March 14, 2014

Rudiger Powers Gymnastics Past Air Force, 196.100-195.075

DURHAM, N.H.Erika Rudiger (Slidell, La.) recorded first-place finishes on uneven bars and floor exercise to spearhead the University of New Hampshire gymnastics team's 196.100-195.075 victory over the U.S. Air Force Academy on Friday night at Lundholm Gym.

UNH, which exceeded the 196.000 mark for the second straight meet, upped its record to 13-4, while Air Force fell to 6-9.

Reigning East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) Specialist of the Week Kelsey Aucoin (Double Oak, Texas) tied for first place on vault (9.850) with Air Force's Jessica Wallander. Hannah Barile (Sinking Spring, Pa.) secured third place with a 9.825, and the Wildcats posted a team vault score of 48.900 to edge the Falcons (48.325).

Rudiger matched a personal best with a 9.875 on bars to share the top score with Linnaea Hance of Air Force. In her Senior Day meet, Jannelle Minichiello (Tewskbury, Mass.) set a career high with a 9.850 on bars to notch third place and help the 'Cats scored a season-high 49.000 on that apparatus. Meghan Pflieger (Barneveld, N.Y.) tallied a 9.800 for fourth.

Aucoin and Kayla Gray (Buffalo, N.Y.) ignited a team score of 49.100 on beam by sharing first place (9.875) with Hance, but Air Force tallied a 49.125 for its lone event victory over the meet. Pflieger earned a share of fourth place with a 9.825.

Rudiger and Erin Machado (Swansea, Mass.) recorded equal marks of 9.850 to tie for first place on floor exercise. A four-way deadlock for third place (9.825) included Minichiello (season high), Aucoin, Wallander and Air Force's Katie Hawthorne. UNH totaled a 49.100 on floor.

Hance claimed the all-around title with a 39.025.

UNH, with a 195.925 Regional Qualifying Score (RQS), ranks second in EAGL. The Wildcats tangle with first-place North Carolina State (195.370 RQS) at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C., on Sunday, March 16 (2 p.m.).

The 2014 EAGL Championship is coming to the Whittemore Center on Saturday, March 22. Tickets for the 2 p.m. meet are on sale now at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. UNH will challenge George Washington, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Towson. The Wildcats won the EAGL title the last time the Whitt played host to the league championship in 2003.

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