No. 9 Nebraska vs. Penn State
Sunday, Feb. 10 | 2 p.m. CST
Lincoln, Neb. (Bob Devaney Sports Center)
Promotion: Pepsi Pack-the-House
The No. 9 Nebraska women's gymnastics team will continue its two-week home stand this Sunday, Feb. 10, hosting the Penn State Nittany Lions at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The Huskers (3-1, 3-1 Big Ten) will square off with the Nittany Lions (7-3, 2-1 Big Ten) at 2 p.m. CST. The meet will be broadcast via tape delay on BTN, with air time set for Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. CST. The meet will also be Pepsi Pack-the-House day, featuring $1 admission and 24-oz. Pepsi products. Fans unable to attend the meet can follow free live stats or pay-to-view live video on Huskers.com. Twitter updates will also be available during the meet by following @HuskersWGym.
Nebraska will look to put together its most complete performance of the season this weekend after battling uncharacteristic struggles last weekend in its win over Illinois. The Huskers lead Penn State all-time in the series, holding a 26-9 regular-season edge. The two teams last met at the 2012 Big Ten Championships, where Nebraska took home a 197.100-195.700 victory and the conference crown.
Huskers Host Pepsi Pack-the-House Day
Nebraska's meet against Penn State will be Pepsi Pack-the-House Day at the Devaney Center, as we try to pack the stands with Husker fans for the meet. Admission to the meet will be only $1, while 24-oz. Pepsi products will also be $1 for the entire meet. Students can receive free admission by showing their N-Card at the door.
Scouting the Penn State Nittany Lions
A Glance at the Nittany Lions
Head Coach: Jeff Thompson (Third Year)
2013 Record: 7-3 (2-1 Big Ten)
2013 High Score: 195.575 (vs. Ohio State, 2/2/13)
2012 Record: 14-3
2012 NCAA Finish: N/A
The 2013 Penn State Nittany Lions come to Lincoln after posting a season-best team score of 195.575 in their win over Ohio State last weekend. PSU's performances have been fueled in part by their efforts on uneven bars, where the team is ranked No. 11 nationally and averages a score of 48.940 per meet.
Leading the way for the Nittany Lions is senior and 2012 Big Ten Gymnast of the Year Sharaya Musser, who has earned three all-around titles in four meets this season. Her season-best mark of 39.525 came in a quad meet against Iowa, No. 20 Pittsburgh and Rutgers on Jan. 26. Musser is also Penn State's lone representative in the GymInfo national rankings, coming in at ties for 14th on beam (9.860) and 24th on vault (9.875).
Head Coach Jeff Thompson is in his third year at the helm of the Penn State program, holding a 42-13-2 mark in that time. Joining Thompson on the Nittany Lion coaching staff are Associate Head Coach Rachelle Thompson and Assistant Coach Randy Monahan.
Nebraska's Rotation Order vs. Penn State
Vault, Uneven Bars, Balance Beam, Floor Exercise
Uneven Bars, Vault, Floor Exercise, Balance Beam
Huskers Top Illinois, Earn Third Win
Nebraska overcame struggles on several events to pull out a solid team victory over Illinois on Feb. 1, earning a 195.750-194.750 win at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The Huskers swept all four events and the all-around in front of a crowd of 1,725 fans to hand Illinois their fourth loss of the season.
Jessie DeZiel led the way for Nebraska, tying for the floor title (9.85) en route to picking up her first all-around win of 2013 with a season-best 39.425. Jamie Schleppenbach captured the vault title (9.925) and tied for the floor title (9.85) on Friday night. Janelle Giblin tied her career-best score on bars (9.95) and took the bar title home, while Jennifer Lauer took home the beam title with a 9.85.
The Huskers kicked off the evening on vault, tying their season-high on the event with a 49.300. Nebraska was paced by returning All-American Schleppenbach, who posted a season-high 9.925, and senior Brittany Skinner, who earned a 9.875. Giblin and DeZiel earned identical scores of 9.85 to help NU take an early lead.
NU had a slow start on bars but finished with a bang thanks to the efforts of Nebraska's final three performers, earning a 48.675. Giblin led the way, anchoring the Big Red's efforts with her season-high 9.95. The score marked the senior's best effort on the event since she hit an identical score against Iowa State last season, and the fourth time in her career she has earned a 9.95 on the event.. DeZiel and Emily Wong added to Nebraska's strong finish, earning individual 9.90 marks, while Kassandra Nathe added a season-best 9.80.
