Geneva returns to action with narrow win over Batavia
Batavia beat Geneva on vault, bars and floor during Wednesday's DuKane Conference meet, but the Vikings outscored the Vikings significantly on beam.
That proved to be the difference as the Vikings edged their rivals, 131.7 to 130.7 in Geneva's Mack Olson Gym.
The Vikings, who outscored the Bulldogs 32.4 to 29.5 on beam, were competing for just the second time this season and first time since Nov. 28 due to the teachers strike. It cost them from competing in two invites and forced a dual meet against Lake Park to be postponed until next week.
"It took its toll on all of us," Geneva coach Kim Hostman said. "But all in all, they came out and did their best. Obviously we have a lot of improvements to make. We started our first meet with a 133.55 so it's kind of disappointing to go backwards, but we're almost starting over."
The Vikings dug deep to edge the Bulldogs as they used scores from 8 gymnasts, with senior Grace De Vita leading the way by winning the all-around with a 33.6. She also had the top score on bars and was second on beam.
"I was pretty pleased," De Vita said. "We started off super strong and we built each other back up when we had falls. We ended up having some scores that were higher and lower than others, but it's stuff we can build on. We know we can count on each other to bring our total higher."
Sophomore Olivia Takesue edged De Vita, 8.35 to 8.25 on beam, while freshman Kate Nitschke was third with an 8.0 for the Vikings.
"It was one of my better beam routines for sure," Takesue said. "The main goal was to beat Batavia tonight. It was close. We didn't have our best meet, but we beat them so that's what we're happy with most right now and we'll come out and do better next time."
Nitschke and seniors Sophia Hostasa and Lindsay King contributed a pair of scores each while freshman Katie Beitzel, sophomore Kathryn Wendt and junior Caitlin Cook each added to the team total.
The Bulldogs may have fallen short of victory, but they were far better than the 127.65 they totaled at the DeKalb Invite last Friday.
"I think what's rough is when you have as good of a meet as they had and you hit and hit and hit and then you get to beam," Batavia coach Taryn Boyce said. "The pressure just became that much more intensified. I know they kind of felt it there, but it's still the beginning of the season and I'm so proud of them. They rocked it tonight."
That included junior Olivia Barolotta and Jackie Nelson who finished 1-2 on floor, sophomore Haley Salus and junior Delaney Hindel, who went 2-3 on bars, and freshman Sydney Balitewicz, who edged Salus for top honors on vault, 9.15 to 9.05.
"It was one of our best meets," Salus said. "Pretty amazing for us really. We weren't happy with beam so we know we have to go fix some things in practice. We'll work on it more, try to get it under our belts so we can do it perfectly for the next meet."
Junior Taylor Novotny was the lone all-arounder for the Bulldogs with a 32.55. Senior Lillian Baty-Barr led the team on beam with a 7.95 while freshman Natalie Hayden boosted the team total on bars and beam.