Jan. 8, 2013
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The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team opens its 2013 campaign against Ball State on Friday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Competition time is set for 7 p.m.
Last Time Out
In 2012, the GymHawks made their fifth-consecutive NCAA postseason appearance, placing fifth in the Seattle Regional. Iowa faced four nationally ranked teams, including Alabama, the 2012 national champions. The GymHawks finished the season ranked 26th nationally, the highest finish since 2004.
Head Coach Larissa Libby
Entering her ninth year as head coach of the Hawkeyes, Libby has her eyes set on a sixth-consecutive NCAA postseason appearance, the seventh in her tenure. In 2012, the Hawkeyes finished the season ranked 26th nationally, the highest finish since 2004. Libby coached Tesla Cox to second team All-Big Ten honors and Emma Stevenson to the Big Ten All-Championship Team. The Hawkeyes hosted the Big Ten Championships, drawing a season-high attendance figure of 1,661. Stevenson scored a 9.875 on the floor exercise, and Iowa finished seventh as a team. Libby led the Hawkeyes to a fifth-consecutive NCAA postseason appearance. Iowa posted 194.600 and finished fifth at the Seattle Regional.
Scouting Ball State
Ball State opened the 2013 season at nationally ranked Florida last Friday. No. 3 Florida defeated the Cardinals 196.575 to 190.550. Senior Brittney Emmons, a 2010 and 2011 All-Mid-American Conference Second Team selection, placed second in the all-around with a 38.400. Freshman Denasiha Christian led Ball State on vault, tying for fifth with a 9.800. Emmons was the Cardinals’ top bars performer with a 9.675. Senior Emily Wehrle led the Cardinals on beam finishing sixth with a 9.525, while sophomore Brooklyn Schumacher placed seventh with a 9.450. Christian scored a 9.725 on floor for fifth place, while sophomore Angie Hosbach finished sixth with a 9.700.
Freshmen Alie Glover, Adara Griffin, Alyssa Lopez and Kyra Trowbridge will make immediate impacts. Glover qualified to the 2012 Junior Olympic National Championship,placing 16th on vault. Griffin qualified to the 2010 Region V Championship and was a high school track and field letterwinner. Lopez qualified to the 2012 Region V Championship with a career best all-around score of 38.450 at the Illinois State Championship. Trowbridge, a four-time Junior Olympic National qualifier,placed 34th in the all-around in 2012.
The majority of GymHawks are underclassmen, with six freshmen, four sophomores and three seniors. There are no juniors.
Freshman Alyssa Lopez and sophomore Jessica Morreale trained together at Energym in Dekalb, Ill. Both are coached by Morreale’s father, Andy Morreale.
Fans interested in attending 2013 home meets at Carver-Hawkeye Arena should visit hawkeyesports.com or contact the UI Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800 IA-HAWKS. Season tickets are currently on sale for $15 for adults. Fans purchasing season tickets will gain admission to four home meets, including two against Big Ten opponents and the annual showdown against rival Iowa State. The season ticket package includes premium seating options and one Iowa women’s gymnastics t-shirt. All youth, 18 and younger, and UI students are admitted free to all home matches.
A member of the Iowa gymnastics staff will offer interactive content live from every event throughout the season 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 approximately 15 minutes before each competition and run throughout the meet.
Friday night’s opener is Elementary Night. Free schedule posters and key tags will be given out, in addition to free t-shirts to the first 250 fans. Fans can play giant board games on the concourse and participate in activities at the `Challenge Accepted: Games for the Brain’ table. As always, fans are welcome to join the GymHawks on the floor and Cha Cha Slide after the meet.
The GymHawks will travel to Columbus, Ohio to take on No. 14 Ohio State Saturday, Jan. 19. Action is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. (CT) inside St. John Arena.
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