Seniors Look for Final Home Victory
Nebraska vs. Arkansas
No. 9 Nebraska Huskers (11-1 Overall, 3-1 Big Ten)
No. 14 Arkansas Razorbacks (4-5 Overall, 2-5 SEC)
Date: Saturday, March 8
Time: 6 p.m. CT
Location: Lincoln, Neb.
Arena: Bob Devaney Sports Center
Live Stats (Free): Huskers.com
Video (Free): Huskers.com
The ninth-ranked Nebraska women’s gymnastics team will close its home season at the Bob Devaney Sports Center this Saturday, March 8 facing the No. 14 Arkansas Razorbacks on Senior Night. The meet, which is slated for a 6 p.m. start, will honor seniors Jamie Schleppenbach and Emily Wong as they compete in their final home competition at Nebraska. Fans unable to attend the meet can follow free live stats and free live video on Huskers.com. Live updates will also be posted on Twitter via the official NU women’s gymnastics account (@HuskersWGym).
With a win over the Razorbacks (4-5, 2-5 SEC) the Huskers (11-1, 3-1 Big Ten) would finish their 2014 home slate of meets with a 6-1 record dropping its only loss of the season to Big Ten rival Michigan. NU holds five wins over top-25 teams and has not fallen out of the top-10 in the national rankings this season. Arkansas will be the sixth top-25 squad the Huskers have faced in 2014.
Scouting No. 14 Arkansas
• The Huskers hold a 5-1 all-time series against the Razorbacks in competition with the last meeting between the two coming last season where Arkansas went home with a 196.350-196.150 victory over Nebraska.
• Last season, Arkansas took 10th overall at the NCAA Championships.
• The Razorbacks are ranked No. 14 in the nation with a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) of 196.130.
• Arkansas also pulls down rankings of 13th on vault (49.150), 13th on bars (49.070), 10th on beam ( 49.065) and 18th on floor (49.085).
• Senior All-American Katherine Grable is now the No. 3 all-around gymnast in the country with an RQS score of 39.580. Grable also adds rankings of 9th on vault (9.915), 7th on beam (9.885) and 5th on floor (9.940).
• Katherine Grable and Emily Wong will go head- to-head in competition this weekend as both seniors are ranked in the top-five for the all-around.
• Last weekend Arkansas fell to No. 6 Georgia 197.650-195.675. Grable scored a 39.600 in the all-around competition to claim her seventh all-around title of the season.
Nebraska’s Rotation Order vs. The Razorbacks
1. Vault Uneven Bars
2. Uneven Bars Vault
3. Balance Beam Floor Exercise
4. Floor Exercise Balance Beam
Last Time Out: Wong Leads NU Past Beavers and Sun Devils
Senior Emily Wong led the No. 9 Nebraska women’s gymnastics team to a victory over the Oregon State Beavers and the Arizona State Sun Devils last Saturday night in Corvallis, Oregon. Wong swept all four events and the all-around competition en-route to capturing a new season-high all-around score of 39.650. Wong is still undefeated in the all-around and on floor. She has also collected 27 event titles this season.
The Huskers improved to 11-1 overall on the season outscoring No. 14 Oregon State (196.625) and Arizona State (195.575). Nebraska has a perfect 6-0 record on the road this year.
The Huskers started the meet on beam managing to score an impressive 49.275, led by Wong’s 9.925 mark. Jessie DeZiel tabbed a career-high tying score of 9.90, while Jennie Laeng claimed her new career-high 9.875. Jamie Schleppenbach soared to a 9.875 to take second-place and Amanda Lauer chipped-in a 9.75 mark to round out the beam lineup.
Nebraska’s 49.275 led all teams after the first rotation. Oregon State compiled a score of 48.950 on vault, while the Sun Devils also claimed an identical 48.950 mark on bars.
Nebraska had some uncharacteristic errors on floor posting a 48.925 score. Wong shined once again, scoring a 9.90 in the anchor spot to claim top honors on the event. Hollie Blanske with a very strong routine notched a 9.85, while DeZiel (9.775) and Schleppenbach (9.75) tacked-on scores to round out the rotation.
