GYMNASTICS FINALLY RETURNS HOME, FACES ALASKA ANCHORAGE ON SUNDAY
• After a month away from home, the Sacramento State gymnastics team returns to The Nest to face Alaska Anchorage on Sunday afternoon. The meet will begin at 1 p.m. and will serve as Alumni Day. (Please note the change in start time from the original 2 p.m.)
• The Hornets last competed at home on Feb. 3 where they defeated then-No. 27 Southern Utah. Since that time, Sacramento State finished second in a three-team meet at UC Davis, which also included Oregon State, and was second at Utah State and at No. 20 Denver.
• The team enters this week’s meeting with a 4-7 overall record but is ranked 39th in the latest RQS rankings.
• Alaska Anchorage is 3-6 on the year and will take part in a quad meet at UC Davis on Friday. In that meet, the Seawolves will also face No. 17 Arizona as well as San Jose State.
• Sacramento State and UAA have met 50 times with the Hornets winning 41, including the last 28. Last season, the Seawolves nearly handed Sacramento State an early season loss before the Hornets prevailed 185.875-185.725. Alaska Anchorage last defeated Sacramento State on March 7, 1992.
• Sophomore Melissa Doucette is the team’s top gymnast. Earlier this year, Doucette scored 38.400 in the all-around which was the highest total by UAA gymnast since 2009. She also leads the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with a vault average of 9.738.
THE LAST TIME OUT
Through three rotations the Sacramento State gymnastics team went toe-to-toe with 20th-ranked Denver on Saturday night at Hamilton Gymnasium. Unfortunately for the Hornets, the final rotation was not as kind and the Pioneers prevailed 196.400-193.750.
Sacramento State was poised for a big score on the road, standing at 145.950 after its first three events. However, the team scored 47.800 on beam with three falls ending its hopes for an upset.
DU boasted all four event champions as well as the all-around winner. Moriah Martin finished first on vault and floor with a 9.900 on both events. She also totaled 39.425 to capture the all-around. Louise Mercer won bars with a 9.975 and Melodie Pulgarin Linero took beam with a 9.825.
MY, MY, MEILLER
Junior Nicole Meiller enjoyed her best meet of her career at Denver. The Aurora, Calif., native scored 9.825 on vault and 9.875 on bars to set career highs on both events. She tied for second on bars and tied for third on vault.
This season, Meiller leads the team with an average of 9.782 on bars. Each of her last four routines have resulted in a 9.800 or higher. If her season average holds, it would be the fifth highest in school history since 1998. Lori Gillette currently owns the highest season average on bars, averaging 9.808 in 2002.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN
Sacramento State was near perfect in its first three routines at Denver. The Hornets carried that momentum through their first three competitors on beam as freshman Kayla Wonderly scored a career high 9.725 in the leadoff spot and was followed by a 9.650 from freshman Dallas Smith and a 9.675 from sophomore Elideth Guerrero. From there, however, Sacramento State had a perfect storm on beam as Cayla Beutler, Kailey Hansen and Kalliah McCartney all fell during their routines.
Despite counting two falls, the team still managed to score 47.800 but ended it streak of plus-48 scores at four straight meets. The fall was a rarity for McCartney who entered the competition with a “low” of 9.725 on the season.
A LITTLE MATH
Sacramento State jumped to 39th in the latest rankings with an RQS of 193.385. The team is now ranked ahead of fellow WAC members Southern Utah (41st) and Utah State (44th) as well as regional rivals Cal (47th) and UC Davis (54th).
The Hornets are chasing a spot in the top 36 which would send them to an NCAA regional for the first time since 2008. Kent State currently occupies the final spot with an RQS of 193.565.
In the event that Sacramento State does not qualify for postseason competition as a team, McCartney is a lock to advance as an all-arounder. Currently, Hansen would also qualify on vault and floor and Meiller would go on bars.