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MPSF CHAMPIONSHIPS UP NEXT FOR GYMNASTICS ON SATURDAY

MPSF CHAMPIONSHIPS UP NEXT FOR GYMNASTICS ON SATURDAY

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OPENING PASS
The Sacramento State gymnastics team will have its 2019 season draw to a close this weekend as the team competes at the 2019 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships. The meet will take place at Brougham Pavilion on the campus of Seattle Pacific on Saturday, March 23, at 6 p.m.

Live stats and live video stream will be provided by Seattle Pacific. Links to both can be found on Hornetsports.com.

Sacramento State is in search of its sixth MPSF title in school history. The team finished first in 2002, 2003 and 2004 before moving to the Western Athletic Conference. The Hornets returned to the MPSF and won the conference championship in 2014 and 2016.

The Hornets will be making their third trip to Seattle in just over a month. The team competed at SPU on Feb. 22 and then returned to the Emerald City for a three-team meet at Washington in which Sacramento State scored a season high 194.975.

OPPONENT PREVIEW
UC Davis is the highest ranked team in the MPSF heading into the championship. The Aggies are 39th in the national rankings and still have an outside chance of qualifying for an NCAA regional. The team also leads the MPSF on vault, beam and floor and boasts one of the top all-arounder in Kelley Hebert. Camille Johnson also has the highest NQS of vault in the MPSF at 9.810.

John Lavallee is in his 13th season leading UC Davis. Sacramento State leads the all-time series, 58-38, but UCD went 3-0 against the Hornets during the 2019 regular season.

Air Force is second in the MPSF and 53rd nationally with an NQS of 194.075.  Anna Salamone leads the MPSF on bars with an NQS of 9.870. That mark ties her for 52nd nationally in the event. Mariana Murphy is tied for second in the conference on bars at 9.790.

Doug Day is in his 12th season as the Falcons' head coach. Air Force is the only MPSF team the Hornets have not faced this season. Sacramento State leads the all-time series, 22-3.

San Jose State is one spot back of Air Force in the national rankings. The Spartans are led by Taylor Chan who shares the MPSF lead in the all-around (39.175 NQS) and is also first on floor (9.900).

Joanne Bowers is in her first season leading San Jose State. This week will be the fifth meeting this season between the two teams. SJSU has won three of the previous and has take a narrow 53-52-1 lead in the series.

Alaska Anchorage has enjoyed a resurgent season under second-year head coach Tanya Ho and is 60th in the NQS. The Seawolves are sparked by Sophia Hyderally who leads the conference on beam with an NQS of 9.860. UAA defeated the Hornets this season at Davis but Sacramento State still leads the all-time series, 51-2.

Host Seattle Pacific is 65th nationally but always dangerous at home. Darian Burns is fourth in the MPSF on floor and has scored 39.175 in the all-around this season. Laurel Tindall is in her 44th season at the team's head coach. Sacramento State leads the all-time series, 50-22, but the teams split in the regular season.

THE LATEST ACTION
Led by two event scores of at least 48.575, the Sacramento State gymnastics team closed its regular season with a 192.100 to place fourth in a quad meet at Cal last Sunday.

Sacramento State's high score came on floor where the team again competed with just five gymnasts during the opening rotation. The team totaled 48.600 and had four scores of 9.7 or better. Jordyn Brent led the Hornets with a 9.800 to tie for eighth place. Alexis Belkoff and Lauren Schmeiss each scored 9.775 and Carly Pratt added a 9.700.

The team totaled 48.575 on vault with the help of a career-high tying 9.825 from Schmeiss who tied for eighth place. Brent and Kendra Braida each set career bests during the rotation. Brent received a 9.800 to tie for 12th and Braida scored 9.700.

The Hornets counted a fall in each event and finished with a 47.500 on bars and 47.425 on beam. Brent had the high mark for the team on bars with a 9.700. Destiny Watley ranked second on the team with a 9.650 and Amber Koeth scored 9.600.

On beam, Koeth paced the Hornets with a 9.775 which was just off her career high of 9.800. Jackie Sampson continued her success in the event with a 9.750 and Schmeiss ranked third on the team with a 9.650.

BACKS AGAINST THE WALL
As Sacramento State has been hit hard by the injury bug this season, as the team has been forced to compete with just five gymnasts in the lineup on several occasions. The most recent occurrence came last Sunday where Sacramento State scored 48.600 on floor. The team could add bars to the mix this weekend as Courtnee Marquez was shaken up following a fall on her dismount leaving her questionable for the MPSF meet.

YOU CAN COUNT ON IT
Senior Lauren Schmeiss completed a magnificent regular season in which Sacramento State counted each of her 30 routines towards the team total. The Gig Harbor, Wash., native peaked towards the end of the season as she's scored at least 9.7 on her final five vaults, including a career best tying 9.825 last week at Cal. Schmeiss also set a career best on floor on Senior Night with a 9.850. She started the season with a 9.800 to set her career best on beam at the NorCal Classic.

KILLER B'S
Junior Alexis Belkoff and sophomores Kendra Braida and Jordyn Brent have occupied a good chunk of the team's lineup this season. Brent has been an all-arounder in all 10 meets while Belkoff and Braida have been regulars in three events. Brent has set career highs in all four events as well as the all-around (39.050) this year. Braida has also posted her career bests in each of her events while Belkoff has two PRs this season.

PROBABLE SACRAMENTO STATE LINEUP
  Vault Bars Beam Floor
1. Amber Koeth Alexis Belkoff Kendra Braida Kendra Braida
2. Tara Catour Amber Koeth Lauren Schmeiss Alexis Belkoff
3. Kendra Braida Destiny Watley Amber Koeth Jordyn Brent
4. Lauren Schmeiss Jackie Sampson Jackie Sampson Carly Pratt
5. Jordyn Brent Jordyn Brent Jordyn Brent Lauren Schmeiss
6. Alexis Belkoff None Carly Pratt None