GYMNASTICS TRAVELS TO BOISE STATE FOR WAC SHOWDOWN ON FRIDAY
Fresh off its best score of the season, the Sacramento State gymnastics team will look to carry its momentum into this week’s meet at Boise State. The Hornets scored 194.675 last Friday (Feb. 15) in a win over then-No. 15 Southern Utah. This week’s challenge provides no relief as Sacramento State will square off against a BSU team which has averaged 194.710 this season in five meets and owns a 6-1 record.
In the win over the Thunderbirds on Friday, Sacramento State set season highs as a team in overall score, beam and floor and also tied its season high on vault. Individually, senior Melissa Genovese finished first on beam and floor, junior Marina Borisova won the all-around and tied for the top spot on vault with freshman Alycia Chan.
This week’s meet will serve as a dress rehearsal for the Hornets for the WAC Championships which will be hosted by Boise State on March 29. Sacramento State has had the advantage of competing at the site of the WAC meet during the regular season each of the last two years and the practice has apparently paid off as the team has won the title both seasons.
Boise State recorded the best score in the WAC this season with a 196.425 at Cal State Fullerton on Sunday, Feb. 17. The Broncos were led by freshman Amy Glass who earned WAC Gymnast of the Week honors after scoring 39.350 in the all-around.
The all-time series between the two teams is tied, 6-6. Sacramento State, however, has won the last four meetings dating back to the 2006 WAC Championships.
Room for Two
Prior to the start of the season, Hughes referred to Genovese as the “best in school history (on beam)”. Friday night against Southern Utah, the El Dorado Hills, Calif., native backed up that statement with a near-perfect routine which tied the school record of 9.925. That score not only matched Nirvana Zaher’s mark from 2002, it capped a magnificent run for the team during the rotation. The Hornets scored 49.000 which ranks as the third best in program history. The top five scores on beam in school history have all come in the last two years.
Individually, Genovese was named the WAC Specialist of the Week for the second time this season and the third time in her career. Last year, she won the WAC title in the event and was sixth at the NCAA West Regional for the highest finish ever by a Sacramento State gymnast in an NCAA postseason meet. Genovese also padded her resume against the Thunderbirds by winning on floor for the first time in her four-year career with a 9.850.
Do the Math
This week brought on the start of the regional qualifying score (RQS) to determine the national rankings. The formula takes a team’s top six scores (only three of which can be at home), drops the high score and then averages the remaining five. Despite the performance against SUU last week, Sacramento State is currently not eligible for the rankings because it does not have three road scores yet this year.
New this season is the fact that the top 36 RQSs in the nation will qualify for NCAA postseason competition regardless of the region. However, the individual all-arounders and event specialists will be determined by regional rankings.
View From the Top
Freshman Alycia Chan made her way into the top three in all three of her events last Friday against Southern Utah. The Langley, British Columbia, native tied for first on vault, was second on floor and tied for third on beam. Chan scored 9.750 on vault to match the effort by Marina Borisova and Southern Utah’s Melissa Johnson. Her share of the win marked the fourth time this season and third consecutive week in which she has claimed the top spot. On beam, Chan tied her career high with a 9.800 and she later established her high on floor with a 9.825.
Back on the Beam
Not too long ago, Sacramento State used to hope for the best on beam. Occasionally, the team would score well but more times than not it was the Hornets’ weakest of the four events. Things began to change last year where Sacramento State posted the best two team beam scores in school history. That streak has continued into this season where the Hornets have recorded the third, fourth and fifth best marks.
In the meet against Southern Utah, each of the Sacramento State’s six gymnasts in the lineup scored at least 9.675. The team also received a solid 9.775 from Nicole Giao as an exhibition.