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GYMNASTICS AT HOME AGAINST ALASKA ANCHORAGE ON FRIDAY NIGHT

GYMNASTICS AT HOME AGAINST ALASKA ANCHORAGE ON FRIDAY NIGHT

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OPENING PASS

The Sacramento State gymnastics team returns to The Nest to host Alaska Anchorage on Friday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. The meet will serve as the team's "Think Pink" night as the Hornets will wear commemorative leotards in an effort to raise awareness for breast cancer.

Sacramento State is hoping to bounce back to its early season form which saw the team score at least 194.400 in its first two meets. Since then, the Hornets have been inconsistent which has dropped the team to 43rd in the latest national rankings.

Those that cannot attend the meet on Friday night can follow along with a live video stream and live stats via Hornetsports.com.

OPPONENT PREVIEW
Alaska Anchorage is 2-4 on the season following a pair of home victories of Wisconsin Stout in their latest action.  The Seawolves were victorious, 188.200-184.425, on Jan. 20 and then posted a 189.350-188.350 win on Jan. 23. The score in the most recent meet set a season high for UAA.

Morgan Ross is tied for ninth in the MPSF on floor with an average of 9.719. She scored 9.875 against Wisconsin-Stout to tie for the 10th best score in school history and set the highest score in the MPSF this year in the event.

Alaska Anchorage is coached by Paul Stoklos who is in his 33rd season leading the Seawolves. Stoklos is the only head coach in UAA gymnastics history.

Sacramento State holds a 45-2 lead against Alaska Anchorage in the all-time series. The Hornets are 18-1 at The Nest with the Seawolves lone victory coming in 1992. Since that point, Sacramento State has won the past 18 meetings.

THE LATEST ACTION
The Sacramento State gymnastics team suffered its first dual meet loss of the season as it fell to UC Davis 194.925-193.050 on Jan. 29 at The Pavilion.

Sacramento State opened the meet on bars and immediately found itself in a whole as the team scored 48.100 compared to a 48.400 from UC Davis on vault. Lauren Rice scored a team best 9.775 to tie for second place overall.

The Hornets started slow on vault during the second rotation before Caitlin Soliwoda scored a season best 9.775 and Julia Konner matched the score two vaults later. In between the two, freshman Alexis Belkoff produced a career high 9.800 to earn her second vault victory of the season.

For the second consecutive meet, Sacramento State had troubles on floor. The Hornets suffered a pair of falls, counting one, leading to a 48.075 team score. Jennifer Brenner led the team with a career high 9.800 and Julia Konner was close behind with a 9.775.
On beam, Sacramento State totaled 48.325, counting five scores between 9.550 and 9.700. Konner, Rice and Caitlin Soliwoda tied for the team lead and placed fifth overall.

GOOD TO BE BACK HOME
Dating back to last season, Sacramento State has averaged 195.038 in its last six home meets. That total includes a 194.900 against San Jose State this season at The Nest.

During the stretch, the Hornets have recorded the top two team scores in school history. The team totaled 196.475 in a dual meet against San Jose State on Feb. 19, 2016 and later added a 196.300 to win the MPSF Championships on March 19.

The only other time Sacramento State has scored at least 196.000 also came at home against Utah State on March 15, 2015 — the final home meet of the year. If you include that score, the Hornets have averaged 195.175 in their last seven home meets.

RANKINGS RECAP
Sacramento State remains the MPSF team leader in pair of events and ranks third in another heading into this week's meet. The Hornets are the top team in the league on vault and beam, rank third on bars and are fourth on floor. The team's average of 193.769 is the second best mark in the MPSF, trailing only UC Davis' 194.019.

On vault, the Hornets hold a narrow (48.719-48.631) edge of San Jose State. Courtney Soliwoda leads team with an average of 9.767 which places her third in the MPSF. Courtney Soliwoda is tied for seventh at 9.756 and freshman Alexis Belkoff is tied for ninth at 9.750.

Sacramento State leads UC Davis by two-tenths on beam with a total of 48.388. The team accounts for four of the top five averages on the event. Caitlin Soliwoda ranks second in the league with an average of 9.763. This year, Soliwoda has scored between 9.700 and 9.800 on all four of her routines. Julia Konner (9.719), Courtney Soliwoda (9.706) and Megan Kyle (9.700) rank third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Riley Hill of Air Force is the league leader with an average of 9.775.

WELCOME ADDITIONS
Head coach Randy Solorio might have a couple of additional options this weekend as Lauren Rice and Jackie Sampson have both been cleared for competition. Rice has been in the lineup on bars and beam but has yet to compete on vault and floor while continuing to recover from offseason surgery. She ranks second in the MPSF on bars with an average of 9.775. She performed an exhibition on floor at UC Davis on Sunday and could be in the lineup as an all-arounder against the Seawolves on Friday. Rice earned a trip to the Salt Lake Regional last year as an all-arounder where she tied for eighth place.

Sampson has yet to compete this season after breaking her foot. As a freshman last season, she competed on bars and beam. The Glendale, Ariz., native scored 9.900 on bars and helped the team set the school record on bars against San Jose State. Her high on beam was 9.800.

ON HER WAY UP
Alexis Belkoff has finished first on vault twice in the first four meets of her career. The freshman most recently scored 9.800 to win the individual event title at UC Davis. Belkoff started her career with a 9.700 at the NorCal Classic and has seen that number continue to edge up with a 9.775 against San Jose State and a 9.725 at Air Force.

NEWS & NOTES
The Hornets will be competing twice in the same week for the second time this season after doing it just once all of last year…Julia Konner did not compete on bars at UC Davis leaving Caitlin Soliwoda as the sole all-arounder for the team for the first time this year.