NU Aims For Win In First Conference Dual
NEBRASKA AT IOWA
Date: Friday, Jan. 24
Time: 7:00 p.m. CT
Location: Iowa City, Iowa
Arena: Carver-Hawkeye Arena
Live Stats: Hawkeyesports.com
Online Video: Pay-to-view on Hawkeyesports.com
Following an impressive victory at the Ozone Collegiate Classic last weekend over Alabama and Kentucky, the No. 9 Nebraska women’s gymnastics team will hit the road again to face the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Huskers (3-0) and the Hawkeyes (0-3) will square off for their first Big Ten dual of the year in the Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. CT. Iowa will run free live stats and pay-to-view live video from the competition, with both available at hawkeyesports.com. Fans can also view live updates via the official Nebraska women’s gymnastics account on Twitter by following @HuskersWGym.
The Huskers are on the hunt for their fourth win of the season and their first conference victory this weekend. Nebraska holds a 19-3 regular season advantage over the Hawkeyes. In the last meeting between the two the Huskers defeated the Hawkeyes 197.675-194.950 on senior night last season in Lincoln.
Scouting The Iowa Hawkeyes
• Iowa made their sixth-straight NCAA post season appearance under head coach Larissa Libby, competing at the NCAA regional in Normal, Okla.
• Iowa returns six letterwinners from the 2013 season
• The Hawkeyes are comprised of zero seniors, three juniors, five sophomores, and seven freshmen.
• Iowa posted a team season-best score of 194.675 at No. 6 Georgia on Monday, Jan. 20.
• Freshman Angel Metcalf posted a season-best 39.100 in the all-around against Georgia to earn second overall behind Georgia’s Brittany Rogers (39.525).
• The Hawkeyes posted two season-high best team scores on floor with a solid 49.00, as well as beam with a mark of 48.55.
Nebraska’s Rotation Order At Iowa
Rotation Nebraska Iowa
1. Uneven Bars Vault
2. Vault Uneven Bars
3. Floor Exercise Balance Beam
4. Balance Beam Floor Exercise
Huskers Beat ‘Bama, Cats in Knoxville
NU posted a solid team score of 196.250 to defeat No. 3 Alabama, and No. 17 Kentucky on Saturday Jan. 18 to win the Ozone Collegiate Classic in Knoxville Tenn. The Huskers improved to 3-0 on the young season, outscoring the No. 3 Crimson Tide (196.050) and the No. 17 Wildcats (194.650).
Senior Emily Wong led all Huskers on the evening, winning the all-around competition with a 39.55. Wong’s effort included finishes of first on floor (9.95), second on bars (9.875), tie for second on vault (9.875) and third on beam (9.85). Jessie DeZiel joined Wong with three, top-two finishes including the all-around (39.20), as well as on floor (9.875) and beam (9.90). Jenifer Lauer added another beam title to her name taking top honors with a score of 9.925.
The Huskers started the evening on beam, posting a solid team showing of 49.200. NU was led by Jennifer Lauer, who soared to a 9.925. Jessie DeZiel followed up with a 9.90 which ties her career-high score, while Wong (9.85) and Schleppenbach (9.80) added two strong scores.
Nebraska’s 49.20 leads all teams after the first rotation. Alabama posted a 49.00 on bars, while Kentucky picked up a mark of 48.75 on vault.
NU then headed to floor for the second rotation earning a team score of 49.125. All-American Emily Wong led the way for the Huskers with a 9.95 score, as Jessie DeZiel added a season-best 9.875. Hollie Blanske also tacked on a 9.80 showing.
The Huskers led all the squads after the second rotation with a combined team score of 98.325. Alabama earned a 48.85 on beam and Kentucky earned a 48.40 on bars. With two events down, Nebraska led the meet with Alabama at 97.850, with Kentucky following in third 97.150.
Nebraska took to vault for their third rotation of the night, picking up a 49.275 team mark. The trio of DeZiel, Wong, and Stephens all led the vault squad posting identical scores of 9.875. Ashley Lambert and Ariel Martin also snagged identical marks of 9.825 to boost the Huskers efforts on vault.
Nebraska led all teams again after the third event of the night. Alabama posted a 48.775 on floor, while Kentucky posted a 48.625 on beam. With only one event remaining, Nebraska led all teams at 147.60. Alabama closely followed at 146.625, with Kentucky taking third at 145.775.