The Huskers had uncharacteristic struggles on beam in their third rotation of the evening, finishing with a 48.800 on the evening. Lauer continued to display her prowess as a beam competitor, earning a 9.85 to lead the Big Red. DeZiel added a 9.825 on the night, and Skinner returned to the beam lineup for NU with a 9.80.
Nebraska finished the night on floor, posting a 48.975. Schleppenbach and DeZiel led the way for the Big Red, posting identical scores of 9.85 to share the event title. Blanske added a 9.80, and Jennifer Lauer earned a 9.775.
Huskers Ranked Ninth Nationally
Nebraska came in at No. 9 nationally in the latest GymInfo National Rankings, released Monday. The Huskers slipped two spots from seventh after earning a score of 195.750 last weekend against conference foe Illinois. Florida retained the top ranking overall (197.135), followed closely by No. 2 Oklahoma (197.025). Michigan came in at No. 3 (196.855), while No. 4 UCLA (196.719) and No. 5 Alabama (196.638) filled out the top five nationally.
Five Huskers claimed spots in the individual event rankings, led by junior Emily Wong's team-high three appearances. Wong came in at No. 4 nationally in the all-around (39.492), including a No. 5 spot on bars (9.881) and a No. 9 ranking on floor (9.892). Teammate Jessie DeZiel added two appearances, tying for seventh on bars (9.869) and 15th in the all-around (39.275).
Jennifer Lauer, Jamie Schleppenbach and Brittany Skinner each grabbed spots in the top 25 as well. Lauer continued to find herself in the top 10 nationally on beam, tying for sixth nationally this week (9.881). After re-entering the Nebraska lineup two weeks ago, both Schleppenbach and Skinner have shone on vault, tying for No. 7 (9.90).
Up Next for Nebraska
The Huskers will hit the road for the third time this season next weekend, facing No. 13 Arizona in Tucson, Ariz., at 5 p.m. CST (4 p.m. MST). The two teams will square off in McKale Memorial Center on the University of Arizona campus. The meeting between NU and UA is the first since 2010, when the Huskers took a 196.425-194.750 win over the Wildcats.
Arizona holds a No. 13 ranking nationally and a record of 6-5 overall. The Wildcats are paced by senior Aubree Cristello, a three-time first-team All-Pac 12 selection. Cristello is currently tied for 16th nationally in the all-around (39.275) and 18th on beam (9.85). Head Coach Bill Ryden is in his 15th year at the helm of the Arizona program, holding a 190-180-3 record as head coach.
Giblin Earns Big Ten Event Specialist of the Week Honors
Janelle Giblin earned her first conference honor this season on Monday, capturing Big Ten Event Specialist of the Week accolades. Giblin took the bars title last Friday evening against Illinois while also tying for fourth on vault and finishing sixth on beam.
Giblin hit her stride this week on bars with a stellar 9.95 performance against the Fighting Illini. The mark ties her career-best on the event and is also tied for the fourth-highest individual bars score in school history. It is the second career time the returning All-American has hit a 9.95 on bars, with the last coming on March 16, 2012 against Iowa State. She joins teammate Emily Wong as Huskers honored in the Big Ten weekly awards this season.
Huskers' Meet with PSU to be Broadcast on BTN
Nebraska's home meet against Penn State will go national next weekend as BTN provides coverage of the showdown between two of the conference's top teams. The meet between the Huskers and the Nittany Lions will be shown on BTN on tape delay, airing on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. CST.
Steady Lauer Boosts Huskers on Beam
Sophomore Jennifer Lauer has stepped up on beam through Nebraska's first four meets, owning an average of 9.881 on the event. The Sioux City, Iowa native is tied for sixth nationally on beam and has scored no lower than a 9.85 this season. Lauer exploded onto the national scene in Nebraska's season-opener against Michigan, nailing a career-high 9.95 on beam to take the event title against the Wolverines.
Huskers Benefit from Return of Schleppenbach, Skinner
The Huskers' lineup is close to full-strength again after being limited due to illness and injury tweaks through the first three meets of the season. Nebraska has particularly benefitted from the return of junior Jamie Schleppenbach and senior Brittany Skinner, who both returned to the gym for the Huskers last weekend against Illinois.
After being limited due to illness, Schleppenbach had an immediate impact upon her return, capturing both the vault (9.925) and floor (9.85) event titles last weekend against Illinois. She is also currently tied for seventh nationally on vault.
Skinner jumped back into the Nebraska lineup on vault at Ohio State two weeks ago, posting a 9.925 to earn the event title. She picked up a 9.875 on vault last weekend, while adding consistency to NU's beam lineup with a 9.80. Skinner joins Schleppenbach at the No. 7 spot nationally on vault.
