GymHawks Travel to Penn State

Jan. 22, 2013

Complete Release

This Week
The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team travels to University Park, Pa. to take on Penn State, Pittsburgh and Rutgers on Saturday. Action is slated to start at 6 p.m. (CT) inside Rec Hall.

Last Time Out
The Hawkeyes improved their team score by nearly a point from the first meet (1/11/13), but it was not enough to overcome the No. 21 Buckeyes. Iowa fell in the Big Ten season opener 194.925-194.200. Sophomore Sydney Hoerr had a strong showing, earning a career high 39.100 in the all-around for second place. Freshman Alie Glover scored 38.800 for third. Sophomore Emma Willis posted a career high 9.900 on the vault, tying for first with Ohio State’s Sarah Miller. Senior Kaitlynn Urano and Hoerr paced the Hawkeyes on beam with a career high 9.750. Iowa tallied 48.750 on the bars, 49.050 on the vault, 48.750 on the floor and 47.650 on the beam.

Scouting The Nittany Lions
Penn State (3-3, 0-1 Big Ten) is ranked No. 6 in the Big Ten and No. 30 nationally. Penn State posted a 194.300 to earn a third-place finish in its home opener against Minnesota, Kent State and Towson on Saturday. Senior Sharaya Musser led Penn State in the all-around, posting a 38.775. Musser tied for first on the beam (9.900) with junior Kassidy Strauder.

In the National Rankings
Iowa ranks No. 14 on the bars. Six of the eight Big Ten teams (No. 3 Michigan, No. 4 Nebraska, No. 8 Penn State, No. 14 Iowa, No. 16 Ohio State and No. 18 Illinois) are in the top 25 on the bars. The Hawkeyes are No. 21 on the floor, with freshman Kyra Trowbridge ranked No. 34 after scoring 9.850 in the last two meets.

The rankings, which are determined by season scoring average, are released every Monday. The rankings will switch over to Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) on Monday, Feb. 25.

Big Ten Conference
Four of the eight Big Ten teams (Michigan, Nebraska, Minnesota, Ohio State) are nationally ranked in the top 25. Michigan (4-0, 2-0 Big Ten) ranks No. 1 after defeating Illinois 197.300-195.100 on Saturday.

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.

Roster Breakdown
The majority of GymHawks are underclassmen, with six freshmen, four sophomores and three seniors. There are no juniors.

Long-Time Teammates
Freshman Alyssa Lopez and sophomore Jessica Morreale trained together at Energym in Dekalb, Ill. Both are coached by Morreale’s father, Andy Morreale.

Next Week
The GymHawks will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich. to take on No. 1 Michigan on Saturday, Feb. 2. Action is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. (CT) inside Crisler Arena.

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