No. 10 Nebraska vs. No. 3 Illinois, No. 6 Minnesota
Date: Sunday, March 11
Start Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Lincoln, Neb.
Venue: Bob Devaney Sports Center
Live Stats: Huskers.com
The No. 10 Nebraska men's gymnastics team will host a pair of top-ranked Big Ten foes this weekend in Lincoln as No. 3 Illinois and No. 6 Minnesota come to town. The three teams will face off in on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Live stats for the event will provided on Huskers.com, and fans can also follow updates via the Huskers' Twitter page (@NebraskaMGym).
Nebraska in the National Rankings
NU maintained their No. 10 ranking in the latest GymInfo Poll, released March 5. Nebraska's team three-score average of 339.233 is sixth among Big Ten teams and fourth in the western region. The Oklahoma Sooners held strong at No. 1 nationally in this week's poll (355.483), while Big Ten teams Penn State (352.667) and Illinois (352.667) followed in the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively.
Last week's strong showing against Arizona State bolstered Nebraska's position in several individual event rankings this week. The Huskers appeared in the top ten of four separate events with their seventh place showing on parallel bars leading the way (57.400). NU continues to show their strength on vault this season with a ranking of eighth nationally (58.517), while their floor exercise average is good for ninth overall (58.333). The Big Red also holds the tenth place spot on high bar this spring (56.200).
Sophomore Eric Schryver and freshman Grant Perdue also locked up individual national rankings on four different events this week. Perdue has continued to perform at a high level for the Huskers this season, ranking 16th on floor exercise (14.867) and 20th on vault (14.783). Schryver has been a consistent performer on pommel horse as well, appearing at 17th nationally (14.600). Schryver also picked up a spot in the parallel bar rankings this week, coming in at 20th overall (14.517).
Scouting the Illinois Fighting Illini
Head Coach: Justin Spring
2012 Record: 8-2
2012 High Score: 355.100 (vs. Ohio State, 3/3/12)
No. 3 Illinois comes into Lincoln fresh off a victory against No. 5 Ohio State in which the Fighting Illini logged a season-best team score of 355.100. Illinois' only losses this season have come at the hands of fellow Big Ten competitors Ohio State and Penn State. Head Coach Justin Spring is in his third season at the helm of the Illinois program.
The Illini's top strength this season has been on high bar, where the team ranks first nationally (59.567). Illinois also adds top three national rankings on parallel bars (second, 58.733) and still rings (third, 60.300).
Illinois has been led this season by senior Paul Ruggeri and freshman C.J. Maestas, who are tied nationally for fourth in all-around competition (87.133). Ruggeri is first in the nation on high bar this season (15.867), while Maestas, a four-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week selection, adds a third place ranking on still rings (15.517).
Scouting the Minnesota Golden Gophers
Head Coach: Mike Burns
2012 Record: 8-0
2012 High Score: 347.000 (vs. Iowa/Brockport, 3/3/12)
The No. 6 Minnesota Golden Gophers are 8-0 this season and travel to Lincoln after posting their best team score of the season against Iowa and Brockport (347.000). This weekend marks the third time the Huskers have faced the Golden Gophers this season, with Minnesota holding two victories over the Big Red so far.
Minnesota's top event so far in 2012 has been vault, where the Golden Gophers are ranked second nationally (59.567). UM adds another top three event with their third place ranking on parallel bars (58.033).
Senior Russell Dabritz leads the way for the Golden Gophers on parallel bars, where he is third nationally (15.167). Teammate Zack Chase is 11th on vault to pace Minnesota on that event (15.000), while Adam Kern adds a ranking of 14th (14.900).
The Huskers will meet another pair of top-ranked foes next weekend as they hit the road to face No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 11 Air Force in Norman, Okla. The three teams will compete on Saturday, March 17 in a meet slated for a 7 p.m. start at the McCasland Field House on the University of Oklahoma campus. It will be the second meeting this season between the Huskers and the Sooners and the third between Nebraska and Air Force.
Last Time Out: No. 10 Huskers Top Arizona State
The No. 10 Huskers faced off with Arizona State on March 4 as part of a dual meet with the Husker women. The men came away with the 341.75-322.60 victory in front of 2,472 fans at the Devaney Center. The score marked Nebraska's highest team total yet this season.
Grant Perdue captured the floor (15.00) and vault (14.85) titles, while Eric Schryver took home the pommel horse title (14.50). Donovan Arndt claimed the rings crown (14.50), as Mark Ringle captured top honors in the parallel bars (15.05). Andreas Hofer finished first on the horizontal bar (14.65).
The Huskers started on floor where the men came away with a team score of 59.10. Perdue led NU with a score of 15.00 to claim the event title, while Hofer contributed a mark of 14.85, Ringle posted a 14.65 and Will Eastman added a 14.60. Nebraska finished the first rotation leading Arizona State 59.10-51.00.
Nebraska moved to pommel horse where Schryver led the Huskers with a score of 14.50 for the event crown. Arndt added a mark of 13.10, while Aycock posted a 13.00 and C.J. Schaaf posted an 11.35. The Huskers finished with an event score of 51.95, leading Arizona State 111.05-106.20 after two rotations.
Moving to rings, Arndt led the way with a score of 14.50 for the event crown, while Baier contributed a 14.25 Kocks and Hofer posted marks of 14.20. Nebraska closed the event with a score of 57.15, continuing their lead over the Sun Devils, 168.20-161.90.
Nebraska went on to vault where Perdue won his second title of the day guided the Huskers with a score of 14.85. Hofer followed his performance with a mark of 14.65, while Aycock posted a 14.40 and Ungar recorded a mark of 14.35. The Huskers finished with an event score of 58.25 to lead Arizona State 226.45-214.75 with two events left.
On parallel bars, Ringle led the Huskers with a score of 15.05 for the event title, while Schryver, Aycock and Hofer all added marks of 14.65 to give Nebraska a team score of 59.00. The Huskers entered the final rotation with a 285.45-269.35 lead over Arizona State.
In the final rotation the Huskers moved to high bar where Hofer won the event crown and posted a team-high score of 14.65. Stillwell followed his performance with a mark of 14.15 and Eastman recorded a mark of 13.95, while Ungar notched a score of 13.55. The Huskers recorded an event total of 56.30, securing the 341.75-322.60 win over Arizona State.