GYMNASTICS SENIOR NIGHT TO TAKE PLACE ON FRIDAY AGAINST UC DAVIS, CAL AND SPU
With three straight scores of at least 193.000, the Sacramento State gymnastics team will continue its search for a third consecutive postseason berth this Friday, March 7, when it welcomes UC Davis, California and Seattle Pacific to the Hornets Nest at 7 p.m. The meet will be the final home contest for the Hornets this season and will serve as the team’s Senior Night. Following the action, Sacramento State will pay tribute to Melissa Genovese, Nicole Giao, Hava McCarter-Ribakoff, Alyssa Onaga and Alexis Tsurumoto who will all be competing at the Hornets Nest for the final time.
The Hornets enter the contest with a 5-4 overall record after defeating Alaska Anchorage, 193.375-191.625, on Sunday, March 2. In the meet, Sacramento State claimed the individual title in all four events as well as the all-around en route to beating the Seawolves for the 28th consecutive time. Freshman Alycia Chan finished first on vault and tied for first on floor, junior Amber Basgall won bars and senior Melissa Genovese won the beam title and tied Chan on floor. In the all-around, sophomore Eryn Stubblefield claimed her first title in her two years with the team.
Sacramento State is the highest ranked team among the four in this week’s meet. The Hornets are 36th in the latest national rankings. The team will need to hold that spot or improve its ranking to reach the postseason in the new format. Cal is 48th, UC Davis is 52nd and Seattle Pacific is 61st as of March 3.
Do the Math
Sacramento State dropped from 33rd to 36th in the national rankings based on its regional qualifying score (RQS). 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. The Hornets are one of four Western Athletic Conference school currently ranked in the top 36. Boise State holds the highest ranking at 22nd. The Broncos are one spot ahead of Southern Utah and San Jose State is 35th.
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.
Sacramento State is still counting a home score of 192.750 which came against San Jose State on Jan. 25. If the team is able to top that mark this Friday, then its score will continue to rise.
End of an Era
Sacramento State will say goodbye to five seniors who will be competing in their final home meet this Friday. Below is a brief recap of the five in alphabetical order:
Nicole Giao — Has been a key contributor on vault, beam and floor since her freshman season…had the high score on the team on vault at last season’s WAC Championship and at the NCAA West Regional.
Melissa Genovese — Set the school record on beam earlier this season with a 9.925…was an event specialist on beam at the NCAA West Regional as a freshman…finished sixth on beam at last year’s NCAA Regional for the highest finish in school history…also won the 2007 WAC title on beam.
Hava McCarter-Ribakoff — Was a major part of the beam lineup during her freshman season…has had two major knee injuries which has limited her ability to compete…will perform on beam on Friday.
Alyssa Onaga — Has performed on bars and floor during her four years…scored 9.750 on bars against UC Davis as a junior.
Alexis Tsurumoto — The lone fifth-year senior on the team…qualified for the NCAA West Regional as an event specialist on bars as a redshirt freshman…scored a career best 9.900 at the 2005 MPSF Championship which ranks seventh in school history.
Eight is Not Enough
Sacramento State’s beam dominance continued on Sunday against Alaska Anchorage when Genovese won for the sixth time this season. The team has now had the individual winner or tied for the top spot in all eight meets this year.
Genovese’s 9.900 score was her second highest of the season and ties for the third highest in school history. For her effort, she was named the WAC Specialist of the Week for the third time this season.
Get Well Soon
It would be easier to provide the list of those Hornet gymnasts who have not been hit by the flu this season than to list the ones who have. Last Sunday, the illness knocked Marina Borisova out of the lineup ending her streak of 27 straight all-arounds. Genovese also ended a run 23 all-arounds due to a lingering arm injury which kept her off bars.