Seniors Look for Final Home Victory Against Cyclones
- Current Team Record: 11-2 (3-0 Big Ten)
- 2012 High Score: 197.600 (at Utah, 3/9/12)
- 2011 NCAA Finish: 4th (196.725)
The No. 6 Nebraska women's gymnastics team will finish its regular-season meet schedule this Friday, March 16, with a dual against the Iowa State Cyclones at 7 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Friday's dual meet will be available on the Big Ten Network on tape delay (March 17, 11 a.m.), and live scores will be provided on Huskers.com. Fans can also follow along the action on the Huskers' twitter account at www.twitter.com/HuskerWGYM.
Nebraska sports an 11-2 overall record and is 3-0 in Big Ten competition, while ISU is 5-6 overall and 0-2 in the Big 12 Conference. One of those losses came at the hands of Nebraska, when the two faced off earlier this season on Jan. 20 in Ames, Iowa.
The Huskers are coming off their best performance of the season thus far, posting a season-best 197.600 in their road victory against No. 7 Utah last Friday. Nebraska was led by sophomore Jamie Schleppenbach, who became the fourth Husker gymnast to win an all-around competition this season by posting a 39.575 and career-high marks on all four events. With the victory, the Huskers have now defeated three top-10 opponents on the season and finished the regular season undefeated in road meets for the first time in school history.
After their regular season finale, the Huskers will return to action on March 24 for their first Big Ten Conference Championships, where they will look to win back-to-back conference titles after winning the Big 12 in 2011. The 2012 Big Ten meet is being held in Iowa City, Iowa, and will begin at either 1 or 6 p.m.
Seniors to be Honored at Conclusion of Meet
The women's gymnastics program will honor two gymnasts after Friday's meet, as seniors Lora Evenstad and Katelyn Busacker will compete in the final home meet of their career. Evenstad and Busacker will be honored during a special presentation immediately following the meet on the competition floor.
Fans that picked up a flyer at the Huskers last home competition may use that flyer to receive free admission to the dual, along with four other people. Students get in free by showing their N-card at the door.
Scouting the Competition: Iowa State
- Head Coach: Jay Ronayne
- 2012 Record: 5-6 (0-2 Big 12)
- 2012 High Score: 195.975 (vs. Minnesota, 2/26/12)
- 2011 NCAA Finish: N/A
A Glance at the Cyclones...
- The Cyclones are 5-6 on the season after splitting a pair of duals against Minnesota in its last two competitions, while posting their two highest scores of the season against the Gophers.
- Iowa State ranks inside the top 25 on two events nationally. The Cyclones are the No. 21 balance beam team in the country with a 48.81 RQS and rank at No. 23 on floor with an RQS of 48.955.
- Iowa State is led by defending Big 12 Gymnast of the Year Michelle Browning, who is the No. 25 all-arounder in the country with an RQS of 39.16.
- The highest rated gymnast in an individual event for ISU is Celine Paulus, who checks in at No. 33 on the floor exercise with an RQS of 9.855.
- Iowa State features wins over No. 23 Iowa, Southeast Missouri State, (twice) and No. 22 Missouri.
- The Huskers defeated Iowa State, 195.775-193.925 on Jan. 20. Last season, NU defeated the Cyclones three separate times, including a 196.30-195.575 home victory on March 13. Nebraska leads the all-time series, 90-23-1.
- Iowa State is coached by Jay Ronayne, who is in his sixth season as head coach of the Cyclones.
Nebraska's Competition Order vs. Iowa State
Rotation Iowa State Nebraska
1 Uneven Bars Vault
2 Vault Uneven Bars
3 Floor Exercise Balance Beam
4 Balance Beam Floor Exercise
Last Time Out: Schleppenbach Leads NU Past No. 7 Utah
Sophomore Jamie Schleppenbach won two event titles and took home the all-around crown while leading the No. 6 Nebraska women's gymnastics team to victory over the No. 7 Utah Utes, 197.600-197.450, on Friday, March 9, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Huskers were brilliant on all four events, scoring season-bests on the bars (49.425) and floor (49.45) en route to posting the sixth-highest score and second-highest away meet score in school history. Nebraska, who performed in front of over 14,000 fans, hadn't won at the Huntsman Center since 1999.
Schleppenbach had the best meet of her career as a Husker, winning the vault (9.95) and beam (9.90) titles and putting up a career-high 39.575 in the all-around. Schleppenbach wasn't alone in her success, as junior Janelle Giblin took home the bars title (9.925) and true freshman Jessie DeZiel finished first on floor (9.95).
