GymHawks to Face Defending Big Ten Champions

Feb. 28, 2013

Complete Release

The 24th-ranked University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team (6-4, 2-4 Big Ten) will travel to Lincoln, Neb., to take on No. 10 Nebraska on Monday, March 4. Action is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. (CT) in the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

After hitting all 24 routines, the GymHawks upset the undefeated and 12th-ranked Gophers in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Feb. 22. Senior Emma Stevenson won the floor (9.900) and tied for the bars title (9.825) with sophomore teammate Emma Willis, who also won the vault (9.900). Willis finished second in the all-around with a career-best 39.300. Minnesota freshman Lindsay Mable won the all-around with a 39.400, while Minnesota senior Shannon Golich won the beam (9.825).

The 10th-ranked Huskers (6-1, 4-1 Big Ten) won the Masters Classic on Feb. 22 in the Bob Devaney Sports Center, defeating Iowa State, 197.050-194.850. Nebraska, the defending Big Ten Champions, swept all four event titles and the all-around, capturing their 17th-straight Masters Classic title. Junior Emily Wong earned Big Ten Co-Gymnast of the Week honors after finishing in the top two in every event, including first-place finishes on bars (9.925), beam (9.900), floor (9.950) and in the all-around (39.600). Nebraska’s 197.050 team performance was the fourth-highest team score in the meet’s history. The Huskers rank seventh on bars and beam, 10th on floor and 11th on vault.

The Hawkeyes leaped to the No. 24 spot and are nationally-ranked on the bars (No. 20) and floor (No. 14). Senior Emma Stevenson is ranked No. 47 on the bars (9.825) and No. 34 on floor (9.855). Freshman Kyra Trowbridge is No. 40 on floor, while freshman Alie Glover is tied for No. 46 in the all-around with North Carolina State junior Diahanna Ham (38.805).

The Hawkeyes are ranked seventh in the conference (195.265). Individually, senior Emma Stevenson ranks ninth on bars (9.8825) and No. 10 on the floor (9.855). In the Big Ten all-around, freshman Alie Glover ranks No. 11 (38.805). Seven of the eight Big Ten teams (No. 3 Michigan, No. 10 Nebraska, No. 14 Minnesota, No. 18 Ohio State, No. 19 Illinois, No. 22 Penn State and No. 24 Iowa) are nationally-ranked in the GymInfo Top 25. Michigan leads the conference on all events: vault (49.295), bars (49.245), beam (49.160) and floor (49.365).

Sophomore Jessica Morreale, a key player on beam and vault, will be out for the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus. Morreale won the beam title vs. Michigan State and Illinois-Chicago with a career-best 9.875.

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 on Feb. 11 for her outstanding performance in the tri-meet against Michigan State and Illinois-Chicago on 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).

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 rankings switched over from the scoring average to Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) on Monday. The RQS is calculated by taking the team’s top six scores, three of which must be from road meets. The highest score is dropped, and the remaining five are averaged. In the Big Ten, the top four teams with the highest RQS scores will compete in the evening session (6 p.m.) of the Big Ten Championships, while the bottom four will compete in the afternoon session (12 p.m.). Nationally, teams with the top-18 RQS will be seeded for the NCAA Regional Championships.

The next gymnastics competition scheduled to be shown on the Big Ten Network is the Big Ten Championships (Mar. 23). The Hawkeyes appeared on the BTN on Feb. 23, in their dual meet vs. Minnesota. Iowa won, 195.725-195.550.

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). Iowa matched their season-best (195.875) against Illinois (2/16) and downed the undefeated Gophers, upsetting the 12th-ranked squad, 195.725-195.550 (2/22) .

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 nation-ally, the highest finish since 2004. Libby coached 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 return to Carver-Hawkeye arena to host Iowa State on Friday, March 8. The Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series matchup is slated to start at 7 p.m. (CT).

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