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Redbirds soar over Redhawks at last home meet

Written by on February 23, 2023

Photo provided by Illinois State Athletics

NORMAL, Ill. – The battle of the birds took place on Friday at CEFCU Arena, ending with a victory for the Illinois State Redbirds over the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks. 

Illinois State rounded out its last home meet with a 194.600, flying over Southeast Missouri State’s 192.925. 

The Redbirds also claimed their highest vault score of the season, posting a 49.175 on their first rotation. The vault score also stands as the second-highest in the school’s history, trailing behind last season’s 49.350. 

The Redbirds also dominated the event titles of the night. 

Senior Angelica Labat showed off a season-high all-around score for her senior night, posting a 39.225 to land her way to first. She also took home the top spot on bars with a 9.725. 

Sophomore Alana Laster followed right behind her with her 39.175 all-around, holding her own season-high on the vault of 9.925. 

Freshman Joy Ziegenfelder turned out on top for the balance beam with a career-high of 9.850, while sophomore Jaye Mack took first with her season-high of 9.925 on the floor exercise. 

If that was not enough, sophomore Nirel Bart-Williams came into the meet holding the MIC Performance of The Week award. She spoke about her thoughts on her own performance. 

“I did pretty [well.] I was really solid all around except for one event…I feel like there’s always one thing that I look back on,” Bart-Williams said. “It’s something different every time. So, it’s hard to go into the gym to work on one thing, because I’ve hit everything at a certain point. I just wish that I could put it together all at once.” 

To make it to the top as a freshman, Bart-Williams must be anything but easy on herself. 

“Last meet, on my last event was when I kind of messed up. I was dwelling on that so much that I kind of forgot how well I did on the other events,” Bart-Williams said. “So, getting that award was kind of a wake-up call for me to remind myself that even if you have one slip-up, the rest of it is really good…I kind of just had to remind myself that once above happens, to focus on all the good things that I hit rather than the one thing that I might have not.” 

The Redbirds hit the road on Sunday to Durham, New Hampshire, where they will be competing against New Hampshire, Pittsburgh and Southern Connecticut State. The meet is set to start at 1 p.m.