Lincoln, Neb. --- Performing in front of 1,407 fans at the Bob Devaney Sports Center, the No. 8 Nebraska women's gymnastics team won its 17th straight Masters Classic title after taking down No. 20 Washington, No. 22 Michigan and Southern Utah on Saturday night. The Huskers improved their overall record to 8-1 on the year and are 2-0 against Big Ten opponents.
Nebraska posted a team score of 196.55, finishing ahead of second-place Michigan (195.825), Washington (194.150) and Southern Utah (191.90). The Huskers also posted meet-high scores in the vault (49.50), bars (49.275) and floor (49.375). Nebraska also produced six all-around scores for the first time in Head Coach Dan Kendig's 19 seasons.
"I thought today was a good day," Kendig said after the meet. "We made some changes earlier this week. I can't believe we had six all-around competitors. That's something I've never had. We did a good job."
The Huskers scored the top three all-around scores of the meet, including true freshman Jessie DeZiel, who won the all-around for the fourth time this season by posting a 39.45. Nebraska also won three of the four event titles, with Janelle Giblin and DeZiel tying for the vault crown, and Lora Evenstad and Giblin finishing in a tie for the bars title. Sophomore Emily Wong won the floor title for the first time this season.
The Huskers got off to a blazing start on the vault, posting six scores above 9.80 en route to a total score of 49.45, which is the second-highest vault score in the Masters Classic history and the highest total this season for the Huskers. Evenstad led the event off with a 9.80 and was followed by a career and season-high 9.90 from Brittany Skinner to get the Huskers rolling. After a 9.875 from Wong, Jessie DeZiel and Giblin both tied their career high with 9.925s. Jamie Schleppenbach scored a 9.825 to round out the first event.
"It could not have started off any better on the vault," Kendig said. "That was some really, really good vault tonight. Lora started us off with a great vault. Skinner came back with an even better one and it just seemed like we had better landings tonight all the way through. It's a pretty special night on vault."
The Huskers, who led after one rotation over second-place Michigan, 49.45-48.80, recorded two career-high scores on the bars and hit all six routines to help them to their 49.275 score. Schleppenbach scored a career and season best 9.775 after a 9.80 from Wong to kick off the event. DeZiel posted a 9.85 before Skinner picked up her second season-high score of the night with a 9.825. Giblin tied a career-high and scored her fourth 9.90 of the season before Evenstad posted a 9.90 of her own to conclude the event.
On the beam, the Huskers responded from a fall in the opening routine to score a 48.45 and keep the lead after three rotations, 147.175-146.850, over second place Michigan. Washington was in third place after three rotations with a 146.050, while Southern Utah sat in fourth with a 143.250. DeZiel led the way with her 9.85, while Wong captured a 9.775 for Huskers leading scorers on beam. Skinner scored a 9.75, while Schleppenbach scored a 9.55 and Evenstad posted a 9.525.
The Huskers finished the meet strong on the floor, posting a season-high score of 49.375 while scoring above 9.70 on all six routines. Wong, who took the event title, scored a career high 9.925 to lead NU. Skinner also posted a career high with a 9.875, while DeZiel and Evenstad closed the meet with a 9.825 and 9.90, respectively.
"Overall, I'm really pleased with the team and what we came in to accomplish," Kendig said. "We're looking forward to another week of practice and we meet another Big Ten team next weekend with Minnesota, and we're looking forward to that."
The Huskers will battle the Gophers next Saturday, Feb. 18, in Minneapolis, Minn., starting at 6 p.m. Check back to Huskers.com for more coverage on the Nebraska women's gymnastics team.
Name Vault Bars Beam Floor All-Around
Katelyn Busacker --- --- --- --- ---
Deanna Barmore --- --- --- --- ---
Jessie DeZiel 9.925 9.85 9.85 9.825 39.450
Lora Evenstad 9.80 9.90 9.525 9.90 39.125
Janelle Giblin 9.925 9.90 8.50 9.85 38.175
Amanda Lauer --- --- --- --- ---
Jennifer Lauer --- --- --- --- ---
Kassandra Nathe --- --- --- --- ---
Jamie Schleppenbach 9.825 9.775 9.55 9.70 38.85
Brittany Skinner 9.90 9.825 9.75 9.875 39.35
Desire' Stephens --- --- --- --- ---
Emily Wong 9.875 9.80 9.775 9.925 39.375
Team Score Vault Bars Beam Floor Total
Nebraska 49.45 49.275 48.45 49.375 196.55
Washington 48.60 48.10 48.50 49.00 194.10
Michigan 49.050 49.00 48.975 48.80 195.825
Southern Utah 48.65 48.10 47.25 47.90 191.90