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The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team returns Carver-Hawkeye Arena for its final home contest of the season against Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series rival Iowa State on Friday, March 6. The meet is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. (CT). The meet also will serve as Senior Night for Sydney Hoerr, Johanny Sotillo, Caitlin Tanzer, Emma Willis, and Jessica Morreale. The University of Iowa will honor the seniors with highlight videos following the conclusion of the meet.
Friday is Student Night. Hawks Nest, Greeks, Residence Halls, and Student Organizations are invited to show their support for the Iowa Women’s Gymnastics team. The first 100 fans will receive a free Iowa foam finger upon their arrival at the meet. The contest will also serve as Fan Appreciation Night and kids can get their face painted in the kids’ zone before the competition begins.
BREAKING INTO THE TOP 25:
Iowa is currently ranked No. 25 nationally, marking the program’s first Top 25 ranking since 2012. There are 80 women’s gymnastics teams in the nation. The GymHawks also rank 22nd as a team on the uneven bars (49.015 average score), 21st on floor (48.960), and 25th on beam (48.760).
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION:
Iowa State gymnastics team earned their season high score on vault (49.275) during a quad meet at Penn State on Feb. 28. Penn State took first place with 196.650, the Cyclones finished second with 195.375, Penn was third with 191.925, and Brockport took fourth with 190.700. The second place finished moved Iowa State to 6-8-1 on the season. The Cyclones are currently ranked 22nd nationally as a team on beam (48.815 average score).
LAST TIME OUT:
Despite the stress from last minute schedule changes due to inclement weather, the GymHawks excelled, winning their tri-meet against No. 14 Minnesota and New Hampshire on Feb. 28. The GymHawks posted a 195.000 team score to edge out the Golden Gophers (194.725) and the Wildcats (194.700). Two GymHawks earned a total of three career bests to highlight the competi- tion. Leading the pack was Senior Sydney Hoerr with a pair of bests on beam (9.775) and bars (9.925). Hoerr’s performances earned her a first place title on bars, second place overall on floor, and fourth place in the all-around. The GymHawks closed the night on bars with a score of 48.775, giving them a final score of 195.000. Freshman Melissa Zurawski tallied the final season best of the night, posting a 9.850 on bars, good enough to take fourth place in the event.
The majority of GymHawks are underclassmen, with six freshmen, six sophomores, three juniors, and three seniors on the roster.
This season, the Hawkeyes welcome six newcomers — Ashley Fischer, Lanie Snyder, Melissa Zurawski, Nikki Youd, Jori Robertson, and Megan Ruzicka — to the 2015 squad. Iowa also welcomes new additions to the coaching staff. Assistant coach Jennifer Green comes to Iowa after serving as an assistant coach at the University of Missouri for two years and Caleb Phillips returns to Iowa, where he previously coached from 2008-13.
METCALF, HOERR NAMED TO BIG TEN WATCH LIST:
Angel Metcalf and Sydney Hoerr have been named to the 2015 Big Ten Gymnasts to Watch List. Metcalf, one of six sophomores to make the list, hails from Swansboro, North Carolina. She captured her third all-around title last season against No. 20 Ohio State on Feb. 14 in Iowa’s annual Pink Meet. Metcalf improved her all-around score to 39.325. She previously posted a season best at Georgia (39.100). Metcalf received a bid to NCAA Regionals with five of her teammates to compete in the all-around. She competed in 12 meets last season, nine of which she competed for the all-around title. Her season-best all-around score of 39.325 has been tallied twice; the most recent at the 2014 Big Ten Championships.
Hoerr, who was also featured on the 2014 Big Ten Watch List, is a senior from Bloomington, Illinois. The 2014 second team All-Big Ten honoree registered Iowa’s individual season bests on the uneven bars (9.900 at Iowa State, March 7) and floor exercise (9.875 at Georgia, Jan. 20) last season. She competed in all 12 meets in addition to NCAA Regionals, while competing in the all-around in seven competitions. Hoerr led Iowa on the bars with a regional qualifying score of 9.855, tying for 54th nationally. Hoerr is also an Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
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.
HEAD COACH Larissa Libby:
Larissa Libby enters her 11th year as head coach, and 15th year overall, at the University of Iowa in 2014-15. In 2014, six Hawkeyes were selected for NCAA Regional com- petition. Alie Glover, Angel Metcalf, and Sydney Hoerr were selected as all-around competitors, while Jordyn Doherty competed on vault and Mollie Drenth competed on floor. Maryah Huntley was selected as the alternate behind Drenth on floor. Libby coached Hoerr to second team All-Big Ten honors, while Hoerr, Caitlin Tanzer and Glover earned Academic All-Big Ten honors. Libby led Iowa to its sixth-consecutive NCAA postseason appearance, the seventh in her tenure, in 2013.
PRACTICE FACILITY RENOVATION:
The women’s gymnastics team is amidst a practice facility renovation. The gym — located in the UI Field House — is scheduled to be completed in April 2015. The renovation will include new equipment, more space to train, and enhanced safety and resources for Hawkeye student-athletes.
Fans interested in attending 2015 home meets at Carver-Hawkeye Arena should visit hawkeyesports.com or contact the UI Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800 IA-HAWKS. Fans purchasing season tickets ($15) will gain admission to four home competitions at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, including three against league opponents (Michigan State/Ball State, Maryland, Illinois) and the home finale against in-state rival Iowa State. All youth, 18 and younger, and UI students are admitted free to all home events.
FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES:
A member of the Iowa gymnastics staff will offer interactive Twitter content live at every event this season via @iowagymnastics. This feature gives Hawkeye fans the opportunity to stay up to date on the latest news and scores during every meet.
Web Address: hawkeyesports.com (check the schedule page for live stats and live streams)
Iowa will travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to take on Michigan, Minnesota, Penn State, and Rutgers in the Big Five Meet on Saturday, March 14. The meet is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. (CT) inside the Sports Pavilion.