Jan. 15, 2011
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team fell to No. 17 Minnesota, 194.825-195.325, at the Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis, MN, Saturday evening. The 18th-ranked GymHawks improved on last week’s team score by a complete point and recorded the two best all-around performances, but weren’t able to stop Minnesota at home.
“Tonight was the first meet in a long time that we were able to hit every routine and I’m very proud of our girls,” said Head Coach Larissa Libby. “Tiny, disappointing mistakes cost us the meet, but I think we grew as a team tonight. We’ll return to Minnesota for the Big Ten Championships knowing that we can perform in this arena.”
Senior Rebecca Simbhudas led the Hawkeyes with a victory in the all-around. The returning all-American recorded a 39.250. Senior Houry Gebeshian placed second with a 39.150 while junior Jessa Hansen posted a 38.675 and placed fourth.
The Black and Gold began the meet on bars where they scored a team total of 48.725. Gebeshian led the Hawkeyes with a score of 9.850, good for a share of first place. Simbhudas placed third with a score of 9.825 while sophomore Emma Stevenson scored a 9.775 and placed fifth.
Iowa moved to vault in the second rotation and posted a 48.625. Gebeshian led the Hawkeyes, once again, as she tied for second place with a score of 9.800. Simbhudas finished fourth with a score of 9.750. Additionally, sophomore Maya Wickus made her Hawkeye debut on vault and tied for eighth after scoring a 9.675.
The Hawkeyes scored a 48.700 on floor exercise in the third rotation. Simbhudas led the GymHawks with a score of 9.825 and a share of second place. Gebeshian tied for fourth with a score of 9.800 while sophomore Kaitlynn Urano tied for sixth with a score of 9.750. Urano’s performance on floor was the best of her career.
Iowa finished the meet on beam where they edged out Minnesota, 48.775-48.750. Sealing her all-around victory, Simbhudas won the title on beam with a score of 9.850. Senior Andrea Hurlburt and freshman Tesla Cox tied for fifth with scores of 9.750, marking a career best for Cox.
“The overall leadership and level of performance from our seniors tonight was tremendous,” added Libby. “The focus they showed made a large difference and you could see it spread throughout the team.”
The Hawkeyes will return to Iowa City Jan. 22 to host the Michigan Wolverines in their home opener. The meet is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. (CT) at the UI Field House.
“We’re looking forward to another great week of training and being able to compete at home next weekend,” said Libby. “We’re going to prepare for our second shot a Michigan and hopefully we can continue to improve on our team score.”