March 11, 2015
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Iowa will travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to take on No. 6 Michigan, No. 20 Minnesota, No. 12 Penn State, and Rutgers in the Big Five Meet on Saturday. The meet is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. (CT) inside the Sports Pavilion. The meet will serve as the Big Ten Qualifier and decides which session the teams will compete in and the rotation order for the Big Ten Championships on March 21 at the Crisler Center. The top three teams at each Big Five qualify for the evening session at 3:30 p.m., while the lower two teams will compete in the morning at 10:30 a.m.
BIG TEN BROADCAST:
The meet will also be streamed live on BTN2Go. Lisa Byington (play-by-play) and 2008 Olympic medalist Shawn Johnson (analyst) will be on the call. The meet will be available on Big Ten Net- work on tape-delay on Sunday, March 15 at 2:30 p.m. (CT).
BREAKING INTO THE TOP 25:
Iowa is currently ranked in the top 25 for the third consecutive week. The GymHawks are 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). Senior Sydney Hoerr is currently ranked 24th nationally as an individual on floor (9.895 average score).
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION:
No. 6 Michigan lost to No. 4 Utah on March 6 in Salt Lake City. Despite the loss, the team posted its sixth-highest score in program history (197.675). The loss moved the Wolverines to 8-2 on the season. Michigan is currently ranked fifth nationally as a team on beam (49.290 average score), sixth as a team on floor (49.360), seventh on bars (49.315), and 12th as a team on vault (49.260). No. 20 Minnesota lost their regular season finale to No. 2 Louisiana State University on March 6, 198.375-195.450. The loss put the Golden Gophers to 8-6 on the season. The Golden Gophers are currently ranked 15th nationally on floor (49.175 average score), 17th on beam (48.970), 19th on vault (49.140), and 24th on bars (48.945). No. 12 Penn State defeated West Virginia 196.750 to 195.900 on March 8. The score marked the teams season-best road score and put the Nittany Lions at 11-2 on the season. Penn State is currently ranked 13th nationally as a team on beam (49.100 average score), 16th on vault (49.235), 17th on bars (49.095), and 20th on floor (49.105). Rutgers posted a 195.200 to defeat Bridgeport (194.750) and West Chester (190.825) in a tri-meet on March 7. The win brings the Scarlet Knights to 12-13 on the season. While Rutgers is not ranked on any event, its best event is vault (48.758 average score).
LAST TIME OUT:
The GymHawks defeated Iowa State, 195.775-195.175, in their home finale on March 6. The win is the first for the GymHawks over the Cyclones since March 8, 2013. Three senior GymHawks ended their careers on a high note, earning a total of five career bests to highlight the competition. Leading the pack was Senior Sydney Hoerr with a pair of bests on vault (9.800) and floor (9.925). Hoerr’s performances earned her a first place title on floor, a fourth place overall on vault, and a fourth place result in the all-around. The GymHawks moved to bars where senior Johanny Sotillo led the GymHawks, posting a career best score of 9.900. Sotillo’s performance was enough to earn her a first place title in the event. Hoerr followed closely behind her teammate, tallying a score of 9.825 and finishing third overall in the event. The GymHawks closed the night on floor with a score of 49.000, giving them a final team score of 195.775. Hoerr earned her second career best of the night, posting a score of 9.925. Senior Caitlin Tanzer tallied the last season best of the night, tallying a 9.725.
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.
HEAD COACH Larissa Libby:
Larissa Libby is in 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 competition. 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 and the seventh in her tenure in 2013.
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.
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)
The GymHawks will travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to compete at the Big Ten Championships on March 21 at the Crisler Center. There will be two sessions, with four teams competing in each session, based on regional qualifying scores (RQS) from the Big Five Meet. The top three teams at each Big Five qualify for the evening session at 3:30 p.m. (CT), while the lower two teams will compete in the morning at 10:30 a.m.