Palatine.

"It was pretty nerve-wracking," said Kane, who scored a 35.00. "I haven't done all-around in several months. I wasn't as nervous on bars, but floor and vault I was kind of scared. I didn't flip my vault because that's what I broke my leg on. Hopefully later in the season I can flip it."

Rolling Meadows coach Michael Costa said he was not concerned about Kane's score or the rest of her Rolling Meadows' teammates.

"I am not big on scores," Costa said. "It is about skill development, especially at this point in the season. We are dusting off the shelves a little bit coming into this meet."

It was the first meet of the season for both teams. It was also Palatine's senior night since this is the only home dual meet of the season for the Pirates.

With a lineup dominated with seniors, Palatine won the meet, 134.05-131.15.

Palatine coach Terry Theobald also wasn't focused on scores.

"It is senior night and let's get some people in the lineup," Theobald said. "We are not that concerned about what we are scoring now. Once break is done, then it is move on. We will be fine."

Palatine had a small lead at 65.15 -- 64.95 at the halfway point.

Palatine was able to build its lead thanks to the strength of its vault team. Elly Nilsen, who posted the high score for the night on the event, led the Pirates with a 9.25. Alyssa Eckels (8.90), Rachel Van De Cotte (8.50) and Jessica Streepy (8.20) also scored for Palatine.

The Pirates outscored Rolling Meadows 34.85-33.45 on the vault, but Meadows was able to fly back into contention on the bars.

Kane, whose 9.25 was high for the event, led the way for the Mustangs. She was joined by Abby Adams (8.15), Katie Reich (7.30) and Jenna Byrne (6.80) as Meadows outscored Palatine 31.50 -- 30.30.

Palatine picked up the pace in the second part of the meet.

The Pirates won both rotations, outscoring Meadows 34.30-33.10 on the beam and 34.60-33.10 on the floor.

Palatine's Kristen Ure was tops on the beam with a 9.00. Van De Cotte (8.90), Nilsen (8.50) and Eckels (7.90) also scored for the Pirates.

On the floor, it was Eckels who came up big for the Pirates with her 9.15. Ure (8.65), Van De Cotte (8.60) and Streepy (8.20) all had their scores count for Palatine.

Nilsen, who is a sophomore and competed on the varsity last season was happy with the Pirates' performance.

"I think we did a pretty good job," said Nilsen, who was second in the all-around with a 34.15.

"We have been working very hard and for the first meet we started off pretty good."

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