All-Gmerican Giblin Hits Stride on Bars
Senior Janelle Giblin has begun to hit her stride on the uneven bars in 2013. After a shaky start to the season at Michigan, Giblin has posted scores of 9.85 (vs. Michigan State), 9.90 (at Ohio State) and 9.95 (vs. Illinois) in her last three meets. The San Ramon, Calif., native has captured two individual titles on bars in the last three weeks and anchors NU's lineup on the event.
DeZiel Takes First All-Around Title of 2013
Sophomore and defending Big Ten Freshman of the Year Jessie DeZiel earned her first all-around title of 2013 against Illinois, posting a season-high score of 39.425 on the evening. DeZiel placed in the top five of every event and scored no lower than a 9.825 on any apparatus. The Rogers, Minn., native tied for the floor title with teammate Jamie Schleppenbach, posting a 9.85 against the Illini. She also earned finishes of second on bars (9.90) and beam (9.825) and fourth on vault (9.85).
DeZiel has competed in the all-around in every meet of 2013 for the Huskers, placing no lower than third in any competition. She is tied for 16th nationally in all-around competition, holding a season average of 39.275.
Defending Conference Champions Look for Continued Success
After winning its second consecutive conference title and its first in the Big Ten, Nebraska returns to the gym with even higher expectations for 2013. NU will welcome back seven total letterwinners from last season, including six All-Americans, while adding four newcomers to the roster. With a solid core of veterans and a stockpile of talent and depth, Head Coach Dan Kendig believes his 20th season with the Huskers has the makings of a top team on the national scene.
"We've come a long way since the beginning of the year and put in a lot of work in the gym, the community and the classroom," Kendig said. "Top to bottom, this season can be better than last season. If we keep working hard each day and getting better, I see good things on the horizon for this year."
Six All-Americans Poised to Lead Huskers in 2013
NU's efforts this season will be anchored by its six returning All-Americans, including three honorees that captured eight awards last season. Jessie DeZiel, Janelle Giblin and Emily Wong headline a group that has won 16 awards since 2010 and also includes seniors Kassandra Nathe and Brittany Skinner and junior Jamie Schleppenbach.
Nebraska will look for sustained success from its vaulting corps as it fields four previous All-Americans. The group is led by 2012 first-team All-American Giblin and second-team honoree DeZiel alongside previous first-teamers Schleppenbach and Skinner.
The Huskers will also welcome back three previous All-Americans in both all-around competition and on uneven bars. Notably returning to the competition floor on bars this season is 2010 second-team All-American Nathe, who has missed the past two seasons due to injury. Nathe is expected to provide a spark as well as depth to NU's bar lineup in 2013. Nebraska returns two All-Americans on floor and beam as well.
Kendig Builds One of Nation's Top Programs
Now in his 20th year at the helm of the Nebraska gymnastics program, Head Coach Dan Kendig is the all-time winningest coach in Nebraska history. Kendig holds a 440-170-4 record overall and a 291-68-2 regular-season mark. An eight-time conference coach of the year selection, Kendig most recently earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors last season after guiding the 2012 Huskers to the program's 22nd conference title.
Kendig has also led the Huskers to 15 NCAA Championship appearances in the past 18 season, including NCAA 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 2012 Huskers to a 24-7 record overall, including an eighth-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Championships in Duluth, Ga. The performance marked Nebraska's 28th consecutive NCAA post season appearance, while three of Kendig's gymnasts--Jessie DeZiel (FX, AA, V), Janelle Giblin (V, UB) and Emily Wong (BB, FX, AA)--earned All-America honors.
NU Assistants Set to Lead Huskers in 2013
Joining Kendig in his leadership of the Huskers this season will be second-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. In her first season as an assistant with the Huskers, Brink helped coach Emily Wong to first-team All-America honors on beam. Brink's assistance with NU's floor routines also guided Jessie DeZiel to first-team All-America honors and Wong to second-team honors on the event.
Miller will continue to lead NU's efforts on vault and floor in 2013. During his first season at Nebraska in 2012, Miller guided DeZiel to first-team All-America honors on floor and second-team honors on vault. He also assisted in the development of Janelle Giblin, who earned first-team honors on vault, and Wong, who picked up second-team honors on floor. The gymnasts under Miller's tutelage in 2012 garnered a total of 15 floor titles and 14 vault titles throughout the season.
Volunteer assistant coach Owen Field, now in his third season in that position, will aid NU's full-time staff in 2013. Field will assist head coach Dan Kendig on the uneven bars while also assisting with the Huskers' strength and conditioning program.