SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Melissa Genovese, who starred for the Hornet gymnastics program and has spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach, has been elevated to associate head coach.
Since joining the coaching staff in August of 2015, Genovese has been responsible for the Hornet beam team and also assists on floor and with recruiting. She will continue in those positions while also taking on a greater role in the day-to-day activities of the team.
"Melissa continues to grow as a coach and shows great leadership and initiative in the gym," head coach Randy Solorio said. "She has an ability to get the athletes to reach for their goals and cares for them. She's a big proponent of making sure that they are taken care of as a person first which helps them athletically."
During her first season on the staff (2016), Genovese coached Kalliah McCartney and Lauren Rice to MPSF titles as each scored 9.850. In 2017, Caitlin Soliwoda earned all-MPSF honors after placing third on beam with a 9.900 at the conference championships. Caitlin Soliwoda and Rice each advanced to the NCAA Seattle Regional as all-arounders and were joined by Courtney Soliwoda who was a beam specialist.
In 2018, Sacramento State tied its 10th best beam score with a 49.025 against San Jose State and Seattle Pacific after the team counted five scores between 9.725 and 9.875. Following the year, Annie Juarez and Caitlin Soliwoda qualified for the NCAA Salt Lake Regional as all-arounders and Courtney Soliwoda returned as a beam specialist. Juarez had never competed on beam prior to 2018 and finished the season with an RQS of 9.785 and a high score of 9.875. Courtney Soliwoda wrapped up the year with an RQS of 9.835 which ranked fourth in school history behind only Genovese (2007-08) and McCartney (2013).
"I think this is a wonderful opportunity to be able to give more back to the program and be able to help these young women succeed in and out of the gym" Genovese said. "I've always believed it is about the people we coach first and foremost and I am honored to be able to have an impact on their lives in this role. I feel very humbled and excited to be in this position at the school that gave so much to me as an athlete and person, and couldn't be more thankful. I can't wait to see what we accomplish this season."
Genovese competed for the Hornets from 2005-08 where she was a part of three conference championship teams. She also qualified for an NCAA regional all four years of her career and was the 2007 Western Athletic Conference individual beam champion.
As a senior, Genovese set the Sacramento State record with a 9.950 on beam in her final home routine — a score which remains the best in Hornet history. She also is tied for second place with a 9.925 and has four 9.900s to tie for sixth.
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