Jan. 31, 2012
The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team, ranked 24th in the nation, will look to remain unbeaten at home when it hosts No. 10 Penn State Friday evening. The match-up features two programs with undefeated Big Ten records. Competition is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. (CT) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa team manager Nicole Pineau will offer interactive content live from Carver-Hawkeye Arena via the Official Iowa Gymnastics Blog. This feature gives diehard Hawkeye fans the opportunity to voice their opinion by submitting questions and comments, while receiving up-to-the-minute play-by-play, notes and stats about the meet and Hawkeyes. The live blog will begin at approximately 6:45 p.m. (CT) and run throughout the meet.
Last Time Out
Iowa swept the event titles in a 194.550-194.900 road loss to Iowa State on Jan. 27. The GymHawks posted event wins on vault and bars, but weren’t able to hold on during the final two rotations. They boasted event titles from junior Maya Wickus on vault (9.850), senior Jessa Hansen on bars (9.875), freshman Jessica Morreale on beam (9.850) and junior Emma Stevenson on floor (9.825).
Scouting Penn State
The Nittany Lions currently own a season record of 6-1. They most recently knocked off No. 9 Minnesota with an impressive team total of 195.475. Junior Sharaya Musser brought home her fourth all-around title of the season with a 39.275. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native also earned event titles on vault, beam and floor.
Head Coach Larissa Libby
In her eighth season at Iowa, Libby has a career record of 65-72-2. The Hawkeyes are searching for their fifth consecutive NCAA postseason appearance, the sixth in Libby’s tenure. She coached the 2011 GymHawks to an 11-6 record and sixth place finish at the Big Ten Championships, this coming after a third place finish in 2010, their best finish in six years. Libby coached three All-Big Ten selections in 2011 — Rebecca Simbhudas, Houry Gebeshian and Jessa Hansen. Libby 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.
The GymHawks will return to the road after Penn State, taking on Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio Feb. 10. Action is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. (CT) inside St. John Arena.