PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The 29th-ranked University of Iowa gymnastics team defeated Rutgers, 196.300-195.325, on Friday evening inside of Jersey Mike’s Arena.
The GymHawks secured the victory on three of four apparatuses in the meet, posting an overall team score of 196.300, just one tenth behind their season high. Sophomore Karina Muñoz made her 2024 all-around debut in her home state of New Jersey. She brought home the all-around title, scoring a 39.400. Freshman Eva Volpe continued to shine for Iowa, bettering her all-around score yet again with a 39.350. Sophomore Gianna Masella brought home the event title on bars and Ilka Juk landed on top on beam. Muñoz and sophomore Bailey Libby each took a share of the event title on floor.
The GymHawks started the night off strong, taking the win in the first rotation with a team score of 49.100. The Hawkeyes took the first, second, and third positions on the bars. Volpe began her all-around evening recording a 9.825, taking third place on the event. Masella stuck a career high of 9.875 in the fifth position for the GymHawks, which secured the event win. Muñoz posted an impressive 9.850 as the anchor and finished in second place. Juk and sophomore Kaia Vanney also had noteworthy performances, both registering 9.775.
The Hawkeyes fell just short of Rutgers in the second rotation with a team score of 48.750. Muñoz and Volpe tied for second place in the event, each sticking a 9.850. This would be Volpe’s new personal best on the vault. Alyse Karenbauer earned a 9.750 in the event.
Iowa continued to put together a strong performance on floor, defeating Rutgers with a score of 49.175. The freshman duo of Karenbauer and Volpe added a pair of 9.875’s to the board for the Hawkeyes after two solid performances. Muñoz took the floor for the first time this season with confidence. Muñoz and Libby each had stunning performances earning them 9.850’s. Sophomore Emily Erb also added a solid 9.825 to the board for the GymHawks.
The GymHawks clinched the final rotation with a strong team score of 49.275 to secure the win over Rutgers. Volpe recorded her third personal best of the night scoring a 9.850. Juk stuck an incredible 9.900, tying her season best and brought home the event title. Senior Aubrey Nick registered a season high of 9.875 and tied for second place on the apparatus. Muñoz, in the anchor position, landed her fourth 9.850 of the night, and tied her all-around career high with 39.400.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH LARISSA LIBBY
“I am proud of the resilience that the team showed tonight. The team mentality and energy really showed and I am proud of how they were able to pick each other up. We suffered some big blows early in the year and I think we are finally finding our new identity and what we need to do to compete. They came out tonight and were authentically themselves and we came away with the win.”
The Hawkeyes will return home to host Ohio State for Senior Day on Friday, Feb. 16. Action inside of Carver-Hawkeye Arena will begin at 6:30 p.m. (CT) and will be streamed on B1G+ (subscription needed).