Oregon State jumped out to a slight lead after the second rotation, picking up a 49.350 on bars to increase their team score to 98.300. ASU earned a 49.100 on beam. With two events down, OSU led the meet with Nebraska at 98.200, and ASU 98.050.
The Big Red scored a 49.250 on their third rotation on vault. Wong paced the Huskers sticking a notable 9.925, while Blanske produced a 9.90. Desire’ Stephens and Ariel Martin tacked-on two identical marks of 9.825 while DeZiel (9.775) rounded out the lineup.
Oregon State led all teams again after the third event of the night posting a 49.225 on beam, while Arizona State claimed a 48.725 score on floor. With only one event remaining, OSU led all teams at 147.525 as the Huskers closely followed at 147.450, with ASU taking third at 146.725.
The Huskers closed out the meet strong, scoring a 49.200 on bars fueled by Wong’s 9.90 effort. Blanske and DeZiel both snagged identical scores of 9.875, while Stephens and Laeng also added identical marks of 9.775.
OSU posted a 49.100 on floor, and the Sun Devils claimed a 48.800 on vault. The meet came down to the final floor rotation but the Beavers just could not hold onto their lead. Nebraska won the meet 196.650, over OSU (196.625) and Arizona State (195.575).
Wong Earns Third Big Ten Weekly Honor
Senior Emily Wong continues her impressive senior season as she collects her third Big Ten Gymnast of the Week award this year and fifth overall, as announced by the conference on Monday. Wong was honored after her performance in the Huskers’ victory over No. 15 Oregon State and No. 21 Arizona State on Saturday, March 1.
Wong swept all four events en-route to her seventh consecutive all-around crown of the season by notching scores of 9.90 or higher on all four events and scoring a new season-high 39.650 in the all-around. On vault, Wong tabbed a 9.925 which matches her season-high mark, while hitting a 9.90 on bars. The senior finished first on beam (9.925) with a career-high score and claimed her eighth floor title of the season (9.90).
In the national rankings, Wong holds steady at No. 4 in the all-around with an RQS (Regional Qualifying Score) of 39.535. She is ranked in the top-25 individually on every event including: 22nd on vault (9.890), seventh on bars (9.90), 13th on beam (9.87) and ninth on floor (9.925).
Huskers Earn Prestigious Big Ten Honor
Two Nebraska student-athletes – Emily Wong and Spencer Long – have been chosen as the 2014 Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award recipients by the Indianapolis Big Ten Community Partnership. The award is an annual scholarship recognizing one male and one female Big Ten senior student-athlete pursuing a postgraduate degree for achievements in academics, athletics, extracurricular activities and leadership.
The Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award is named for the former Big Ten Conference commissioner who served from 1971-89. While leading the Big Ten, Duke spent much of his time working to improve academic standards and graduation rates for student-athletes. The award is made possible by donations from local corporations and individuals supporting collegiate student-athletes. The Indianapolis Big Ten Community Partnership is comprised of the State of Indiana, City of Indianapolis, Indiana Sports Corp, Pacers Sports & Entertainment, and Visit Indy.
Wong, a women’s gymnastics student-athlete, is completing her nutrition science degree and psychology/child, youth and family studies minor at the University of Nebraska and expects to graduate in December, 2014. With a 3.918 GPA and numerous academic accolades, she intends to continue her education to become a physical therapist.
Wong has been recognized with multiple Academic All-Big Ten accolades and Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Awards as well as National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches First Team and Scholastic All-America honors. She is an elected member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
In addition to her commitment to academic excellence, Wong’s passion for helping those in need is shown through her involvement in numerous community service activities. She has participated in multiple cancer awareness walks and has spent numerous hours helping children by reading books, playing games, sharing in Christmas parties, distributing toys and candy, and spreading joy by spending full days of fun-filled activities with them around town. Her passion for helping others came from watching her parents establish relationships at their family-run restaurant at a young age. After the recent passing of her father, she became fully committed to continue his legacy by helping people reach their full potential and to making an impact on their lives.
