GYMNASTICS HOSTS FOUR-TEAM MEET IN SEASON OPENER ON FRIDAY
• Sacramento State begins its 2011 season when it hosts Alaska Anchorage, Central Michigan and Wisconsin-La Crosse in a four-team meet on Friday, Jan. 7, at the Hornets Nest.
• The meet marks the first time that the Hornets have opened the year at home since 2008.
• Sacramento State renews is series against Alaska Anchorage after a two-year hiatus. The Hornets lead the all-time series, 39-2.
• Central Michigan holds a 2-0 lead against Sacramento State. The Hornets and Chippewas last met in 2004 season-opener at Stanford.
• The Hornets are 1-0 all-time against Wisconsin-La Crosse. The Eagles last visited the Hornets Nest to open the 2008 season.
THREE EARLY STRIKES
The injury/illness bug has struck Sacramento State once again. The Hornets were prepared to deal with the absence of Cayla Boyce for the season but has since seen that list grow with the addition of Jasmine Lipka and Nicole Meiller.
Boyce, who captured the WAC beam title in 2010 and competed at the NCAA West Regional, had surgery to repair her shoulder following the year and is scheduled to redshirt in 2011.
Lipka was one of the most consistent members on the team a year ago but has been slowed in the past month by illness. The Anchorage, Alaska, native competed in all 11 meets in 2010 and led the team with an RQS of 9.790 on floor. She was also a regular on bars and beam.
Like Boyce, Meiller was also an NCAA West Regional qualifier last season. The then-freshman was the event specialist on vault after leading the Hornets with an RQS of 9.740. However, Meiller will miss at least the first week of the season while continuing to recover from an illness contracted over the holiday break.
WHO’S STEPPING UP
With the giant hole left by Boyce, Meiller and Lipka, Sacramento State will turn to its freshmen class to help fill the void. Kailey Hansen, Elideth Guerrero, Kaila Kilwein, Maddie Montoya, and Katie Osaki are all pencilled in to compete in their collegiate debut.
Hansen redshirted at Washington last season before transferring to the Hornets over the summer. The freshman will likely compete in the all-around. In the team’s intrasquad meet, she scored 9.9 on beam and also had 9.8s on floor and vault.
The Hornets also feature four other seniors who will each compete. The group is comprised of Amanda Bieber, Amanda Blauvelt, Kaitie Kinser and Lissa Zamolo.
Sacramento State was picked to finish tied for fourth in the preseason Western Athletic Conference coaches poll. The Hornets garnered 13 points and finished tied with Utah State. Boise State edged defending champion Southern Utah for the top spot. The Broncos received four first-place votes and finished with 23 points. The Thunderbirds amassed 22 points and received the remaining two first-place nods.
San Jose State, which will host the WAC Championships on March 19, finished third with 14 points. Cal State Fullerton finished sixth with five points.