Jan. 16, 2014
The University of Iowa women's gymnastics team hits the road for the first time this season this weekend. The GymHawks will compete at Ball State in Muncie, Ind., on Friday at 6 p.m. (CT). Friday's dual will serve as the Cardinals' home opener. Iowa then travels to No. 9 Georgia on Monday, Jan. 20. The competition is set to begin at 1 p.m. (CT) in Athens, Ga.
SCOUTING BALL STATE:
Ball State (1-3) won its opening dual of the season at Illinois State on Jan. 4, 189.000-188.950. The Cardinals finished fourth out of four teams at the Kentucky Classic on Jan. 10, posting a team score of 190.875. Kentucky won the event with a 195.000, following by Penn State (193.975) and West Virginia (193.700). Ball State is coached by Joanna Saleem. Saleem, in her first year as head coach of the Cardinals, served as an assistant at Iowa from 1999-2001.
Georgia (0-2), ranked ninth nationally, dropped a 197.700-196.500 decision at top-ranked Oklahoma on Jan. 10, and fell at No. 12 Stanford on Jan. 12, 196.325-196.150. The Gym Dogs open their home slate on Friday, hosting second-ranked LSU at 6:30 p.m. (CT). Georgia is coached by Danna Durante. She is in her second season at the helm of the program. Georgia finished sixth last year at the NCAA Championships in its first season under Durante.
HAWKEYES DROP HEARTBREAKER IN SEASON OPENER:
The Hawkeyes opened the 2014 campaign with a 191.750-191.650 loss to Utah State on Jan. 11 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Going into the final rotation the GymHawks found themselves trailing 144.200 to 144.475 and seemed to edge out the Aggies for the final win, 191.950-191.750. However, after a failed video review resulted in a .30 deduction to Iowa's final team score, what was a win became a .025 loss to Utah State.
Fans interested in attending 2014 home meets at Carver-Hawkeye Arena should visit hawkeyesports.com or contact the UI Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800 IA-HAWKS. The 2014 regular season includes four home competitions, two of which are against Big Ten foes Nebraska and Ohio State. Season tickets are currently on sale for $15 for adults. The season ticket package includes premium seating options and one Iowa women's gymnastics t-shirt. All youth, 18 and younger, and UI students are admitted free to home matches.
A LOOK BACK AT 2013:
In 2013, the GymHawks were selected to compete in NCAA Regional competition for the sixth-straight year under head coach Larissa Libby. The GymHawks were one of just 36 teams to receive an invitation to regional competition at one of six different sites. Iowa scored 194.475 for sixth place, while No. 2 Oklahoma won the meet, totaling 197.375. No. 11 Stanford earned second (196.800) followed by No. 22 Washington (195.925), No. 14 Penn State (195.875) and Southern Utah (194.850).
GYMHAWKS TO MAKE 3 BTN APPEARANCES:
The GymHawks will make three appearances on the Big Ten Network during the 2014 season. The three appearances equal the most of any of the eight league teams. The Hawkeyes will make their season debut on BTN when they travel to Illinois on Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. (CT). The dual will be televised as a tape delay on Feb. 1. Iowa can be seen live on BTN when it faces Michigan, Minnesota, and Penn State in the B1G Quad Meet in Ann Arbor, Mich., on March 15 at 12:30 p.m. (CT). The meet is a new addition to the schedule. The Big Ten Championships, slated for March 22 in University Park, Pa., can also be seen live on the network.
HEAD COACH Larissa Libby:
Entering her 10th year as head coach of the Hawkeyes, Libby has her eyes set on a seventh-consecutive NCAA postseason appearance, the eighth in her tenure. During the 2013 regular season, Iowa clinched the Cy-Hawk Series, defeating Iowa State with a season-best, 196.375-194.575. Iowa was the only Big Ten team to down Minnesota, the regular season Big Ten Co-Champions. The Hawkeyes beat the Gophers, 195.725-195.550. Iowa found success off the floor as well, as four GymHawks -- Sydney Hoerr, Emma Stevenson, Kaitlynn Urano and Emma Willis -- received Academic All-Big Ten honors. In 2012, the Hawkeyes finished the season ranked 26th nationally, the team's highest finish since 2004.
The majority of GymHawks are underclassmen, with seven freshmen, four sophomores and three juniors. There are no seniors on the roster.
2 NAMED TO BIG TEN WATCH LIST:
Two University of Iowa women's gymnasts -- Alie Glover and Sydney Hoerr -- appear on the 2014 Big Ten Gymnasts to Watch List. Glover -- one of three league sophomores named to the list -- was the only GymHawk to compete in the all-around in all 12 meets in 2013 as a freshman. The Destin, Fla., native was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Feb. 8 last season after posting a career-high 39.050 for the all-around title against Michigan State and Illinois-Chicago. Glover scored 9.700 or better on bars 11-of-12 times, posting a career-high 9.825 at Southern Utah. Hoerr, an Academic All-Big Ten honoree, is a junior from Bloomington, Ill. She competed in the all-around in 10 meets last season. Hoerr won the bars title at Southern Utah with a career-best and team season-high 9.925, and won the all-around against Iowa State with a career-best and team season-high 39.400.
IN THE RANKINGS:
Eight Iowa opponents are ranked: No. 6 Nebraska, No. 8 Michigan, No. 9 Georgia, No. 11 Boise State, No. 13 Illinois, No. 19 Ohio State, No. 24 Minnesota, and No. 25 Michigan State.
IOWA SELECTED TO HOST 2016 NCAA REGIONAL:
The University of Iowa and Carver-Hawkeye Arena have been selected to host a 2016 NCAA Regional (April 2, 2016) in women's gymnastics. Iowa last hosted an NCAA Regional in 2009.
The GymHawks return home to host sixth-ranked Nebraska on Friday, Jan. 24. The dual is set to begin at 7 p.m. (CT) inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES:
Web Address: hawkeyesports.com (check the schedule page for live stats and live streams) Facebook: facebook.com/iowagymnastics Twitter: twitter.com/iowagymnastics YouTube: youtube.com/iowagymnastics