NU Women’s Gymnastics heads to Iowa State on Friday

No. 1 Nebraska at Iowa State

Jan. 20, 2012  I  Ames, Iowa  I  Hilton Coliseum
Live Video: www.cyclones.com (subscription required)
Live Stats: www.cyclones.com


Top-Ranked Huskers Travel to Ames

-Nebraska Head Coach: Dan Kendig (19th Year) 

-Current Team Record: 1-0 (0-0 Big Ten)

-2012 High Score: 197.375 (Denver, 1/13/11)

-2011 NCAA Finish: 4th (196.725)

 

The No. 1 Nebraska women's gymnastics team takes its show on the road this week as they travel to Ames, Iowa, to take on the Iowa State Cyclones on Friday, Jan. 20. The Huskers and Cyclones will begin competition at 6:30 p.m. from the Hilton Coliseum. Live video of the match is available at Cyclones.com (subscription required), while live stats will be provided at Cyclones.com.

 

The Huskers are coming off a record-breaking opening competition where they defeated the No. 20 Denver Pioneers 197.375-195.225. Nebraska's team score was the highest season-opening score in school history and 10th-highest all-time. The Huskers produced five all-around performances, including the top four of the match. The Huskers' team score was the highest since Jan. 21, 2004, when they scored a 197.750 against the Missouri Tigers in Lincoln, Neb.

 

Scouting the Competition: Iowa State

-Head Coach: Jay Ronayne       

-2012 Record: 0-1 (0-1 Big 12)

-2012 High Score: 192.60 (at Missouri, 1/8/2012)

-2011 NCAA Finish: N/A

 

A Glance at the Cyclones…

-Iowa State opened its season with a loss to the Missouri Tigers on Jan. 8. Missouri edged the Cyclones by a score of 192.675-192.60.

-The Cyclones are led by the defending Big 12 Gymnast of the Year Michelle Browning. The senior captured the all-around title in Iowa State's opening meet with a score of 39.025. Browning scored a 9.70 or higher on all four events, including at 9.825 on the floor exercise. Browning was named Big 12 Gymnast of the Week for her efforts against the Tigers.

-In its match against the Tigers, ISU dropped both the vault and bars, but rallied back to win the beam. The two teams tied in the floor competition, while four Cyclones competed in the all-around, with three of those scores being higher than 38.45.

-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, 89-23-1.

-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                       Nebraska          Iowa State

1                                  Uneven Bars     Vault

2                                  Vault                 Uneven Bars

3                                  Floor Exercise   Balance Beam

4                                  Balance Beam   Floor Exercise

 

Huskers Earn No. 1 Ranking After First Meet

With their 197.375 score against Denver, the Huskers vaulted  all the way to No. 1 in the second installment of the GymInfo Top 25. The Huskers are ranked No. 1 for the first time since 2005 when they held the ranking for one week.

 

Individually, the Huskers have nine routines ranked inside the top 10 nationally, including four inside the top five. Sophomore Emily Wong currently holds the top balance beam routine after posting a career-high 9.925 against Denver. Joining Wong on the balance beam are Lora Evenstad and Jessie DeZiel, who are both tied for No. 6 nationally. DeZiel posted a 9.925 on the floor exercise against Denver, which placed her at No. 2 nationally, and also ranks at No. 10 in both the uneven bars and vault. Evenstad's score of 9.90 on the floor placed her at No. 7 nationally.  Junior Janelle Giblin is ranked inside the top five in both vault and uneven bars, checking in at No. 4 and 3 respectively.

 

Last Time Out: Huskers Defeat Pioneers

The sixth-ranked Nebraska women's gymnastics team opened the 2012 season in record-setting fashion, besting No. 20 Denver, 197.375-195.225, at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Friday, Jan. 13.

 

The Huskers, coming off a fourth-place finish at last year's NCAAs, were dominant from start to finish, going above 49.30 on all four events en route to shattering the previous opening-meet record of 196.55 set in 2004.  The Huskers' score of 197.375 tied for the 10th-highest score in school history.

