Lincoln - The Nebraska women’s gymnastics team continued its preseason preparations with a successful intrasquad meet in front of an estimated 350 fans at Mabel Lee Hall Friday night.
The Cornhuskers competed in Olympic order, beginning on vault and moving to the uneven bars and balance beam before ending the night with floor exercise performances. Following the two-hour exhibition, the Huskers signed autographs for fans in attendance. No official team or individual scores were given.
The team showed promise in each event, and head coach Dan Kendig is excited about the prospects of the 2017 season.
“The biggest thing at the end of an intrasquad meet is that we’re walking out healthy,” said Kendig. “I thought overall, we did a good job. I think it was a great start. We got them out in front of a bunch of people and they responded well. I’m really happy with what they did.”
The Huskers return ten letterwinners from last year’s team, including seniors Jennie Laeng and Ashley Lambert. Juniors Danielle Breen and Grace Williams were both All-Big Ten selections in 2016, while Abbie Epperson joins the Huskers as a transfer from Maryland, eligible to compete this season. Sophomores Sienna Crouse, Catelyn Orel and Megan Schweihofer each saw action for the Big Red a season ago.
Kendig is pleased with the leadership shown by the upperclassmen thus far.
“They did a great job leading the way tonight,” Kendig said. “I’m pleased as a coach about where we’re at, but I’m even more encouraged about where the potential is for where we’re going to be able to go.”
Three redshirt freshmen and four talented freshmen look to break into the lineups for the Huskers this season. The coaching staff is excited for what this class of newcomers can bring to the team this year and beyond.
“Some of the young kids got out there for the first time and saw how we do things and I was really encouraged about what they did,” said Kendig, “I’m excited to see them keep working and keep getting better.”
The 2017 season opens on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, as the Huskers welcome Big Ten rival Penn State to the Devaney Center. The meet is a part of the Tumble N Rumble, as the Nebraska wrestling team will host Michigan simultaneously at the Devaney Center with both events scheduled to begin at 1:15 p.m.