Jan. 29, 2011
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Champaign, IL – The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team fell to No. 19 Illinois, 193.475-194.775, in a tough Big Ten meet on the road Saturday afternoon. Competition was held inside Illinois’ Huff Hall and was aired live on the Big Ten Network. The Hawkeyes will move to a 3-3 record on the season and 2-3 in the Big Ten.
“It was disappointing to see us waste the great opportunity we had here today,” said Head Coach Larissa Libby. “We were hoping that we were past the point of continually making mistakes, but they’re coming back to haunt us. We knew Illinois was a great team, but we beat ourselves and that’s the worst feeling in the World.”
No. 15 Iowa began the night on bars where they scored a 48.650, behind Illinois’ 48.800. Senior Houry Gebeshian was crowned champion with a career score of 9.875. Sophomore Emma Stevenson and senior Arielle Sucich each posted season bests on bars and placed second and fifth, respectively. Stevenson posted a 9.800 while Sucich scored a 9.750.
The GymHawks then moved to vault where they fell to the Fighting Illini, 48.650-48.825. Leading the way was senior Rebecca Simbhudas who scored a 9.800. The returning all-American tied for second in the event. Juniors Jessa Hansen and Annie Szatkowski tied for sixth, each scoring a 9.725. It was a season high for Szatkowski.
“Annie had a good day and she’s been doing a great job,” said Libby. “She really held her own when there were some falls before her. She’s built to come on strong later in the season and that’s what I really think she will do for us.”
Iowa competed on floor in the third rotation where they were outscored by Illinois, 47.975-48.925. Gebeshian, Simbhudas and Hansen were all part of a five-way tie for second with scores of 9.800. Gebeshian’s performance on floor ties her season high.
The Hawkeyes ended the meet on beam where they posted a 48.200, just shy of the 48.225 from the Illini. Hansen led the Hawkeyes with a score of 9.850, tying her career high and earning third place. Simbhudas placed fourth with a 9.800 while Szatkowski tied for fifth with a 9.700. It was the best beam performance for her this season.
Hansen led the Hawkeyes in the all-around competition, placing fourth with a 38.875. Simbhudas placed fifth with a 38.550 while Gebeshian placed sixth, scoring a 38.025.
The Hawkeyes will head south for a meet against North Carolina State Feb. 6. Competition will take place in Raleigh, NC, and is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. (CT).
“We’re going to train and we’re going to train hard because that’s the only thing we know,” added Libby. “Illinois is over and now it’s time to face NC State. We’ll figure out how to fix our mistakes and be ready to go again next weekend.”