MORGANTOWN, W.V. – All-Americans Jaime Pisani and Amy Borsellino had big meets on Saturday for Arkansas’ eighth-ranked gymnastics team, but the Razorbacks competed without two all-arounders and were forced to count mistakes in a 195.675-195.125 loss at No. 28 West Virginia.
Arkansas competed without the top-ranked all-arounder in the nation in sophomore Katherine Grable and was without all-arounder Jordan Salsberg for the second week. Grable is being rested after injuring an ankle two weeks ago and Salsberg, ranked No. 23 nationally in the all-around, is out for the year with a knee injury.
In addition, the Razorbacks lost junior All-American Kelci Lewis for the night following her vault landing in the second rotation.
“It was an interesting night,” co-head coach Mark Cook said. “We started on bars and had to count a fall. Mariah (Howdeshell) fell for the first time this season and then Sammy (Kolbas) fell. We can’t have falls and perform well. Kelci (Lewis) jammed her ankle in warm-ups and couldn’t go so we had to shuffle the lineup a little bit. It was just one of those things. We have to find a way to win.”
Borsellino won vault with a 9.90 and had a career-high 9.875 on beam. Pisani won bars with a 9.875, beam with a school-record tying 9.95 and floor with a 9.90. Pisani also won the all-around with a 39.60 while Borsellino was second with a 39.35. In addition, sophomore Scarlett Williams had a career high on floor of 9.775 and matched her best on beam with a 9.875.
“We really had some great performances as well,” Cook said. “Jaime had a great all-around night. Amy did a phenomenal job as well. Scarlett really stepped up. She did a good job on three events and did much better on floor.”
Arkansas got off to a rough start with two mistakes on bars and was forced to count one. The Razorbacks had two falls and scored a 48.475. Pisani, tied for ninth in the nation on the event, led the way with a 9.875. Sophomore Shelby Salmon, ranked 32nd, had a 9.85. Borsellino, who competed on the event for the first time in her career last week, had a 9.775, followed by freshman Stephani Canizaro with a 9.75 and senior Mariah Howdeshell with a 9.225.
West Virgnia had a 48.925 on vault and was led by Alaska Richardson with a 9.875.
In the second rotation, Arkansas had a mistake on vault, but didn’t have to count it in the team total. The Razorbacks scored a 49.075 on vault while WVU had a 48.875 on bars. Arkansas trailed after two events, 97.80-97.55.
Borsellino led the way on vault with a career-high tying 9.90. Pisani had a 9.875, Williams a 9.85, sophomore Bailee Zumwalde a 9.80 and Canizaro a 9.65.
The Moutaineers were led by Kaylyn Millick with a 9.85.
In the third rotation, Williams and Canizaro both recorded career highs with a 9.775 and 9.80, respectively, as Arkansas scored a 48.475. Pisani led with a 9.90, but the Razorbacks had two mistakes and were forced to count one. Borsellino had a 9.80 and Zumwalde a 9.20.
Meanwhile, the Mountaineers had a 48.725 on beam. Hope Sloanhoffer led with a 9.95, but WVU was forced to count a 9.55.
Heading into the final event, West Virginia led 146.525-146.025.
Arkansas finished with a 49.10 on beam. Pisani tied the school record with a career-high 9.95. Borsellino had a career-high 9.875 and Williams matched her career high of 9.875. Salmon had a 9.725 and Kolbas a 9.675.
West Virginia finished with a 49.15 on floor, led by Richardson’s 9.90.
“As a team, we have to be more consistent when people come in to make up for the ones who are out,” Cook said. “We have to do a better job.”
Arkansas closes the regular season next week at Missouri on Friday before heading to Duluth, Ga., for the Southeastern Conference championship on March 24 at 4 p.m.
Arkansas is hosting the NCAA South Central Regional on April 7 at 4 p.m. in Barnhill Arena. Tickets are now on sale through the Razorback Ticket Center and at ArkansasRazorbacks.com.