GYMNASTICS SEARCHES FOR THIRD CONSECUTIVE WAC TITLE ON SATURDAY
Fresh off its best road score of the season, the Sacramento State gymnastics team will look to capture its third straight Western Athletic Conference championship this Saturday, March 29, at Boise State. The meet will begin at 5 p.m. PDT and take place at Taco Bell Arena.
The WAC will also provide video streaming of the meet. For a cost of $10.95, fans can watch the meet via www.wac.tv.
The Hornets come into the meet with a 10-8 overall record after finishing second in a quad meet hosted by UC Davis. Sacramento State scored 194.600 and picked up wins over UC Davis (194.275) and San Jose State (193.900). Stanford finished first with an amazing team score of 197.000.
Individually, junior Marina Borisova tied for first on floor with a score of 9.900 and tied for first on beam with a 9.850.
The WAC meet has been kind to Sacramento State in the past. The Hornets won the title in 2006 with a score of 193.950. Last year, the Hornets edged Southern Utah, 195.275-195.225, to win its second straight title. Winning league meets, however, is nothing new to the team as Sacramento State has won its conference title seven of the last eight years.
Not only will Boise State have home-floor advantage, the Broncos are the top-ranked team entering the meet. BSU is currently ranked 16th nationally and defeated the Hornets earlier this year at Taco Bell Arena.
Sacramento State is 0-1 against Cal State Fullerton this season, 1-2 against SJSU, 1-0 against Southern Utah and 1-0 against Utah State.
Numbers Can Be Deceiving
While it appears Sacramento State has fallen out of the top 36 spots in the national rankings, the Hornets are indeed headed for their third straight postseason appearance. Sacramento State’s score from Sunday night’s meet was not included in the latest rankings leaving the team just a fraction of a point behind New Hampshire for the final postseason spot. However, once the Hornets’ score from the UC Davis meet is factored, the team is guaranteed to finish now worse than 36th in the rankings with an RQS of 193.990.
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.
The team could finish as high as 32nd in the rankings if it is able to beat its top score of 195.250.
Back on Track
After winning the previous two WAC titles on floor, Marina Borisova headed into the 2008 season as one of the favorites in the conference. However, a couple of uncharacteristic falls at the start of the year pushed her back in the regional rankings. While not ranked at the top of the list, Borisova has gotten back on track over the last few weeks on floor.
In her last three routines, Borisova has scored 9.825, 9.875 and 9.900, respectively. At UC Davis, she tied for the top spot along with Stanford’s Tenaya West. Borisova also finished in a three-way tie for first on beam along with Stanford’s Kelly Fee and UC Davis’ Michelle Hurlock with a 9.850.
Her all-around score of 39.275 ranked second in the meet behind Stanford’s Tabitha Yim and was the highest by a Hornet this season.
With Borisova’s tie for first on beam, Sacramento State has now had a gymnast either win or tie for the top spot on beam in 10 of the 11 meets this year. The lone exception came two weeks ago at Oregon State.
As a team, the Hornets have practically re-written the record book. Dating back to the final two meets of last season, Sacramento State has recorded the top seven scores on beam in school history. The highest total came at last season’s WAC Championships where the Hornets scored 49.325. The top score this year (48.075) came against Cal, UC Davis and Seattle Pacific in the home finale.
Individually, senior Melissa Genovese owns the top RQS in the WAC with a mark of 9.885. The defending conference champion, Genovese has finished first seven times this year and ranks eighth nationally.
Hard to Stop the Chanimal
As a freshman, Alycia Chan has been given a handful of nicknames by her teammates. No matter what she is called, she has established herself as the top vaulter on the team and a key asset in two other events. This past meet, Chan scored a team season-best 9.875 on vault and helped lead the Hornets to a season high 48.500 in the event.