March 6, 2012
The University of Iowa women's gymnastics team returns home to host Louisiana State on Friday evening. Action will be held inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena and is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. (CT). The event will mark Iowa's final regular season home meet before the 2012 Big Ten Championships come to town on March 24.
Iowa team manager Nicole Pineau will offer interactive content live from Carver Hawkeye Arena via the Official Iowa Gymnastics Blog. This feature gives Hawkeye fans the opportunity to voice their opinion by submitting questions and comments, while receiving up-to-the-minute play-by-play, notes and stats about the meet and the Hawkeyes. The live blog will begin at approximately 6:45 p.m. (CT) and run throughout the meet.
Last Time Out
The GymHawks posted a season-high team mark of 195.875 on their way to a first place finish at the four-team meet hosted by the Texas Woman's University on March 3. Senior Jessa Hansen brought home the event title on beam (9.875) and in the all-around (39.225). Iowa earned another event title from sophomore Tesla Cox, who recorded a career best of 9.900 on bars. TWU (195.125) finished second as Brigham Young (194.900) and Southeast Missouri State (188.925) finish third and fourth, respectively.
Scouting The Tigers
Louisiana State is currently ranked ninth in the nation. Most recently, the Tigers downed No. 20 NC State, 196.550-194.875, moving to a season record of 5-8. Freshman Lloiminicia Hall won her second all-around title of the season with a 39.425. Hall also won the title on floor with a score of 9.975, tying the nation's best score in the event.
Head Coach Larissa Libby
In her eighth season at Iowa, Libby has a career record of 65-72-2. The Hawkeyes are searching for their fifth consecutive NCAA postseason appearance, the sixth in Libby's tenure. She coached the 2011 GymHawks to an 11-6 record and a sixth place finish at the Big Ten Championships, this coming after a third place finish in 2010, their best finish in six years. Libby coached three All-Big Ten selections in 2011 -- Rebecca Simbhudas, Houry Gebeshian and Jessa Hansen. Libby was named North Central Region Coach of the Year in 2009 for her efforts after guiding the GymHawks to a 10-5 record and a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Regionals. She was also named co-Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2008. Libby served as associate head coach in 2004 and assistant coach from 2001-03 at Iowa before being named head coach in 2005.
The GymHawks will close their regular season with a trip to Denver, Colo. on March 17. Along with Iowa, the Pioneers will host Minnesota and Arizona State. Competition will be held inside Hamilton Gymnasium and is slated to begin at 7 p.m. (CT).