Jan. 8, 2014
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The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team opens its 2014 season Saturday, hosting Utah State at 5 p.m. (CT) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Free t-shirts will be given to the first 200 fans at Saturday’s season opener, and there will be post-meet autographs. As always, fans are welcome to join the GymHawks on the floor and Cha Cha Slide after the meet.
UNDEFEATED AT CARVER-HAWKEYE ARENA:
Iowa won all four of its home meets and recorded its highest-ever average home attendance (1,414) in 2013, with a season-high 2,303 in attendance against Iowa State (3/8). In 2012, the GymHawks drew an average of 940 fans. Before 2013, Iowa’s record was an average of 1,307 fans in 2001. Iowa ranked 30th nationally in average home attendance.
Fans interested in attending 2014 home meets at Carver-Hawkeye Arena should visit hawkeyesports.com or contact the UI Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800 IA-HAWKS. The 2014 regular season includes four home competitions, two of which are against Big Ten foes Nebraska and Ohio State. Season tickets are currently on sale for $15 for adults. 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 home matches.
LAST TIME OUT:
In 2013, the GymHawks were selected to compete in NCAA Regional competition for the sixth-straight year under head coach Larissa Libby. The GymHawks were one of just 36 teams to receive an invitation to regional competition at one of six different sites. Iowa scored 194.475 for sixth place, while No. 2 Oklahoma won the meet, totaling 197.375. No. 11 Stanford earned second (196.800) followed by No. 22 Washington (195.925), No. 14 Penn State (195.875) and Southern Utah (194.850).
GYMHAWKS TO MAKE 3 BTN APPEARANCES:
The GymHawks will make three appearances on the Big Ten Network during the 2014 season. The three appearances equal the most of any of the eight league teams. The Hawkeyes will make their season debut on BTN when they travel to Illinois on Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. (CT). The dual will be televised as a tape delay on Feb. 1. Iowa can be seen live on BTN when it faces Michigan, Minnesota, and Penn State in the B1G Quad Meet in Ann Arbor, Mich., on March 15 at 12:30 p.m. (CT). The meet is a new addition to the schedule. The Big Ten Championships, slated for March 22 in University Park, Pa., can also be seen live on the network.
HEAD COACH Larissa Libby:
Entering her 10th year as head coach of the Hawkeyes, Libby has her eyes set on a seventh-consecutive NCAA postseason appearance, the eighth in her tenure. During the 2013 regular season, Iowa clinched the Cy-Hawk Series, defeating Iowa State with a season-best, 196.375-194.575. Iowa was the only Big Ten team to down Minnesota, the regular season Big Ten Co-Champions. The Hawkeyes beat the Gophers, 195.725-195.550. Iowa found success off the floor as well, as four GymHawks — Sydney Hoerr, Emma Stevenson, Kaitlynn Urano and Emma Willis — received Academic All-Big Ten honors. In 2012, the Hawkeyes finished the season ranked 26th nationally, the team’s highest finish since 2004.
The majority of GymHawks are underclassmen, with seven freshmen, four sophomores and three juniors. There are no seniors on the roster.
2 NAMED TO BIG TEN WATCH LIST:
Two University of Iowa women’s gymnasts — Alie Glover and Sydney Hoerr — appear on the 2014 Big Ten Gymnasts to Watch List. Glover — one of three league sophomores named to the list — was the only GymHawk to compete in the all-around in all 12 meets in 2013 as a freshman. The Destin, Fla., native was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Feb. 8 last season after posting a career-high 39.050 for the all-around title against Michigan State and Illinois-Chicago. Glover scored 9.700 or better on bars 11-of-12 times, posting a career-high 9.825 at Southern Utah. Hoerr, an Academic All-Big Ten honoree, is a junior from Bloomington, Ill. She competed in the all-around in 10 meets last season. Hoerr won the bars title at Southern Utah with a career-best and team season-high 9.925, and won the all-around against Iowa State with a career-best and team season-high 39.400.
SCOUTING UTAH STATE:
Utah State is coached by Nadalie Walsh. Walsh, in her first year as head coach of the Aggies, served as head coach at Ball State for the last six seasons. Utah State finished fourth at the Western Athletic Conference Championships last season. Utah State has been picked to finish fifth this year in the first-ever Mountain Rim Gymnastics Championship preseason poll.
IN THE RANKINGS:
Iowa is receiving votes in the latest national rankings. Eight Iowa opponents are also ranked: No. 7 Michigan, No. 8 Georgia, No. 10 Nebraska, No. 14 Minnesota, No. 15 Penn State, No. 16 Illinois, No. 19 Ohio State, No. 23 Boise State. In addition, Ball State, Iowa State, and Michigan State are receiving votes.
IOWA SELECTED TO HOST 2016 NCAA REGIONAL:
The University of Iowa and Carver-Hawkeye Arena have been selected to host a 2016 NCAA Regional (April 2, 2016) in women’s gymnastics. Iowa last hosted an NCAA Regional in 2009.
The GymHawks travel to Muncie, Ind., to take on Ball State on Jan. 17, before traveling to Athens, Ga., to face No. 8 Georgia on Jan. 20.
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