CORALVILLE, Iowa – The 27th-ranked University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team fell short to Nebraska, 196.500-195.725, on Sunday afternoon in Xtream Arena.
Sophomores Emily Erb and Bailey Libby both hit near-perfect routines on floor. Erb captured the event title with a career-high 9.950 and Libby tied for second with a 9.900, matching her career best. Sophomore Karina Muñoz took second overall on vault and tied with sophomore Gianna Masella for second place on bars. Junior Alexa Ebeling also secured a spot in the top two in the beam rotation. Reigning Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week, Eva Volpe once again bettered her career best in the all-around, posting a 39.200.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH LARISSA LIBBY
“In the bad times, you have to remember why you do it. I don’t remember the last time we’ve had this many injuries, but the thing that I love the most is the teaching, the learning, and the growing that we have done. I don’t like to lose, but I am not mad about our performance. We got beat by a stronger team today, and I am okay with that. I’m watching athlete after athlete step up and fill shoes that they never in their lifetime dreamed that they were going to have to do. Emily and Bailey are continuing to deliver in situations where we have a fall, and they are not accustomed to that. We have athletes in every lineup that are stepping up, and I am so proud of that.”
The GymHawks posted a team score of 48.950 on vault, falling to the Huskers by just five hundredths of a point. Muñoz, who is 13th in Big Ten Individual Rankings on the event, led the vault rotation for the Hawkeyes with a strong 9.850 and placed second overall. Freshman Alyse Karenbauer had an impressive performance, earning a 9.800 and tying her career best on the apparatus. Sophomore Avery Chambers and Volpe both recorded scores of 9.775 for the Hawkeyes.
In the second rotation, Iowa recorded a team score of 48.500, just trailing Nebraska. Masella added a 9.850 to the board for the GymHawks. Volpe also had a noteworthy performance earning a 9.825, just off of her career best on bars. Muñoz, in the anchor position, stuck her routine and tied her career best in the apparatus with a 9.850.
The GymHawks continued to fight through the third rotation and posted a team score of 48.925. Volpe, ranked 30th in Big Ten Individual Rankings on the beam, kicked off the event for Iowa earning a 9.750. Junior Alexa Ebeling continued the momentum and scored a 9.850, just short of her career high. Senior Aubrey Nick recorded a season best of 9.750 on the apparatus. Rojas landed her notable routine and received a 9.800. At the end of the rotation, Muñoz and senior Ella Castellanos each posted a 9.725, a career high for Castellanos.
The GymHawks secured the rotation win on the floor with a team score of 49.350 to finish the afternoon. Two Hawkeyes, Erb and Libby, performed near perfect routines. Erb nailed her performance and set a new career best, earning an impressive score of 9.950. Libby had a striking performance in the anchor position and earned her second career 9.900. Volpe recorded a 9.850 to surpass her career high, and Hannah Castillo posted a season best of 9.875.
The Hawkeyes will travel to Piscataway, New Jersey, to face the Rutgers on Friday, Feb. 9. Action inside of Jersey Mike’s Arena will begin at 5:00 p.m. (CT) and will be streamed on B1G+ (subscription needed).