The Sacramento State gymnastics team will make its first trip outside of Northern California this season when it travels to Logan, Utah to compete in a three-team meet which includes Utah State and San Jose State on Friday, Jan. 19. The meet will begin at 6 p.m. PT at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Fans can watch a live stream of the meet via the Mountain West Network. There will also be live scores via utahstateaggies.com.
While Sacramento State will be competing for the third time this season, both USU and SJSU will be in action for the second time in 2018. The Spartans and Hornets previously met at the NorCal Classic on Jan. 8 and will face each other next week in San Jose.
Utah State opened the year with a loss at Bowling Green (194.825-192.975) on Jan. 13. Despite losing the meet, the Aggies swept the individual titles on all four events as well as the all-around. Madison Ward finished first on floor (9.875) and vault (9.850). Freshman Autumn DeHarde had the top score on beam (9.875) in her first collegiate meet and Jazmyn Estrella won bars with a 9.800. Leighton Vanradore, who's also a freshman, captured the all-around title with a total of 38.475.
Amy Smith is in her first season as the Aggies' head coach. Smith was previously an assistant at North Carolina before taking the USU job in July. Smith previously coached at UCLA, Florida and Missouri. She graduated from UCLA in 2001 and was a two-time co-captain for the Bruins.
The Hornets and Utah State have not met since 2014. Sacramento State leads the all-time series, 16-8, including a 5-3 mark in Logan, Utah.
San Jose State placed third at the NorCal Classic on Jan. 8. The Spartans set the school record in a season-opening meet after scoring 194.475 to trail only Cal and Stanford in the meet.
SJSU had four different individuals lead the team at the NorCal Classic. Kaprece Nadonza scored a team-best 9.750 on vault, Kaitlin Won had a 9.875 on bars, Stephanie Relova received a 9.775 on beam and Taylor Chan tallied a 9.875 on floor.
Wayne Wright is in his 17th season as San Jose State's head coach. Wright has led the Spartans to seven NCAA regional appearances and the 2017 MPSF team title.
THE LATEST ACTION
Jordyn Brent finished first on bars with a 9.800 to highlight the night for Sacramento State against Washington at The Nest. The Hornets finished the evening with a total of 191.500 while the 15th-ranked Huskies totaled 195.350.
Sacramento State opened the meet on vault with a 48.350. The team was led by Annie Juarez who finished fourth at 9.750.
The Hornets kept things close through the second rotation with a 48.575 on bars, led by a 9.800 from Brent.
Sacramento State struggled on beam and found itself down by almost two points after the third rotation. Rice tied for third at 9.775 and Juarez set her personal best in the event with a 9.650. However, the team was forced to count a fall and ended with a 47.625.
On floor, Sacramento State had two falls on its first three routines. The exception was senior Jennifer Brenner who scored 9.750 to tie for third place in the event.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Sacramento State has hit on two events and counted falls in the other two in each of the first two meets of the year. The Hornets were solid on beam and floor at the NorCal Classic before successful runs on vault and bars against Washington.
If the team counted its top score on each event through the first two meets it would total a 194.150. That score is nearly two points higher than the Hornets have scored in 2018.
ONE IN, ONE OUT
Senior Caitlin Soliwoda injured her heels at the NorCal Classic, ending her night after two events and keeping her out of the lineup against Washington. The all-arounder is expected to return to action at Utah State and is slated to compete in all four events for the first time this season.
The return of Soliwoda should provide a boost but the team will be without senior Lauren Rice. The all-arounder, who has qualified for an NCAA Regional in her first three seasons, sprained her ankle on her final pass on floor against UW. Rice was on pace for a solid all-around score against the Huskies before the injury. There is no timetable for her return.
THAT DIDN'T TAKE LONG
The first individual title of the season for Sacramento State was claimed by freshman Jordyn Brent who scored 9.800 on bars against Washington. The Los Angeles native has been in the lineup on vault, bars and floor in both meets this year and also had an exhibition on beam against UW. She is averaging 9.788 on bars and 9.675 on vault. Brent also has a high of 9.725 on floor.
Last season, both Alexis Belkoff and Tara Catour won events as freshmen. Belkoff had the top score on vault in two meets and Catour was victorious on vault, beam and floor.
Annie Juarez and Jennifer Brenner have led the team on vault and floor, respectively, in the first two meets. Juarez leads the team with an average of 9.775 on vault and also made her all-around debut against Washington. The Westfield, Ind., has also been consistent on floor with a pair of 9.725s.
Brenner scored 9.800 to pace the team on floor at the NorCal Classic. That score is more impressive when you take into consideration the fact that the senior led off the rotation for the team. She moved to second in the lineup against the Huskies but still scored 9.750. The senior will also make her season debut on beam at Utah State. She competed in the event just once last season.
|PROBABLE SACRAMENTO STATE LINEUP|
|1. Tara Catour||Courteney Ng||Kendra Braida||Alexis Belkoff|
|2. Courtney Soliwoda||Annie Juarez||Jackie Sampson||Jordyn Brent|
|3. Jordyn Brent||Jackie Sampson||Jennifer Brenner||Jennifer Brenner|
|4. Alexis Belkoff||Jordyn Brent||Annie Juarez||Jackie Sampson|
|5. Caitlin Soliwoda||Caitlin Soliwoda||Caitlin Soliwoda||Annie Juarez|
|6. Annie Juarez||Courtney Soliwoda||Courtney Soliwoda||Caitlin Soliwoda|
|ex. TBA||None||Lauren Schmeiss||None|