Jan. 31, 2016
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Seventeen top-five finishes led the University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team to its second Big Ten road win of the season. The GymHawks topped Maryland, 196.275-195.500, inside the XFINITY Center Pavilion Sunday.
“I could not be more pleased with the girls and how they adjusted to everything,” said UI head coach Larissa Libby. “The travel out here was hard and it was an earlier start than we are used to. I would say we were a little tentative in the back half. Usually there is a come-from-behind win and today they took the lead after the first event. We are not used to being in that position. Overall, I am very pleased with the direction they are heading.”
Nine GymHawks earned a total of 17 top-five finishes to highlight the competition. Leading the pack was junior Mollie Drenth, a preseason Big Ten Gymnast to Watch, who finished at the top of the podium on beam (9.850), floor (9.900) and all-around (39.350), and finished fourth on vault (9.775).
Iowa started the night on bars, posting a team score of 49.250. Junior Angel Metcalf and senior Johanny Sotillo led the GymHawks, each earning season-highs with 9.875 scores to tie for first place overall. Sophomore Lanie Snyder followed her teammates, posting a season-high 9.850 to finish fourth.
Iowa moved to vault where three GymHawks — Rose Piorkowski, Metcalf, Misty-Jade Carlson — earned season-high marks. Piorkowski earned an event title with a score of 9.850, while Metcalf posted a 9.825 to finish runner-up. Carlson added a 9.775 for fourth place to give the Hawkeyes an event total of 49.000.
Iowa’s team score stood at 147.375 entering the final rotation, while Maryland stood at 146.475. The Hawkeyes closed the night on beam with a team score of 48.900. Senior Alie Glover paced the squad with another first place result and a season-high score of 9.850.
“I am very pleased with the effort that they are giving, the comradely that is developing, the chemistry that is building and just the pure intensity of the entire team,” said Libby. “Last year, they probably would have been satisfied with a 196 score, but that’s not where this team thinks their potential lies. While they were excited they took care of business, they recognized in the locker room that they have other things to work on now.”
The GymHawks return home for a Big Ten contest against Nebraska on Saturday, Feb. 6. The meet is set for 11 a.m. (CT) inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena and will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.