CORALVILLE, Iowa – The 20th-ranked University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team defeated Southern Utah, 195.800-195.425, on Friday evening in Xtream Arena.
The GymHawks had a comeback win over the Thunderbirds, clinching the victory on the final rotation of the evening. Freshman Eva Volpe just off her career best, scoring a 39.075 in the all-around. Two Hawkeyes brought home event titles with near perfect scores of 9.900. Junior Ilka Juk and sophomore Bailey Libby each scored 9.900 on beam and floor, respectively. Karina Muñoz tied for second place on vault with a 9.825, and Volpe was a co-event champion on bars with a 9.850.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH LARISSA LIBBY
“I am super grateful that I get to work at a place that is packed in the middle of the winter. There is nothing better than being a Hawkeye. To feel that behind you, especially after an injury, is the just the pick-me-up that’s needed. Losing someone like Adeline hurts because of the gymnast she is. Sometimes things happen that we don’t understand, and we might not understand for a while. But, until that point, we are going to do everything we can to be back and get comfortable. Our goals have not changed.
I am filled with pride for how we came back, especially after we had to change every single line-up. Every single one of them stepped up in all different positions. Without winning, I would’ve been just as thrilled. This team is incredible, and as a team they are pretty amazing at what they are capable of doing for each other and with each other.”
The Hawkeyes posted a team score of 48.800 on vault, falling just short of the Thunderbirds on the event. Muñoz was the leader in the first rotation for the GymHawks. The sophomore ranked fifth in Big Ten on vault and tied for second on the event with a 9.825. Sophomore Avery Chambers and Volpe each had strong vaults of 9.775, Volpe tying her career-best on the event.
The GymHawks won on the uneven bars with a team score of 48.975. Junior Marissa Rojas started the bar rotation off with a hit, posting a 9.825. Sophomore Kaia Vanney made her season debut and landed a solid 9.725. Volpe continued her hot streak and earned a personal best of 9.850. Juk had a noteworthy performance on bars, scoring a 9.800. Muñoz, who is tied for fifth in Big Ten rankings on bars, anchored for Iowa with a 9.775.
The GymHawks secured an event win on beam with a team score of 48.750. Juk landed a near-perfect performance and posted a season-high of 9.900. Volpe and Muñoz recorded a 9.750 and 9.775, respectively. Aubrey Nick made her season debut for the Hawkeyes on the beam and scored a 9.200.
Iowa completed their comeback on floor with a team score of 49.275 to seal the win over the Thunderbirds. Two GymHawks recorded season-bests on the event. Junior Alexa Ebeling finished with a 9.800 and Libby nailed an impressive performance in the anchor position scoring a 9.900. Libby’s score on floor was the highest score of the meet. Hannah Castillo took the floor for the Hawkeyes and scored a notable 9.850.
The Hawkeyes will travel to East Lansing, Michigan, to face the Spartans on Sunday, Jan. 28. Action inside of Crisler Arena will begin at Noon (CT) and will be broadcasted on B1G+ (subscription needed).