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GYMNASTICS CLOSES REGULAR SEASON AGAINST ARIZONA STATE AND BRIDGEPORT

GYMNASTICS CLOSES REGULAR SEASON AGAINST ARIZONA STATE AND BRIDGEPORT

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OPENING PASS
Sacramento State will compete in its final meet of the 2017 regular season when it travels to Tempe, Ariz., to take on Arizona State and Bridgeport in a three-team meet on Friday, March 10, at 6 p.m. PT.

A live video stream of the meet as well as live results can be seen through thesundevils.com.

The Hornets will close the 2017 season at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships at San Jose State on Saturday, March 18. Sacramento State won the team title in 2016 on its home floor.

OPPONENT PREVIEWS
Arizona State earned its first Pac-12 victory of the season as it defeated then 23rd-ranked Arizona, 195.700-195.375. The Sun Devils scored season high on vault, bars and beam in the win.

Nichelle Christopherson is the team's leading all-aroudner with a high of 39.150 which came last week at Arizona.  Christopherson also owns the highest scores on the team this year on bars (9.875) and beam (9.900) .

The ASU roster also features sophomore Corinne Belkoff who is the sister of Hornet freshman Alexis Belkoff. Corinne primarily competes on vault and floor but has seen action on the other two events. Her career highs include 9.800 on vault and 9.875 on floor.

Arizona State is coached by Jay Santos who is in his first season. Santos was previously the head coach at Eastern Michigan. Last year, he guided EWU to an NCAA regional and the team finished the year ranked 17th nationally.

ASU leads the all-time series, 4-0, and the teams have not met since 2014.

Bridgeport scored 194.450 to win a four-team meet in its most recent action. The Purple Knights are the highest ranked team in the ECAC-2 with an RQS of 194.055. Individually, Majesta Valentine is the all-around leader with an RQS of 39.195. Kimberly Stewart leads the league on vault (9.775), Christine Liataud on bars (9.785) and Brianna Comport on beam (9.850) and floor (9.900).

Sacramento State is 6-0 all-time against Bridgeport including a win last season in a four-team meet at Nebraska.

The Purple Knights are coached by Byron Knox who is in his 13th year.

THE LATEST ACTION
Sacramento State held its Senior Night meet on Saturday, March 4, and placed second behind UC Davis and ahead of Seattle Pacific. The Hornets totaled 193.475 and had several high points during the meet as well as a forgettable performance on beam.

The team started on beam and scored 48.650 led by a 9.850 from Julia Konner (t-1st) and a 9.825 from Caitlin Soliwoda. Senior Emily Bolton, who had not competed since the 2015 season, was inserted into the lineup minutes prior to the meet, and scored 9.550 on her final collegiate vault.

On bars, the Hornets scored 48.850 and counted five scores of at least 9.700. Courtney Soliwoda led the way with a 9.850 to tie for first place in the meet.

Four total falls on three beam routines left the team with a 47.000 during the rotation. Caitlin Soliwoda anchored the lineup with a 9.750 for the highest mark on the team.

Sacramento State was able to bounce back on floor in the final rotation with a 48.975. Jennifer Brenner and Caitlin Soliwoda each scored 9.875 and Lauren Rice added a season high 9.800 to spark the team.

CAITLIN MAKES IT TWO STRAIGHT FOR SOLIWODA FAMILY
Junior Caitlin Soliwoda was selected as the MPSF Gymnast of the Week after scoring 39.225 to win the all-around in the team's most recent meet against UC Davis and Seattle Pacific. The honor is the second for Soliwoda this season.

Along with the win in the all-around, Soliwoda also tied for first on balance beam (9.750), tied for second on floor (9.875), was third on vault (9.825) and tied for fourth on bars (9.775). Her all-around score was the second highest of her career.

Soliwoda's honor came a week after her twin sister, Courtney, was named the MPSF Specialist of the Week.

POSTSEASON PROGNOSTICATIONS
Sacramento State will not qualify for an NCAA regional as a team, however, there are plenty of Hornets who are jockeying for an individual berth to the postseason. After the top 36 teams are determined, the top four all-arounders  from non-qualifying teams will earn a trip to the NCAA West Regional. From there, the top two individuals who are not on qualifying teams or all-arounders will be invited on each event.

Caitlin Soliwoda should have one of the four all-around spots locked up. The junior has an RQS of 39.060 which is the best among teams outside of the top 36. Soliwoda could be joined by Lauren Rice as long as she records a decent all-around total in the next two meets. Rice needs two mores scores to create an RQS. Currently, fourth place is held by Alaska Anchorage's Madeleine Arbuckle at 37.995.

Julia Konner is currently second among specialists on vault with an RQS of 9.785. Ariana Harger of Seattle Pacific is the leader at 9.800 while UC Davis' Katy Nogaki is close to Konner at 9.780.

Courtney Soliwoda could earn her first NCAA postseason trip as a beam specialist. Courtney has an RQS of 9.780 which ranks her first among specialists.

Jennifer Brenner is currently on the outside looking in on floor. Brenner's RQS of 9.800 leaves her behind San Jose State's Taylor Chan (9.865) and Harger (9.850).

Last season, Sacramento State was represented by Kalliah McCartney and Rice in the all-around as well as Cassie Benning (bars and beam) and Julia Konner (vault).

NEWS & NOTES
Sacramento State likely loss sophomore Lauren Schmeiss for the season after she injured her foot during warmups on floor prior to the start of the last meet. Schmeiss was slated to start in three events for the team and was replaced in the lineup by Bolton (vault), Brenner (beam) and Anneke Klaver (floor)…the Hornets have dropped to third in the MPSF with an RQS of 194.130. The team's total leaves it behind UC Davis (194.845) and San Jose State (194.355).