Mountaineers' Bars Unit Nationally Ranked


By Shannon McNamara for WVUsports.com
January 27, 2014 03:14 PM
Alexa Goldberg
 
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Following its season-best showing in its 2014 WVU Coliseum opener, the West Virginia University gymnastics team continues to rank nationally on the uneven bars in today’s GymInfo Poll.
 
The Mountaineers (2-3) check in at No. 19 this week with a 48.817 season average.
 
Additionally, for the third straight week, freshman Alexa Goldberg, the reigning Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Week, is nationally ranked on bars. Boasting a 9.875 season average, the Ivyland, Pa., native drops to No. 13 today. Goldberg, the lineup’s anchor, has finished first on the event each meet this season.
 
Oklahoma ranks No. 1 (197.317 avg.) for the third consecutive week. On the strength of its nation-best 198.05 score, earned Jan. 24, Florida, the 2013 NCAA champions, jumps LSU this week and ranks No. 2 (197.258 avg.). The Tigers are No. 3 (197.083 avg.), while Utah and Michigan are tied at No. 4 (196.883 avg.).
 
The Mountaineers continue to rank No. 3 (194.208 avg.) overall in the Southeast region. The squad also ranks No. 3 on bars, No. 4 (48.767 avg.) on vault, No. 6 (48.192 avg.) on beam and No. 7 (48.433 avg.) on floor.
 
Goldberg is regionally ranked No. 6 on bars. In total, four Mountaineers are ranked on the event, with seniors Hope Sloanhoffer and Erica Smith checking in at No. 13 (9.817 avg.) and No. 18 (9.767 avg.), respectively. Sophomore Jaida Lawrence ranks No. 25 (9.708 avg.).
 
Following two straight event wins, Sloanhoffer leads the vault unit and ranks No. 10 (9.825 avg.). Lawrence is No. 14 (9.808 avg.), while Swoboda is No. 19 (9.775 avg.).
 
Sloanhoffer also moves up the all-around chart this week to No. 7 (38.808 avg.). Swoboda follows at No. 8 (38.75 avg.).
 
Swoboda paces the beam lineup with a No. 16 (9.692 avg.) ranking, while Smith ranks No. 18 (9.683 avg.). Sophomore Melissa Idell ranks No. 21 (9.75 avg.) on floor, and Lawrence checks in at No. 24 (9.7 avg.) following her season debut in the team’s win over NC State on Jan. 26.
 
OU ranks No. 1 in the Big 12 Conference on each event. The Mountaineers follow the Sooners overall and on vault and bars. WVU ranks No. 3 on beam and floor.
 
Goldberg owns the conference’s top bars ranking for the third week. Sloanhoffer ranks No. 7, and Smith is No. 9.
 
Sloanhoffer also ranks No. 3 in the all-around and No. 7 on vault. Swoboda ranks No. 4 in the all-around and No. 10 on vault. Lawrence joins the duo and ranks No. 9 on vault.
 
Idell and Lawrence rank No. 8 and No. 10, respectively, on floor.
 
The Mountaineers opened their 2014 home season with a 195.425-195.4 victory over NC State on Sunday at the WVU Coliseum. The squad used three event season-high scores to push it to its overall season-best mark. Sloanhoffer finished first with a 39.35 score, her top all-around mark since scoring a career-best 39.5 at the 2012 East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) Championship at Pitt. She also finished first on floor (9.9), vault (9.85) and bars (9.825); her floor score matched her career high.
 
WVU returns to the Coliseum next week and plays host to George Washington and Towson on Sunday, Feb. 2, at 3 p.m., in the second annual “Wendy M. Roach Invitational.” The invitational is a “Pink Meet” to promote breast cancer awareness, and all fans are encouraged to wear pink. The team will accept sundry item donations for Morgantown’s Betty Puskar Breast Care Center at the Blue Gate.



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