Huskers in the Rankings: No. 9
Nebraska earned a ranking of No. 9 nationally in the latest GymInfo national team rankings. This is the second week the rankings switched over from overall team average to the regional qualifying score (RQS) format. RQS is determine by first taking a team’s top six total scores (with at least three away meets), dropping the highest score and then averaging the remaining five scores. Nebraska’s RQS of 196.710 moved them down a couple of spots from last week’s national rankings.
The RQS-tabulated scores caused some movement again this week at the top of the rankings, with LSU taking the No. 1 spot again at 197.605 and Florida moving into the No. 2 spot at 197.515. Oklahoma moved down to third (197.415) while Alabama (197.215) and Georgia (197.020) round out the top-five teams respectively. NU and Michigan were joined by four other Big Ten schools in the rankings: No. 12 Minnesota (196.255), No. 13 Illinois (196.165), No. 19 Penn State (195.910) and No. 24 Ohio State (195.390).
The Huskers are ranked in the top-15 on every event led by a No. 7 spot on beam with an RQS score of 49.140. NU also pulls down rankings of ninth on vault (49.225), 10th on bars (49.165) and 13th on floor (49.185).
Two Huskers earned a total of seven appearances in the individual rankings. Emily Wong led the way again this week with five total spots, including a No. 4 ranking in the all-around (39.535). Wong is also 22nd on vault (9.890), seventh on bars (9.90), 13th on beam (9.870) and ninth on floor (9.925). Teammate Jessie DeZiel is ranked 14th in the all-around with an RQS score of 39.280 as well as 22nd on vault (9.890).
Up Next for Nebraska: Big Ten Quad meet in East Lansing, Mich.
NU will hit the road next weekend for the last regular-season meet of the year, traveling to East Lansing, Mich., for a Big Ten quad meet against Michigan State, Ohio State and Illinois on Saturday, March 15. The quad meet will start at 12:30 p.m. CT and will be held in the Jenison Field House on the Michigan State campus. Fans can follow live stats on the Michigan State website at msuspartans.com, or by following along with the official Nebraska women’s gymnastics account (@HuskersWGym).
This meet will also be featured on the Big Ten Network via tape delay with coverage to air on BTN two hours after the meet ends, approximately 3:30 p.m. CT.
Huskers Honor Seniors
Nebraska’s Saturday night meet against the Razorbacks will serve as Senior Night, honoring Husker upperclassman, Jamie Schleppenbach and Emily Wong for their contributions to the Nebraska program throughout their careers.
Jamie Schleppenbach broke into the Husker lineups four years ago with a splash and has not slowed down since. In her freshman campaign, Schleppenbach captured first-team All-America honors on vault notching a 12-place finish in the event finals at the 2011 NCAA Championships while also helping the Huskers to a fourth-place team finish at the Super Six Team Finals. Schleppenbach has collected nine event titles, All Big Ten Championship honors and has competed on two NCAA Championship-qualifying teams since arriving at Nebraska. Although her junior year fell to a season ending injury at the 2013 Masters Classic, Schleppenbach captured two vault titles in just four showings on the event before her season was taken from her.
Now in her final year, Schleppenbach is plugged as a two-event specialist on beam and floor, contributing vital performances to boost the team’s efforts to a No. 9 overall ranking in the nation. A public relations and advertising major, she is also a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. Schleppenbach is the daughter of Gary and Jolene Schleppenbach and has three brothers, Nick, Eric and Jake.
In her senior season at Nebraska, Emily Wong has cemented her position as one of the nation’s top all-around student-athletes in the country. Wong’s 2014 season is on track to be one of the best senior seasons by a Nebraska gymnast in school history. Through eight meets, Wong has captured 27 event titles, remains undefeated in the all-around and on floor, while posting some of the top scores in the country. Her momentum and strength has inspired the entire Nebraska gymnastics team to one of the best starts to a season since 1997. As a junior, Wong tied for third nationally in the all-around at the 2013 NCAA Championships. Her seamless performance included a third-place finish on floor and a 10th-place finish on vault. In March of 2013 she became the first Big Ten gymnast to win back-to-back conference all-around titles. Wong currently ranks No. 4 in the all-around, 22nd on vault, seventh on bars, 13th on beam and ninth on floor .
