COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State picked up its first win of the 2018 season when it showed up and showed out in front of its home crowd in St. John Arena Saturday afternoon. The Buckeyes posted a season-best 196.775 to beat Minnesota (195.775) and Illinois State (190.875).
"We were super excited to be back in St. John Arena in front of our home crowd," said head coach Meredith Paulicivic. "I think it was a combination of a really good training week and building off the crowd's energy. I feel like this should give them the confidence to know they're as good as anybody else."
The Buckeyes won three events in stellar fashion as they tallied season highs on vault (49.075), uneven bars (49.325) and floor exercise (49.575). The squad also finished second on balance beam with 48.800, the second-best total thus far.
Ohio State's 49.325 on uneven bars tied the top score in program history, recorded on Feb. 25, 2012 against Penn State. The team score of 196.775 is the sixth-highest total in OSU history.
The magic started on vault, where Olivia Aepli set a career-high and won the event after jetting down the runway and performing a yurchenko full for a 9.900. Alexis Mattern tied her top score of the season with a 9.875 for second. Morgan Lowe came through in third at 9.850 for a new career mark, her second-straight meet doing so.
The next stop for the Buckeyes was the uneven bars. In her first meet of the season, Kaitlyn Hofland nailed her routine and tied her career high on a 9.925 mark for second place. Jenna Swartzentruber was right behind in third on a 9.900.
In its final rotation, Ohio State kept the momentum going on floor exercise. Jamie Stone notched a career-high 9.950 to tie for first. Mattern found herself in third place as she tied her career-best 9.925.
Mattern (39.375) and Swartzentruber (39.225) finished the meet in second and third, respectively, in the all-around. It was a season high for Mattern and career mark for Swartzentruber.
As a team, the Buckeyes had nine finishes on the podium.
Ohio State is back on the road to face Rutgers on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m.