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IOWA CITY, Iowa — On a night the University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team set nine career-highs, the GymHawks defeated Southeast Missouri State 194.700 to 180.925 in their 2019 home opener inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday night.
Freshman Bridget Killian led Iowa with three career-high scores of 9.775 on vault, beam, and floor.
HEAR FROM COACH LIBBY
“I was very pleased,” UI head coach Larissa Libby said. “It’s hard right now because we are still playing and trying to figure out who they are. We have a lot of new people and faces in the lineups. We are working on figuring out how to train them and keep them ready, especially on a double weekend. We have to fly out tomorrow morning, compete on Sunday, and come back. We are trying to figure out lineups for two competitions, but make them survive on the first one.”
“I was very pleased with what came out,” Libby added. “We chose to focus on one thing and that was controlling the environment. We didn’t do a good job when we were away and I think everything was too new for all the new kids in the lineup. It felt odd and didn’t feel like us. When we walked out of the tunnel today, we saw that amazing video, and everybody settled and realized we are home.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
Freshman Mackenzie Vance kicked things off for Iowa with a career-high 9.525 on vault, bringing a crowd of 1,607 to their feet early, while Killian and senior Misty-Jade Carlson earned vault event titles with their scores of 9.775.
The GymHawks nabbed a three point lead over the Redhawks heading into the second rotation where junior Clair Kaji opened the event with a 9.700. Iowa dominated the event, taking the top five spots with senior Nicole Chow taking the event title with a season-high 9.800.
Iowa extended its lead to 10 points after the halfway point of the meet. Another trio of freshmen set career-high scores on beam with Killian’s 9.775 taking the second place spot. Iowa finished second through fifth on the event.
With a comfortable lead, the Hawkeyes settled in on floor with sophomore Erin Castle setting the pace, notching a career-high 9.775. Kaji and Killian followed with their own 9.775 scores. Freshman Lauren Guerin capped off the meet with a career-high 9.875 for her second floor title in as many weeks.
- Iowa’s 194.700 is a season-high team score.
- Four freshmen set eight of Iowa’s nine career-high scores.
The GymHawks hit the road for a meet at New Hampshire on Sunday at 12 p.m. (CT). Follow the meet using live results on hawkeyesports.com/wgymlive.