Wong is not only defined by her exceptional performances in the gym, but also her work in the classroom. She has earned numerous academic awards as a nutrition, health and exercise sciences major, including Academic All-Big Ten honors. In March of this year, Wong was named the Big Ten Wayne Duke Postgraduate Scholarship Award winner, alongside Husker football player Spencer Long. She is the daughter of John and Karen Wong and has two sisters, Melissa and Lindsey and one brother Michael.
Big Ten Championships to Air Live on BTN
The Big Ten Network (BTN) has announced that it will televise both sessions of the Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships live on March22. The first session of the event will air at 11 a.m. CST (noon ET), while the second session is set for a 4 p.m. CST (5 p.m. ET) start. Penn State will host the event in University Park, Pa. at Rec Hall.
Defending Conference Champions Look For Continued Success
After winning its second consecutive Big Ten conference title, Nebraska returns to the gym with even higher expectations for the 2014 season. NU welcomes back seven letter winners from last season, including three All-Americans, as well as two Huskers returning from injuries last season, while adding two newcomers to the roster. The Huskers will have a stockpile of talent to once again rank among the nation’s elite collegiate programs. Head coach Dan Kendig, in his 21st season at Nebraska, sees the potential for continued success with the 2014 squad.
“I do think at the end of the day we will have a better team than we had last year,” Kendig said. “We definitely have the potential to have that happen. The girls are training incredibly hard and their focus is tremendous. This could be an exciting season for us.”
Kendig Builds One of Nation’s Top Programs
Now in his 21st year at the helm of the Nebraska gymnastics program, Head Coach Dan Kendig is the all-time winningest coach in Nebraska history. Since Kendig arrived at NU, his teams have compiled an outstanding 459-175-4 (.719) record, including a 303-62-2 regular season record. His most recent honor was in 2012 when he earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors after guiding the Huskers to the program’s 22nd conference title.
Kendig has also led the Huskers to 15 NCAA Championship appearances in the past 18 seasons, including Super Six Finals appearances in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2011. Kendig was honored as the NCAA Coach of the Year in 1999 and 2003, a year in which the Huskers finished fourth nationally. He guided the 2013 squad to another Big Ten conference title increasing Nebraska’s mark to 23 conference championships. The Huskers earned six All-America awards at the 2013 NCAA Championships and compiled a 19-5 overall record. Nebraska qualified for NCAA postseason competition for the 29th time in program history, finishing third at the NCAA Morgantown Regional. The 2013 squad posted three of the highest team scores in school history throughout the year while spending consistent time ranked as one of the nation’s top-10 teams.
NU Assistants Set to Lead Huskers in 2014
Joining Kendig in his leadership of the Huskers this season will be third-year assistant coaches Heather Brink and Dan Miller. Brink will continue her role in the gym as the team’s beam coach while assisting with floor choreography. Brink contributed to Nebraska’s continued success in 2013, as the Huskers claimed 13 beam titles including the Big Ten Championship title shared by Emily Wong and Jennifer Lauer with an identical score of 9.90. Wong went on to claim second-team All-American accolades on the event.
Miller will continue to lead NU’s efforts on vault and floor in 2014. He helped Nebraska’s vault and floor lineups continue to dominate in 2013. At the Big Ten Championships the Huskers posted four individual vault scores of 9.95 and a team-high score of 49.725, which helped secure the Huskers the Big Ten Conference title. Miller guided Britanny Skinner to her individual vault appearance at the NCAA Championships and Emily Wong and Jessie DeZiel to earn All-America honors.
Volunteer assistant coach Alina Weinstein is in her first season with NU’s full-time staff in 2014. Weinstein will assist Brink on balance beam, as well as the Huskers strength and conditioning programs.