GymHawks Host No. 12 Minnesota

Feb. 19, 2013

Complete Release

The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team returns home to face No. 12 Minnesota on Friday. The dual is scheduled to start at 7:07 p.m. inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The meet can be seen on the Big Ten Network on Saturday at 5 p.m. Jim Kelly and Kylee Kolarik will call the action.

Iowa led No. 21 Illinois on the first three events, but could not seal the win on beam. The Fighting Illini edged the Hawkeyes, 195.975-195.875, inside Huff Hall. Sophomore Sydney Hoerr led the Hawkeyes with a career-best 39.350 in the all-around, finishing second behind Illinois senior Alina Weinstein’s 39.600. Weinstein, the reigning Big Ten Gymnast of the Week, broke the Illinois all-around school record. Sophomore Emma Willis placed fourth (39.100), and freshman Alie Glover placed sixth (38.350). The Hawkeyes earned season-bests on vault (49.225) and bars (49.200).

The Golden Gophers are ranked No. 12 nationally, according to the most recent GymInfo Top 25 Rankings. Minnesota (12-0, 4-0 Big Ten), and No. 2 Oklahoma, are the only undefeated teams in the Top 25. Last Saturday, the Gophers won their annual Best of Minnesota/Always Dreaming invitational at the Sports Pavillion. Minnesota totaled a 196.000, defeating Minnesota’s three other women’s gymnastics programs, Winona State (184.975), Hamline (184.675) and Gustavus Adolphus (177.450).

The majority of GymHawks are underclassmen, with six freshmen, four sophomores, three seniors and no juniors. Seventeen of Iowa’s 24 routines are contributed by underclassmen (nine by sophomores and eight by freshmen). Freshman Alie Glover is the only Hawkeye to compete on four events in every competition. She is ranked No. 89 nationally in the all-around. Glover was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week Feb. 11 for her outstanding performance in the tri-meet against Michigan State and Illinois-Chicago Feb. 8. Glover captured the all-around title with a career-high 39.050, leading the Hawkeyes to a first-place finish and season-best performance (195.875).

Iowa moved up to No. 13 on bars, averaging 48.950. Sophomore Sydney Hoerr shares the No. 42 spot with Oregon State senior Kelsi Blalock and UCLA senior Monique De La Torre. The Hawkeyes improved to No. 13 on the floor (48.971), with senior Emma Stevenson ranked No. 43 and freshman Kyra Trowbridge at No. 44.

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.

The Hawkeyes dropped back to No. 7 in the conference. Individually, senior Emma Stevenson ranks No. 10 on floor with a 9.846 average. In the Big Ten all-around, sophomore Emma Willis ranks No. 17 (38.783) and freshman Alie Glover is No. 18 (38.779).

Six of the eight Big Ten teams (No. 3 Michigan, No. 9 Nebraska, No. 12 Minnesota, No. 18 Illinois, No. 20 Ohio State and No. 24 Penn State) are nationally-ranked in the GymInfo Top 25. Michigan leads the conference on all events: vault (49.207), bars (49.261), beam (49.125) and floor (49.346).

The Iowa vs. Minnesota dual meet will be aired on the Big Ten Network on Saturday at 5 p.m. (CT). Other meets scheduled to be shown on the Big Ten Network include Penn State at Nebraska (Feb. 10), Ohio State at Michigan State (Feb. 16), and the Big Ten Championships (Mar. 23).

There will be live coverage from every event throughout the season via the Twitter account @IowaGymnastics. This feature gives diehard Hawkeye fans play-by-play, notes and stats about the competition and the Hawkeyes.

The Hawkeyes have increased their team score dramatically since scoring a 193.375 in the home opener against Ball State (1/11). Iowa tallied a 194.200 at Ohio State (1/19), before finding the 195 range at Penn State (1/26) with a 195.325, and at Michigan (2/2) with a 195.200. The Hawkeyes earned their season-best (195.875) against Michigan State and Illinois-Chicago (2/8). Last Saturday, Iowa matched their season-best (195.875) against Illinois.

Freshman Alyssa Lopez and sophomore Jessica Morreale trained together at Energym in Dekalb, Ill. Both were coached by Morreale’s father, Andy Morreale.

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.

The GymHawks will travel to Lincoln, Neb., to take on No. 9 Nebraska on Monday, March 4. Action is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. (CT) in the Devaney Center.

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