Iowa Travels To Illinois

Jan. 25, 2011

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This Week The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team will hit the road for a Big Ten matchup against Illinois in Champaign, IL, Jan. 29. The Iowa men’s gymnastics team will also take on the Fighting Illini as part of a co-ed meet. Competition is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. (CT) inside Huff Hall.

Scouting The Fighting Illini No. 19 Illinois owns a season record of 2-2-1. The Fighting Illini are coming off a 195.350-195.350 tie on the road against No. 21 Ohio State, marking Illinois’ highest team score of the season. Senior Allison Buckley led Illinois with a win in the all-around competition while senior Melissa Fernandez took the top spot on bars.

Last Time Out Iowa knocked off No. 7 Michigan, 195.375-194.900, inside the UI Field House Jan. 22. In front of a standing room only crowd, The Hawkeyes, then ranked 17th, topped the Wolverines in three of four events and crowned two champions in senior Rebecca Simbhudas (bars) and junior Jessa Hansen (floor). Friday marked Michigan’s first loss of the year and Iowa’s first win over the Maize and Blue in 11 attempts.

National Rankings After the upset over Michigan, the GymHawks are ranking 15th in the most recent national rankings from Michigan, the only Big Ten school ranked ahead of the Hawkeyes, fell to No. 8 after its loss in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes are ranked among the nation’s top-20 on bars (10th), floor (11th) and vault (17th). Senior Houry Gebeshian moved up to 14th in the nation on bars with an average score of 9.833.

Head Coach Larissa Libby In her seventh season at Iowa, Larissa Libby has a career record of 55-64-1. Libby coached the 2010 GymHawks to a third place finish at the Big Ten Championships, their best finish in six years, as well as their fourth regional appearance in six seasons. She was named North Central Region Coach of the Year in 2009 for her efforts in guiding the GymHawks to a 10-5 record and a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Regionals. She was also named co-Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2008. Libby served as associate head coach in 2004 and assistant coach from 2001-03 at Iowa before being named head coach in 2005.

Next Competition The Hawkeyes will continue their road trip with a meet at North Carolina State Feb. 6. Action is scheduled to begin 12 p.m. (CT).