Entering their final event on beam with a slight lead, the Huskers found themselves needing a big score from Schleppenbach in the final spot to capture the victory. The Lincoln native didn't disappoint, posting a career-high 9.90 to seal the win for NU. DeZiel and fellow freshman Jennifer Lauer each posted 9.85s on the event, while Skinner and Wong scored a 9.875 and 9.825, respectively.
The Huskers jumped out to an early lead after their first rotation on the uneven bars, led by Giblin, who posted a team-high 9.925 to help NU score a season-best 49.425. The No. 2 bars performer in the country was helped by four Huskers that each posted 9.875s. Wong led the event off with a seamless performance, and was followed by Schleppenbach in the second spot, who scored a career-high 9.875. DeZiel also scored a 9.875, while Evenstad closed the rotation with the same score.
Nebraska held onto the lead after two rotations, scoring a 49.425 on the vault. Lauer scored a career-high 9.85 in the Huskers' opening spot to give NU a solid start. Schleppenbach, who won the event title, stole the show with her career-high 9.95 and was followed by Giblin who posted a 9.90. DeZiel and Wong scored a 9.875 and 9.85, respectively, to round out the action for NU on vault.
On the floor, all five Huskers scored above a 9.85 to help them post a season-best 49.45 on the event. The event was highlighted by DeZiel, who posted a career-best 9.95. DeZiel was followed by Evenstad, who posted a 9.90 to finish the event. Both Giblin and Schleppenbach tied their career-high score with 9.85s, while Wong tallied a 9.90.
NU Makes History, Finishes Perfect on the Road
The Huskers accomplished something no other team in school history has done when they defeated Utah last Friday. With the victory, the Huskers finished the regular season undefeated in away meets for the first time in school history. NU finished the season with a perfect 7-0 mark on the road, including four wins over top 25 opponents. Road victories included triumphs over No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 7 Arkansas and No. 7 Utah.
Lauer Steps Up Big for Huskers on Beam
Jennifer Lauer has stepped up in a big way to help the Huskers find consistency on beam. The true freshman led off for NU in their last three meets and was instrumental in the Huskers' victory over Arkansas three weeks ago, when she led the event off with a career-high 9.875. Lauer has competed on beam the last four meets, posting a 9.75 in Nebraska's win against Minnesota on Feb. 18. Nebraska will continue to look to the Sioux City, Iowa, native to make an impact as the Huskers begin to enter post-season competition.
Giblin Dominating on Bars
Junior Janelle Giblin has been dominant on the uneven bars so far this season, scoring a 9.85 or above in every meet which has helped her capture eight event titles. Giblin has posted back-to-back career-highs against Florida and Utah with a 9.925 in each meet. She is currently the No. 2 bars performer in the country with an RQS of 9.905.
Huskers in the Rankings
The Huskers remained at No. 6 in the latest GymInfo national women's gymnastics rankings, which were released on Monday, March 12. The Huskers are the only Big Ten squad in the top 10 and sport a regional qualifying score of 196.960.
The Huskers are ranked inside the top 10 on all four events as a team and feature two all-arounders ranked inside the top 5. On vault, NU checks in at No. 3 with an RQS of 49.410 and is No. 4 on bars (49.275) and floor (49.255). The Huskers continue to climb the rankings on beam (49.13), where they are currently at No. 7.
True freshman Jessie DeZiel and sophomore Emily Wong are two of the top all-around performers in the country. DeZiel is currently ranked as the No. 2 all-arounder in the nation with a 39.505 RQS, while Wong isn't far behind at No. 5 with a 39.45. The Huskers are one of only two teams with two all-around performers ranked inside the top 10. DeZiel ranks inside the top 15 on vault (13th, 9.905) and floor (10th, 9.895), while Wong is No. 11 on beam (9.875).
Junior Janelle Giblin continues to be one of the top bar performers in the country, where she is ranked at No. 2 in the latest rankings. Giblin, who won her eighth bars title of the year against Utah, has a 9.905 RQS. Senior Lora Evenstad ranks inside the top 10 on bars (7th, 9.89) and floor (6th, 9.90), while sophomore Jamie Schleppenbach cracked the rankings at No. 16 on vault with a 9.90.
Huskers Sweep Big Ten Weekly Awards
The Nebraska women's gymnastics team swept both weekly conference awards on Monday, March 12, when the honors were announced by the Big Ten. Sophomore Jamie Schleppenbach earned Big Ten Gymnast of the Week for the first time, while freshman Jessie DeZiel won her eighth Freshman of the Week award. It is the second time this season the Huskers have captured both awards after receiving both on Jan. 16.
