Gymnastics: No. 21 WVU Travels to Bowling Green

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • January 20, 2012 11:30 AM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 21-ranked West Virginia University gymnastics team opens its 2012 road schedule at Bowling Green on Saturday, Jan. 21, at 6 p.m., at Anderson Arena.

The Mountaineers (2-1, 2-0 EAGL) own a 7-5 all-time series advantage over the Falcons (0-1, 0-1 MAC). The two squads last met in 2010, with WVU earning a 194.725-191.55 victory at the WVU Coliseum.

WVU enters the meet boasting a 194.236 season average, good enough for a No. 21 ranking in the first GymInfo Poll of the 2012 season, released Jan. 16.

“I think the team is prepared for its first road test of the season,” says coach Jason Butts, also entering his first career road meet as a head coach. “This squad always gets excited to travel to other venues and show gymnastics fans its capabilities.”

In addition to its top 25 team ranking, WVU also ranks No. 9 in the nation on floor with a 48.975 season average. The Mountaineers have tallied six individual floor scores of 9.8 or better through two meets.

Sophomore Hope Sloanhoffer owns three national rankings, as the Cornwall, N.Y., native checks in at No. 20 on vault, No. 25 in the all-around and No. 39 on floor. Competing as an all-arounder this season, she has earned five scores of 9.8 or better through two meets; she has scored 9.8 or better in 35 of 48 career routines.

Senior Tina Maloney also is nationally ranked. The squad’s additional all-around competitor is ranked No. 25 in the all-around and tied at No. 39 on floor.

The Mountaineers scored their second East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) win of the season with a 193.425-191.65 victory over Rutgers at the Coliseum on Jan. 15. While the team’s score was lower than its 195.1 season-opening mark, WVU toppled the Scarlet Knights on vault (48.975-48.425), beam (48.4-48.0) and floor (48.875-48.05); the teams each scored 47.175 on bars.

Additionally, five Mountaineers scored individual victories, with Sloanhoffer snagging wins on vault (9.875), beam (9.775) and floor (9.8).

“We really focused on the little things in the gym this week,” explains Butts. “We especially paid a lot of attention to bars and upped our numbers on the event.

“Our theme for tomorrow’s meet will be the same as the first two – fight. I have told this team that you can’t control the past; instead, you have to focus on what’s next.”

The Falcons opened their season on Jan. 14 with a 193.05-191.95 loss to Central Michigan at home. BGSU’s score would have been its third-highest in 2011.

Senior Dawn Christman paced the Falcons last weekend with a first-place finish on floor (9.825) and a third-place finish on vault (9.775). Additionally, junior Danielle Wishart won vault with a 9.85 score.