MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University gymnastics team recorded the third-highest team score in program history to top Pitt and Central Michigan on Senior Day inside the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown on Sunday afternoon.
WVU’s total of 197.325 marked its highest team score since March 9, 2004, as well as the squad’s first total of 197.0 or higher since that same year. In addition to its impressive, season-high team score, West Virginia also scored season bests on vault and balance beam. The Mountaineers’ 49.425 on vault marked their highest total on the event since March 20, 2004, while their 49.475 on beam is WVU’s highest beam score since March 9, 2004.
Also of note, West Virginia’s 197.325 team score on Sunday marks coach Jason Butts’ highest team score in his 12-year tenure at WVU.
The Mountaineers (11-7, 1-2 Big 12) took first place in their final regular-season home meet of the year, while Central Michigan placed second with a 196.5. Pitt finished in third place with a 196.125 team total.
Opening the meet on vault, West Virginia set the tone for what was sure to be an impressive outing with a season-best 49.425. Senior Abbie Pierson led the way a season-high 9.925, while junior Kiana Lewis was just behind with a career-high 9.9. Sophomore Brooke Alban and freshman Emma Wehry tallied matching 9.875s, a career-best mark for Alban. Freshman Brooke Irwin rounded out the scoring with a career-high matching 9.85, as all six gymnasts posted a 9.8 or higher on vault for the first time this season.
Moving to uneven bars, the Mountaineers’ momentum faltered a little bit, but the squad was still able to put together five solid routines for a 48.9 score on the event. Senior Kianna Yancey paced the rotation with a 9.85, while Alban followed with a 9.8. Senior Kendra Combs, sophomore Anna Leigh and freshman Miranda Smith completed the rotation with a trio of 9.75s.
WVU was impressive once again in the third rotation on beam, posting a season-high 49.475. A pair of career-best 9.925s from Combs and Yancey paced the lineup, while three scores of 9.875 from senior Emily Holmes-Hackerd, Pierson and Leigh rounded out the rotation. The score was a career best for Leigh and marked season highs for Holmes-Hackerd and Pierson.
Completing the meet on its best event, West Virginia’s floor lineup tallied a 49.525 to help the team exceed the 197.0 threshold. A career-high matching 9.95 from Holmes-Hackerd led the way, while Pierson followed with a season-best 9.925. Junior Ellen Collins tallied a career-high matching 9.9, her third score of 9.9 in the last four meets, and a trio of 9.875s from Lewis, Yancey and Combs closed out WVU’s record-breaking meet.
Of note, Pierson’s 9.925 on floor matched her career high, which she hasn’t reached since March 8, 2020, when she hit the career-best mark as a freshman.
Yancey was the lone Mountaineer competitor in the all-around, as she earned a new career-best 39.45 to top the podium. The Hatfield, Pennsylvania, native becomes just the sixth Mountaineer all-time to reach the mark, as well as the first since Janáe Cox on March 7, 2006.
In the final event standings, Pierson finished in a tie for first on vault, followed by Lewis in a tie for third. Yancey added a tie for second on bars, before she and Combs finished together atop the final beam podium. On floor, Holmes-Hackerd won the floor title for the seventh time this season, and Pierson finished in second.
Following the conclusion of the meet, the Mountaineers honored seniors Combs, Holmes-Hackerd, Pierson and Yancey, as well as student managers Isabella Amrich and Maya Kraus, for their dedication to the program over the last four years.
West Virginia now hits the road to wrap up the regular season, competing in a pair of road dual meets next weekend. First up, WVU travels to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to take on No. 6 LSU on Friday, March 10. Competition inside the Maravich Center is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. ET. The Mountaineers then conclude the regular season at Rutgers on Sunday, March 12, with action inside Jersey Mike’s Arena in Piscataway, New Jersey, tabbed for 2 p.m.