Four Huskers Win All-Around Titles for First Time Since ‘04
With Jamie Schleppenbach's all-around victory last week against Utah, the Huskers have now had four separate gymnasts win an all-around title in a single season for the first time since 2004, when Tami Harris, Libby Landgraf, Kristi Esposito and Richelle Simpson all captured at least one all-around crown. Jessie DeZiel leads the way with eight titles, while Lora Evenstad, Emily Wong and Schleppenbach each have one.
DeZiel's eight all-around titles are the most for a Husker gymnast since Emily Parsons won eight titles of her own in 2006.
Huskers Find Consistency on Beam
After struggling on beam against the Missouri Tigers on Jan. 28, the Huskers have continued to improve on the event by posting a 49.00 or above in four of their last six meets. The Huskers have climbed back to No. 7 in the national beam rankings after falling to No. 25 after posting a 46.95 against the Tigers. Last week, NU posted a 49.30 against Utah.
The Huskers are led on beam by Jessie DeZiel and Emily Wong, who have won three and two titles on the event this season, respectively. Wong is ranked at No. 11 on the event with an RQS of 9.875, while DeZiel checks in at No. 16 with a 9.865.
Big Ten Network to Show Conference Championships
The 2012 Big Ten Gymnastics Championships, set for March 24, will be aired live on the Big Ten Network. The Huskers will find out next week if they will compete in the 1 p.m. session or the 6 p.m. session. The championships are set to take place at Carver Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.
Huskers Competing Against Nation's Best
Nebraska has faced off against some of the top teams in the country this season, having battled three straight top-10 opponents leading into this week. The Huskers defeated No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 7 Arkansas and No. 7 Utah this year, and fell to No. 1 Florida, 196.825-196.95, on March 4. NU owns a 7-2 record against ranked teams, including victories over No. 20 Denver, No. 25 Minnesota, No. 22 Michigan and No. 20 Washington.
Huskers Post Six All-Around Scores at Masters Classic
For the first time in his 18-plus seasons at Nebraska, Head Coach Dan Kendig had all six gymnasts compete in the all-around when the Huskers took on Washington, Michigan and Southern Utah at the Masters Classic on Feb. 11. Jessie DeZiel, Lora Evenstad, Janelle Giblin, Jamie Schleppenbach, Brittany Skinner and Emily Wong all competed in the all-around, while DeZiel took home the crown with a 39.45. Nebraska finished with the top three spots in the all-around, with Wong finishing in second with a 39.375 and Skinner taking home third place with a career-high 39.35.
Kendig Builds One of Nation's Top Programs at Nebraska
Head Coach Dan Kendig is the all-time winningest coach in the 35 years of Nebraska women's gymnastics history. In 18 seasons at Nebraska, Kendig is 427-164-4 overall and 290-67-2 in regular-season meets. Kendig is in his 29th year of coaching and owns a career record of 537-276-5.
An eight-time Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year, Kendig has guided the Huskers to 12 conference championships and three straight regional championships from 2000 to 2002. He was most recently named the 2009 Big 12 Coach of the Year.
He has also led Nebraska to 14 NCAA Championship appearances in the past 17 seasons, 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.
Under Kendig's guidance in 2011, Nebraska finished with a 22-12 overall record. The Huskers took fourth at the 2011 NCAA Championships in Cleveland, Ohio, in their 28th straight NCAA postseason appearance, which tied for the highest finish in school history. Five of Kendig's gymnasts --Lora Evenstad (FX), Brittany Skinner (BB), Janelle Giblin (V, AA), Jamie Schleppenbach (V) and Emily Wong (UB) -- earned All-America honors.
All-Americans Lead Huskers
The Huskers return six All-Americans off a squad that tied the best finish in school history a year ago. Lora Evenstad, Janelle Giblin, Kassandra Nathe, Brittany Skinner, Jamie Schleppenbach and Emily Wong have all earned All-America honors in their careers. In perhaps its deepest event, NU returns four All-Americans on vault, including 2011 first-team honorees Giblin and Schleppenbach. The Huskers return three All-Americans on uneven bars and All-American on both floor and beam.
The Huskers will be without Nathe, who was lost before the season with an ankle injury. It is the second consecutive season Nathe has been lost to injury after sitting out last year with a hurt arm.
Miller, Brink Join Coaching Staff
Assistant coaches Dan Miller and Heather Brink began their college coaching careers when the Huskers took Denver after being hired this offseason. Brink will coach the balance beam, while also assisting with choreography on the floor exercises. Brink was an 11-time All-American at NU and became a two-time national champion in 2000 by winning the all-around and vault title as a senior.
Miller comes to Nebraska after serving as the owner and head coach at Arena Gymnastics in Joliet, Ill. Miller will coach the Husker vault and floor squads. In his career, Miller has coached over 50 Level 10 gymnasts and 16 national qualifiers.