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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 25-ranked West Virginia University gymnastics team welcomes East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) opponent George Washington and former EAGL foe Towson on Sunday, Jan. 29, for a 1 p.m. match at the WVU Coliseum.
The competition, the Mountaineers’ (3-1, 2-0 EAGL) second home tri-meet in four weeks, also will serve as a “welcome back” reception for retired coach Linda Burdette-Good. First-year coach Jason Butts will lead the team in honoring Burdette-Good’s 37-year career prior to the meet’s award ceremony.
“I’m excited for this opportunity to welcome back coach Burdette-Good to the Coliseum and honor all of her contributions to WVU gymnastics over the course of her 37-year career,” says Butts. “I hope the fans are able to join us in giving her a warm reception Sunday.”
The Mountaineers boast impressive resumes over both opponents, owning a 41-1 all-time record against the Colonials (4-2, 0-1 EAGL) and a 16-10 lead over the Tigers (6-0, 1-0 ECAC).
WVU earned a pair of victories against GW last season, winning 195.225-193.05, in Morgantown, and 193.725-192.575, at the EAGL Championship, in Washington, D.C.
Tomorrow’s meeting will be the first between the Mountaineers and the Tigers since 2004, Towson’s last season in the EAGL; WVU earned a 197.05-194.65 victory en route to its fifth league championship.
“We’re really looking forward to great competition from both of these teams,” says Butts. “The team really concentrated on its presentation on vault, beam and floor this week in Cary Gym. For bars, we stressed aggressiveness. I think we’re going to put forth a lineup that’s going to hit this weekend.”
The Mountaineers are coming off a come-from-behind, 193.475-193.225, win at Bowling Green on Jan. 21. The squad split the meet with the Falcons, winning bars (47.85-47.55) and beam (48.1-48.0), and losing vault (48.675-48.575) and floor (49.0-48.95).
Sophomore Hope Sloanhoffer, ranked No. 27 in the nation and No. 1 in the EAGL, finished first overall with a 39.075 score, her second 39.0-plus mark of the season. The Cornwall, N.Y., native also placed first on vault (9.825) and second on bars (9.775) and beam (9.7); she is ranked No. 32 in the nation, No. 1 in the EAGL, on vault.
Junior Alaska Richardson paced the No. 9-ranked floor lineup at BGSU with a first place, career-best 9.85 showing; the Dayton, Ohio, native received a 9.9 score from one judge, a career first. Classmate Kaylyn Millick and sophomore Makenzie Bristol tied for fourth place with 9.8 marks.
Also scoring well for the Mountaineers were seniors Tina Maloney on vault (9.775) and Nicole Roach on bars (9.75), and sophomore Amanda Carpenter on beam (9.675); Maloney and Roach’s scores were season bests.
The Colonials most recently lost at then-No. 12 Ohio State, 195.9-188.9, on Jan. 21. Junior Stephanie Stoicovy (38.0) and freshman Courtney Willoughby (37.425) finished second and third, respectively, in the all-around; the duo has appeared on the all-around podium in both meets this season. Stoicovy ranks sixth (38.7) in the EAGL in the all-around, while Willoughby ranks 10th (38.375).
The Tigers enter the meet undefeated, as they scored 193.0 on Jan. 22 in wins over Alaska (187.875) and William & Mary (184.9). Senior Kacy Catanzaro finished first overall with a 38.9 score.
Fans can purchase tickets to Sunday’s meet at the door, with tickets for adults available for $5 and for youth and seniors for $3 each. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets for $2 each.
A free WVU student shuttle bus will be available from the Mountainlair and the Brooke/Braxton Towers loop for an hour leading up to the meet’s start time. Return service to the Mountainlair and the Brooke/Braxton Towers loop also will be available at the conclusion of the meet.