GymHawks Post Season High in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Iowa gymnastics posted a season high score of 196.525 on Saturday afternoon inside of the Nashville Municipal Auditorium, defeating Pitt Talladega and finishing third overall at the Kidney Care Women’s Gymnastics Championships.

No. 19 Georgia finished in first place with a 197.450 followed by No. 23 Maryland (196.725). The GymHawks finished in front of Pitt (195.925) and Talladega (192.500).

The Hawkeyes earned six 9.900+ scores on the day, three coming from sophomore Karina Muñoz. Muñoz led the way for the GymHawks, delivering an outstanding all-around performance, scoring a career-best, 39.575, and finished in second place. The New Jersey native tied for first place on vault, had a second place finish on bars, and shared second place with junior Ilka Juk on beam. Sophomore Emily Erb had a second-place finish on floor, her third top-three finish of the season on the event. Freshman Eva Volpe closed out the regular season competing in the all-around at every meet. This afternoon, she finished in fourth posting a 39.250.


The GymHawks started the meet off with a team score of 48.950 on vault. Muñoz led the rotation for the Hawkeyes, posting a near-perfect 9.900 and setting a season high. Volpe added a solid 9.825 to the board in the apparatus, and Hanna Castillo recorded a 9.775. Senior Kendall Laplante competed for the first time since tearing her Achilles last season, sticking a 9.775 in the exhibition spot. 


In the second rotation, Iowa recorded a solid team score of 49.075. Muñoz once again had the highest score for the GymHawks, earning an impressive 9.925. Juk posted a 9.800, and Volpe continued the momentum sticking a 9.850, matching her career-best score.


The GymHawks earned a 49.200 team score in the third rotation. Alexa Ebeling added a 9.825 to the board. Two Hawkeyes, Juk and Muñoz, posted near-perfect scores. Juk stuck an outstanding 9.925, the fifth time she has eclipsed the 9.900 mark on balance beam this season. In the anchor position, Muñoz also registered a 9.925, her third score above 9.900 of the day.


Iowa wrapped up the meet posting a 49.300 on floor and securing third place in the meet. Three Hawkeyes, Volpe, Castillo, and Muñoz each recorded a 9.825. Sophomores Erb and Bailey Libby were strong in the final two positions, each performing near-perfect routines. Erb recorded a 9.925 and Libby closed it out earning her fourth 9.900 of the season.


“I am very proud of the teams fight today. We had several challenges throughout the day and they never backed off. Part of becoming a great team, not just a good team, is understanding how to become stronger when you make mistakes. The ability of the entire team to put the past behind them and focus on ‘the now’ is why this team is continuing to rise. It was a total team effort today and if they didn’t have the ability to be selfless and focus their energy solely on the next person up, they wouldn’t have been successful. We will start again Monday and use what time we have left to take care of the little details we missed in todays competition.”


The GymHawks will travel to East Lansing, Mich. on Saturday, March 23 for the Big Ten Championships inside of the Jenison Field House. Both sessions at the championships will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.