Iowa Scores Season High and Defeats No. 21 Illinois and UIC

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The No. 22 University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team scored a season-high 196.475 points to defeat both No. 21 Illinois-Champaign and Illinois-Chicago (UIC) on Saturday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Illinois placed second with a score of 196.050, while UIC finished third with a score of 192.625.

“I am very pleased with how the competition went,” said UI head coach Larissa Libby. “Illinois is an excellent team and this is what it’s going to take for us to be the best — to learn not to cave on the back half and to make sure that when it’s close we continue to push. I could not be more proud of the fight in my team.

“We didn’t have fantastic moments tonight, but they never gave up. I think that’s what it’s going to take as we move into championship season.”

Nine GymHawks earned a total of 13 top-five finishes and three event titles to highlight the competition. Seven GymHawks also registered season bests.

In the all-around, senior Mollie Drenth finished runner-up with a score of 39.225, while senior Angel Metcalf took third with a season-high 39.175.

Iowa posted its highest team score of the night on beam with a 49.225. Metcalf took first overall in the event with a career-high 9.925. Freshman Charlotte Sullivan followed in second with a season-high 9.875, while senior Savannah Borman tied for third with a season-high 9.850.

The Hawkeyes tied their season best on floor with a total of 49.125. Drenth, junior Lanie Snyder, and freshman Clair Kaji tied for second overall with scores of 9.850. Both Drenth and Snyder tied their season-high in the event.

Iowa registered a season-high 49.075 on vault. Sophomore Rose Piorkowki finished at the top of the podium with a 9.875 to tie her career-best. Junior Melissa Zurawski had the second-best finish for Iowa in the event with a score of 9.825.

The Hawkeyes posted a score of 49.050 on uneven bars. Sullivan won the event title with a 9.850. Kaji and Zurawski tied for second with scores of 9.825.

“I feel very lucky with the team I have been blessed with,” said Libby. “I love how much they’re learning and growing. They are becoming champions by learning how to support each other and be totally on a mission.”

The GymHawks return to action on the road on Saturday, Feb. 17 against No. 14 George Washington, Pittsburg, Maryland, William & Mary. The meet begins at 6 p.m. (CT) at the Smith Center in Washington, D.C., on the campus of George Washington University.