 

The Huskers swept all four event titles and also took the top four places in the all-around. Freshman Jessie DeZiel won the all-around in impressive fashion with a score of 39.575, the highest debut in school history. DeZiel scored at least a 9.875 on all four events, including a 9.925 to win the floor exercise title.

 

Janelle Giblin finished second in the all-around with a career-high mark of 39.50, taking event titles on vault (9.925) and uneven bars (9.90), while Emily Wong took the balance beam crown with a 9.925, giving Nebraska a clean sweep of the night. Wong tied Lora Evenstad for third in the all-around with a final mark of 34.475.

 

Nebraska could not have opened the season with a stronger start, as three of the Husker veterans notched career bests in helping Nebraska to a 49.375 on vault to build a solid lead. The Huskers, who didn't score that high on the event until the fifth meet of the year last year, built a commanding 49.375-.48.725 lead. Deanna Barmore began the night with a career-high 9.875 while Emily Wong went 9.825 in her first career vault before Giblin turned in the performance of the night, winning the event with a 9.925. DeZiel closed out the strong set with a 9.90 to tie Denver Melodie Pulgarin Linero for second place on the event.

 

The Huskers continued to perform solidly on the uneven bars, taking four of the top five spots on the event in posting a 49.30 on the event. Giblin led the charge with her second career best of the night, completing a near flawless routine with a 9.90 to best her previous high set at last season's Super Six Finals. DeZiel placed second with a 9.875 in her debut on the event while Emily Wong and Lora Evenstad tied Denver's Louise Mercer for third with 9.85s.

 

The Huskers overcame some early adversity on balance beam, overcoming an early fall with four solid routine in posting a 49.35 on the event to build a 148.025-146.60 lead after three rotations. After Giblin opened with a 9.85, a fall put the Huskers in a precarious position, but Evenstad came up with a career-high effort of 9.875 to put the Huskers back on the right track. After a 9.85 from Brittany Skinner, DeZiel and Wong closed out a strong set with scores of 9.875 and a 9.90, respectively

 

The Huskers closed the night with a score of 49.35 on floor, as all five routines scored better than 9.80, including a 9.925 by DeZiel and a 9.90 by Evenstad.

 

DeZiel Sweeps Weekly Big Ten Honors

True freshman Jessie DeZiel was named the Big Ten's Gymnast of the Week and Freshman of the Week for her performance in Nebraska's season-opening match against the Denver Pioneers. The awards were released on Monday, Jan. 16.

 

DeZiel shined in her opening meet as Husker, posting  an all-around score of 39.575, which was the highest for an NU gymnast since March 31, 2007, when Emily Parsons posted the same score against Missouri. DeZiel won the floor event with a score of 9.925 and posted 9.90 on the vault. The Rogers, Minn., native scored a 9.875 on the uneven bars and a 9.875 on the balance beam.

 

Huskers Show Versatility Against Pioneers

The Nebraska women's gymnastics team showed great versatility in their first meet of the season, with five gymnasts competing in the all-around. The five all-around competitors were the most for a Husker team since at least 2000. The Huskers placed the top four all-arounders of the competition, including Jessie DeZiel who finished first. Janelle Giblin, who took home event titles on the bars and beam, finished in second with a career-high score of 39.50. Senior Lora Evenstad also scored a career-high mark after posting a 39.475 to finish in a tie for second with Emily Wong, who was competing in the all-around for the first time of her career.

 

Huskers Look to Build of Success in 2011

After finishing fourth at last year's NCAA Championships, which was tied for the highest finish in school history, the 2012 Nebraska women's gymnastics team looks to continue its storied tradition as the Huskers compete as members of the Big Ten Conference for the first time. With six returning All-Americans, along with seven total letterwinners and five newcomers, the Huskers will again have conference and national title aspirations.

 

“I feel like this team is as talented, or more talented than last year's team,” Head Coach Dan Kendig said. “I feel that way because we lost some quality routines, but we've gained some freshmen who are doing some good things and we've gained Kassandra Nathe back. I just feel like when you look from event to event, our top six is as strong or stronger than last year.”

 

All-Americans Ready to 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.

 

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 417-163-4 overall and 280-66-2 in regular-season meets. Kendig is in his 29th year of coaching and owns a career record of 530-275-5.

 

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.

 

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.