GYMNASTICS HAS REMATCH WITH SAN JOSE STATE IN TRIANGULAR MEET ON FRIDAY
The Sacramento State gymnastics team will not have to wait long to attempt to enact revenge on San Jose State. The Spartans edged the Hornets by .05 points last Friday (192.800-192.750) in Sacramento and the two teams will meet again on Friday, Feb. 1, in San Jose. The meet will also include Wisconsin-Stout and is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
Sacramento State enters this week with a 1-2 overall and Western Athletic Conference record. The two losses suffered by the Hornets have come by a combined three-tenths of a point. In its last meet, Sacramento State scored a season high point total and increased its total score for the second straight meet. The Hornets were paced by junior Marina Borisova who finished second on vault, first on bars, fifth on beam, tied for first on floor and first in the all-around.
San Jose State remains unbeaten with a 5-0 overall record and a 2-0 mark against WAC teams. The Spartans are currently ranked 34th in the nation following their win over the Hornets. Last Friday, Raylyn Cardeno finished first on vault with a 9.825, Leah Bigelow had the top score on beam (9.725) and Veronica Porte tied Borisova on floor with a 9.775.
Wisconsin-Stout is 3-2 after finishing first in a quadrangular meet against Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Gustavus Adulphus and Hamline. The Blue Devils are averaging 177.792 in their three meets.
Sacramento State leads the all-time series against San Jose State, 35-20-1. Last season, the teams met four times and the Hornets won three. The Hornets won at SJSU, at UC Davis and at the WAC Championships while the Spartans won in Sacramento. Friday’s meet will be the first against the Blue Devils.
Seeing Stars (and Stripes)
In 28 years as a collegiate head coach, Kim Hughes thought he had heard all the excuses to miss practice. That was until Borisova came to him last week to reschedule her Thursday workout in order to attend her swearing-in ceremony to become a United States citizen.
The junior and her family came to the U.S. in 2002 from Kaliningrad, Russia (which is located near the German border). After graduating from Encina HS, Borisova joined the Hornet team in the fall of 2005. To become a U.S. citizen, Borisova had to pass an extensive screening process and then had to study 100 questions about American history and pass that test.
With a perfect score, Borisova received her citizenship at the Crest Theater in downtown Sacramento. She was joined by her mother who also earned citizenship through the same process.
On the Rise
Sacramento State hopes to see its early season trend of increasing scores continue on Friday. The Hornets’ score has risen during every meet this season, most recently with the 192.750 last week against SJSU. However, despite the increased output, the team has yet to be able to crack the top 36 in the national rankings. Sacramento State currently sits 39th nationally with an average of 191.442. The team is .550 points behind Maryland for the final spot into the NCAA Regionals. The rankings are currently being compiled by scoring average but will switch to the regional qualifying score (RQS) formula later in the season.
No Experience Required
Alexis Tsurumoto taught the Hornet coaching staff a valuable lesson a season ago that they did not forget. Tsurumoto missed the first nine meets of the 2007 season with a broken finger and was eased back into competition with an exhibition bars performance against Penn. However, she showed no signs of rust, scoring 9.825.
With that routine in mind, Hughes insert Tsurumoto as the anchor of the bars lineup against San Jose State despite the fact that she only began performing her complete routine in practice just days earlier. Once again, Tsurumoto stepped up to score 9.800 and place second overall in the meet.
Best on Bars
Tsurumoto was not the only one who had success on bars against the Spartans. As a team, the Hornets scored a season best 48.700 during the rotation. Against SJSU, sophomore Eryn Stubblefield began the lineup with a 9.625. Senior Melissa Genovese followed with a 9.700 and junior Amber Basgall added a 9.750. Sacramento State also counted a 9.825 from Borisova before Tsurumoto’s 9.800. Each of those scores, with the exception of Stubblefield’s marked personal bests for the season.
Bars has easily been the team’s most consistent event this season. The Hornets have scored at least 48.150 in each of the three meets this season making bars the only event to do so. The team’s top score last season was 49.075 also against SJSU. That mark is tied for fifth in school history.