Jan. 28, 2016
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — After a dramatic win over 25th-ranked Ohio State on Jan. 23, the University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team is tuning out the hype and focusing on its next Big Ten opponent — Maryland.
“We are focusing straight ahead,” said UI head coach Larissa Libby. “I have told them already that I am proud of them and they should enjoy the moment, but to drop it. You are only as good as your last win. I don’t want them to dwell on it because we have another Big Ten team, who in my opinion is quite good.”
After being the heroes of an underdog story last weekend, the GymHawks stress the importance of focusing this week to keep the tables from turning at Maryland.
“I think they are a lot like us in the fact that they are underrated,” said Libby. “We competed against them a couple times last year and I think they are well coached and they have great team dynamic. They are quite underrated in what they are capable of doing. So we are just making sure the girls enjoy the win, but remember that it is just a stepping-stone. They have to be able to prove that it wasn’t a fluke.”
While the win was exciting, junior Mollie Drenth was more excited to see the team’s goals start to come to fruition.
“Confidence was a big part of it,” said Drenth. “We have also been working on our system in the gym and last weekend we were able to put it all together. We have been trusting each other so much more. When one person went down, we were all okay because we knew we all had each others backs and we knew we could hit. We are staying in the moment. If we look back it is to learn from our mistakes. We just want to focus on the next thing and do what we need to do.”
Analyzing previous performances proved beneficial to the GymHawks’ success, according to senior Alie Glover.
“At our last meet [Denver], our system failed on us a little bit,” said Glover. “We lost sight of those little details and the goals we focus on every single meet. So we had a week in the gym where we got to refocus. We talked about it, we had our metal training and we went over all those little things that are small and easy to forget but really matter. We regrouped and it paid off.”
With areas of improvement identified, the GymHawks continue to move closer to their goal of consistently scoring in the 196.000 range.
“Wins and losses don’t matter for us, it is the score that matters,” said Libby. “We could very easily go to Maryland and score 196.500 and lose. But I would be very happy with a 196.500 loss. Our journey has to bring us to those high scores. Last weekend was an eye opener for the team, that they are capable of fixing those little things. But the message this week has been park it and move on; we have work to do.”