Jan. 21, 2011
RALEIGH, N.C. --- The 10th-ranked Wolfpack earned its first victory of the season, claiming a 194.550-194.475 win to top EAGL-foe West Virginia, ranked 18th-nationally, Friday night in Reynolds Coliseum.
NC State needed every tenth of the total as the meet came down to the final routines of the night. Freshman Stephanie Ouellette drew possibly the biggest cheers of the evening as she wrapped up a 9.825 floor routine to finish the meet and push NC State past the Mountaineers.
"I was very proud of the team and the way they competed, we counted no falls, and we actually had a little better meet than we did a week ago," said NC State head coach Mark Stevenson. "I thought the routines were better and the performances were better, even though the scores might not have reflected that."
Senior Brittany Vontz led three Pack gymnasts with vaults of 9.8s or higher, posting a 9.825 to give the Pack a 48.875 total. Junior Brooke Barr and freshman Diahanna Ham contributed a pair of 9.8s.
Sophomore Rachel Fincham delivered a boost to the Wolfpack’s rotation on the uneven bars, landing a 9.825, her second-straight meet with a 9.8 or higher in the event.
Freshman Kristen Harabedian made her first appearance for NC State, contributing a 9.775 on bars to help the Pack to a 48.700 team score.
Junior Jess Panza’s 9.775 was one of the lone bright spots during the Pack’s beam rotation. For the second week in a row, Panza led the squad with her score on the beam. In NC State’s season-opener, Panza’s beam routine drew a 9.775 from the judges.
Junior Anna Kronenfeld made her first contribution of the year, giving NC State a sorely-needed 9.725 to bring the team’s total to 48.375.
During the third rotation, West Virginia seized on the Wolfpack’s missteps, taking a .025 lead into the final event of the night.
NC State stormed back with Ouellette’s 9.825 floor routine to close the meet and secure the victory. Panza turned in the Pack’s second-best score, a 9.750. Seniors Brittany Vontz and Brittney Hardiman both added performances of 9.7 or better, as Vontz scored a 9.7 and Hardiman a 9.725 to bring the team’s total to 48.600.
Official attendance for the meet was announced as 2,521, higher than the Pack’s season-opening meet against nationally third-ranked Oklahoma.
"I thought the group really bought into being more of a team this meet, and got into pulling for each other during each routine," said Stevenson. "It was also great to have a crowd out here this size, and it means a lot to be getting this much support from the community."