Ball State's women's gymnastics team, under the direction of head coach Nadalie Walsh, will open the 2013 season at nationally ranked Florida Friday.
The Cardinals will take on the No. 3 rated Florida Gators in a dual meet at 7 p.m. at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Florida finished second in the 2012 NCAA National Championships.
The Gators and Ball State have met twice previously with Florida winning both meetings. Florida defeated Ball State 197.55 to 191.35 in the last meeting, a 2010 dual meet at Florida.
Ball State welcomes the return of Nicole Allen, who qualified for the NCAA Central Regional in 2011 and 2012. She was an All-Mid-American Conference selection in 2011 and named to the second team in 2012. Allen, who was the co-champion on the vault and the floor at the 2011 MAC Championships, finished 14th in the all-around at the NCAA Regional last season.
In addition, the Cardinals welcome the return of Brittney Emmons, who missed the 2012 season due to an injury. Emmons competed at the 2010 and 2011 NCAA Regional in the all-around and was named to the All-MAC Second Team in each of those seasons.
Other top returnees include seniors Tiffany Brodbeck, Morgan Coslow and Emily Wehrle.
The Cardinals will compete at Iowa Jan. 11, before opening the 2013 home season Fri., Jan. 18, vs. Central Michigan at 7 p.m. in Irving Gym of Ball State's Student Recreation and Wellness Center.