The Huskers took to bars for their final rotation of the night posting a 48.65 team score. Despite some uncharacteristic struggles, Wong carried the Huskers with her 9.875 performance, as sophomore Hollie Blanske added a 9.85 score that ties her career-high.
NU held onto their lead even as Alabama posted a 49.425 on vault and Kentucky added a 48.875 on floor. Nebraska defeated No. 3 Alabama 196.050, and No. 17 Kentucky 194.650 to claim the Ozone Collegiate Classic crown.
Huskers Ranked No. 9 in Latest Standings
Nebraska came in ninth nationally in the latest GymInfo national team rankings, holding a season average of 196.438. NU pulled down rankings of No. 6 nationally on vault (49.263), No. 5 on beam (49.113), as well as a No. 9 spot on floor (49.125) and 13th on bars (49.000).
Oklahoma continued its reign at the top of the rankings with an average of 197.188, closely followed by No. 2 LSU at (197.038). No. 3 Florida (196.863), No. 4 Utah (196.763) and No. 5 Michigan (196.663) rounded out the nation’s top five. Four Big Ten teams appeared in the top 25; in addition to Michigan and Nebraska, Illinois (No. 11), and Minnesota (No. 13) all captured spots.
Three Huskers collected six total top-20 appearances in the individual rankings. Emily Wong picked up two top-two appearances alone, coming in tied at second in the all-around (39.487) as well as tying for first on floor (9.950). Wong also adds a No. 18 spot on bars with an average score of 9.863. Jessie DeZiel captured the No. 15 spot in the all-around (39.263) and a No. ranking on vault (9.913). Jennifer Lauer adds a No. 5 ranking on beam after taking the beam title in the first two meets of the season averaging 9.888.
Up Next For Nebraska
Nebraska will return home next weekend to kick off a two-meet home stand the first two weeks of February. The Huskers welcome the 2013 Big Ten regular season champions, Minnesota to the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Saturday Feb. 1 for a 6 p.m. duel. The Gophers are 6-0 this season and will face Illinois, this Saturday Jan. 25 at home.
Wong Proving Her Worth
With only two weeks into competition season senior Emily Wong has already made her claim as one of the nation’s top gymnasts for 2014. She has collected five titles in only two showings on each event and has posted some of the top scores in the country.
Wong led the Huskers in their 196.625-192.525 victory over Northern Illinois Saturday Jan. 12, winning the floor title en route to capturing top honors in the all-around on the evening. She also finished third on bars (9.85), and fifth on vault (9.80). Wong’s victory also included a solid beam routine earning a score of 9.825, and placing second. Wong capped her stellar opening weekend by earning Big Ten Gymnast of the week honors. The award marks the third of her career.
Wong was the heartbeat to the Huskers victory over Alabama and Kentucky at the Ozone Collegiate Classic last Saturday Jan. 18 in Knoxville. She took home the all-around crown posting a score of 39.550. Wong’s effort included finishes of first on floor (9.95), second on bars (9.875), tie for second on vault (9.875) and third on beam (9.85).
With an average all-around score of 39.487, Wong is now ranked No. 2 in the country in the all-around, coming in behind Arkansas’ Katherine Grable (39.500). Wong is currently ranked No. 1 on floor with an average 9.950 score.
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 will welcome 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. Led by head coach Dan Kendig in his 21st season at Nebraska, who 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.”
Three All-Americans Prepared to Lead Huskers In 2014
Nebraska will be led by three returning All-Americans, including two honorees that captured six awards last season. Jessie DeZiel and Emily Wong headline the group that has won 14 awards since 2011 and also includes senior Jamie Schleppenbach.
In the all-around competition the Huskers will welcome back two first-team selections in DeZiel and Wong, who both competed in the 2013 NCAA Championships where they picked up All-American accolades. Tying for third overall in the all-around Wong claimed a first-team selection as teammate DeZiel placed 12 overall taking home second-team honors.
Nebraska will look for more success from its vaulting lineup as it holds one of the top three team scores in the country (49.725). This vaulting corps fields all three previous All-Americans in Wong, who picked up first-team honors last season, Schleppenbach a first team selection in 2011 and DeZiel, a second-team selection in 2012.
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 Brittany 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 in her first season will aid NU’s full-time staff in 2014. Weinstein will assist Brink on balance beam, as well as the Huskers strength and conditioning programs.