BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – Four members of the West Liberty University acrobatics & tumbling team were honored Thursday afternoon as the Mountain East Conference coaches released the 2022 All-MEC team.
Freshman base Abbey Horvath was voted MEC Freshman of the Year. She was joined on the All-MEC first-team unit by graduate base Kenzie Kyle and junior top/tumbler Mareena Scalia. Senior base Paige McGlothlin earned All-MEC second-team honors in the league-wide coaches’ balloting.
Horvath, a freshman from Brooke High School and Wellsburg, W.Va., seldom left the mats in her first collegiate season, competing in 10 heats and the team event for the Hilltoppers. She helped WLU average a 9.0 or higher in three heats – compulsory pyramid, compulsory toss, 7-element acro – and competed in nine heats that scored 9.50 or higher. Season highlights included a 9.85 in the compulsory toss at Gannon and a 9.80 in the inversion pyramid against Fairmont State.
A graduate student from Parsons, W.Va., this is Kyle’s third All-MEC selection as she was a first-team pick a year ago and a second-team All-MEC choice as a sophomore in 2019. A key figure in multiple heats along with the Team Event for the Black and Gold this spring, Kyle has earned multiple MEC Athlete of the Week honors during her career and contributed to several school records. She was also part of last year’s MEC champion inversion pyramid group.
A junior from Morgantown, Pa., Scalia has been one of the busiest Hilltoppers this season, competing in 10 of the 19 heats in addition to the Team Event. She teamed with Horvath and McGlothlin on the 9.85 Compulsory Toss heat at Gannon and the 9.80 Inversion Pyramid heat against Fairmont State. Scalia set a school record in winning the Tumbling Aerial Pass at the 2021 MEC Individual Event Finals, one of several school records she has contributed to during her Hilltopper career.
McGlothlin, a senior from St. Clairsville, Ohio who transferred to West Liberty two years ago after beginning her collegiate career at Alderson Broaddus, showed off her versatility as a base and tumbler with the Hilltoppers this spring. She based WLU’s two highest-scoring heats of the season – the 9.85 Compulsory Toss at Gannon and the 9.80 Inversion Pyramid against Fairmont State – and also joined fellow veteran Lexus Ficca in the Duo Pass heat for the Tumbling Event. McGlothlin participated in 11 heats and the Team Event for WLU this season.
Fairmont State senior Alexis Smith was named MEC Athlete of the Year for the second straight season while Frostburg State sophomore Alexis Palmieri was the MEC Specialist of the Year. Frostburg State’s Katie Nunley won the MEC Coach of the Year Award.
The Lady Hilltoppers finished the regular season in a three-way tie for second place in the conference standings to qualify for this weekend’s MEC Tournament at Fairmont State. West Liberty will take on top-seeded and defending tournament champion Fairmont State in Friday’s 7 p.m. semifinal at Joe Retton Arena. West Virginia Wesleyan and Frostburg State meet in the first semifinal at 5 p.m.
Saturday’s tournament schedule starts at 11 a.m. with the Individual Event Finals. The Black and Gold have qualified to compete for conference championships in 12 of the 15 event finals. The MEC Tournament championship match is set for Saturday at 3 p.m.
ACROBATICS & TUMBLING
2022 All-Mountain East Conference Team
MEC Athlete of the Year: Alexis Smith (Fairmont State)
MEC Specialist of the Year: Alexis Palmieri (Frostburg State)
MEC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: ABBEY HORVATH (WEST LIBERTY)
MEC Coach of the Year: Katie Nunley (Frostburg State)
Student-Athlete Team Position Year
Abbie Baker Frostburg State Top/Tumbler So.
Ansley Froman Fairmont State Top/Base Gr.
ABBEY HORVATH WEST LIBERTY BASE FR.
KENZIE KYLE WEST LIBERTY BASE GR.
Navah Marierose Frostburg State Base/Tumbler So.
Priscilla Richmond Fairmont State Base Sr.
Hannah Sadler Fairmont State Base/Tumbler Jr.
MAREENA SCALIA WEST LIBERTY TOP/TUMBLER JR.
Alexis Smith Fairmont State Top/Base/Tumbler Sr.
Laiken Spahr Frostburg State Base/Tumbler So.
Tiara Stokes W.Va. Wesleyan Base Sr.
Abigail Swinderman Glenville State Base/Tumbler Jr.
Student-Athlete Team Position Year
Peyton Barnes Fairmont State Base Jr.
Emily Dengel W.Va. Wesleyan Base/Tumbler Sr.
Portia Durden Davis & Elkins Top/Tumbler Sr.
Gabby Guldin Alderson Broaddus Base So.
Maddisyn Hahn Glenville State Top/Tumbler So.
Joniah Howell W.Va. Wesleyan Base/Tumbler Sr.
Hannah Krumpach Frostburg State Base Sr.
PAIGE MCGLOTHLIN WEST LIBERTY BASE SR.
Lauren Whittier Davis & Elkins Base Sr.