GYMNASTICS FACES SOME OF THE NATION'S BEST AT SALBASGEON SUITES INVITATIONAL
The Sacramento State gymnastics team will compete in one of the toughest meets in the nation this year as it travels to Corvallis, Ore., for the 2008 Salbasgeon Suites Invitational on Sat., March 15. The meet, which is hosted by Oregon State, features the 8th-ranked Beavers, 14th-ranked Missouri, 19th-ranked Boise State and the 36th-ranked Hornets.
Sacramento State enters the week with an 8-4 record after defeating California, UC Davis and Seattle Pacific in the final home meet of the year. The Hornets scored a season best 195.250 which ranks as the sixth highest score in school history.
Individually, Melissa Genovese was named the Western Athletic Conference Specialist of the Week for the fourth time this season after winning the title on balance beam. Genovese scored 9.950 to break the school record of 9.925 she previously shared with Nirvana Zaher. Genovese also tied for the top spot on floor with sophomore Eryn Stubblefield while junior Marina Borisova was first on bars.
This week’s meet pits the Hornets against three teams they have faced in their last two postseason competitions. Sacramento State lost to Oregon State but defeated Boise State at the 2006 NCAA West Regional at Stanford. The following year, the team fell to Missouri at the NCAA West Regional hosted by Cal.
Do the Math
Sacramento State remained 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.
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 road scores of 191.450 and 192.575 which came at San Jose State and Utah State, respectively. If the team is able to top either mark Saturday, then its score will continue to rise.
End of an Era
In front of a capacity crowd at the Hornets Nest, Sacramento State bid farewell to its five seniors last Friday night. The seniors responded in style by hitting each of their routines en route to a season high team score.
The list of seniors is comprised of Genovese, Nicole Giao, Hava McCarter-Ribakoff, Alyssa Onaga and Alexis Tsurumoto. Genovese scored 9.525 on vault, a season-high 9.775 on bars, 9.950 on beam and 9.875 on floor for a season-best 39.125 in the all-around. Giao recorded a 9.625 on vault and a 9.700 on floor and also had a 9.675 exhibition on beam.
McCarter-Ribakoff, who has performed only once since 2005 due to multiple knee injuries, had exhibitions of 9.550 on bars and 9.400 on beam. Onaga also had a pair of exhibitions, scoring 9.475 on bars and 9.500 on floor. Tsurumoto completed the group with a 9.775 on bars.
The Streak Continues
Sacramento State’s beam dominance continued in the quadrangular meet when Genovese won for the seventh time this season. The team has now had the individual winner or tied for the top spot in all nine meets this year. The Hornets also posted a team score of 49.075 which is a season high and ranks third in school history. Cracking the top 10 on beam is nothing new for the team as it has now posted the top six scores in school history over the last two seasons.
No Place Like Home
Although Sacramento State has not competed at Gill Coliseum since scoring its school record 195.875 at the 2004 Salbasgeon Suites Invitational, one Hornet gymnast will feel right at home in the building. Sophomore Eryn Stubblefield is a native of Corvallis, Ore., and will get to perform in front of friends and family for the first time as a Hornet. In her most recent action, Stubblefield tied for the top spot on floor with a career-high 9.875. She was also in the lineup on vault and beam but did not compete on bars, snapping a streak of 10 consecutive all-arounds.
Moving On Up
Genovese’s beam performance on Friday night raised her RQS for the event to 9.880 which ranks sixth nationally. Her mark is also the best in the WAC and second in the region, trailing only Oregon State’s Jamie Lanz who is third at 9.900. Genovese’s 9.950 score is tied for the second best in the nation this year.