GYMNASTICS READIES FOR A PAIR OF AGGIES

GYMNASTICS READIES FOR A PAIR OF AGGIES

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OPENING PASS
Having not competed at home in nearly a month, the Sacramento State gymnastics team will settle for the next best thing as the team makes the short trip across the Causeway to face UC Davis and Utah State in a three-team meet on Friday, Feb. 9, at the Pavilion.

The meet will count toward the annual Causeway Cup — the all-sport competition between Sacramento State and UC Davis. The meet on March 16 at The Nest will also go toward the total.

The Hornets have not competed in Sacramento since Jan. 12 and will compete on the road for fourth consecutive meet and fifth time in six meets this year.

Live scores from Friday's meet can be accessed through hornetsports.com. UC Davis will provide a live video stream through its Facebook page. Hornet gymnastics will also stream its events through its Facebook page.

OPPONENT PREVIEW
UC Davis is 5-5 on the season after finishing second to Stanford last week. The Aggies scored a season high 195.150 and have moved up to 43rd in the national rankings. Kyla Kessler was named the MPSF Freshman of the Week after scoring 39.250 in the all-around. That score tied the school record by a freshman and she tied for the event wins on beam (9.825) and floor (9.875), while setting new season bests on vault (9.800) and bars (9.750).

Alexis Brown, who was the MPSF Gymnast of the Year last season, remains the team leader with an average of 39.156 in the all-around. She also owns averages of at least 9.8 on bars, beam and floor.

John Lavallee is in his 12th season as the UC Davis head coach. The Hornets lead the all-time series against the Aggies, 57-34.

Utah State and Sacramento State will be meeting for the second time this season. The Aggies scored 195.450 to win a three-team meet in Logan, Utah, which also included San Jose State on Jan. 19.

Utah State is 2-3 overall but is ranked 37th nationally. The Aggies most recently scored 195.150 in a loss to 16th-ranked Boise State. USU has had six gymnasts win individual events this season, including three freshmen.  Autumn DeHorde scored a career high 9.925 to finish first on floor last week against BSU.

Amy Smith is in her first season leading Utah State. The Hornets hold a 16-9 lead in the all-time series.

THE LATEST ACTION
Sacramento State earned a victory from Annie Juarez in the all-around and also saw Caitlin and Courtney Soliwoda each win an individual event title at the Seawolf Invitational on Feb. 3. The Hornets scored 193.000 to finish in second place. The team defeated host Alaska Anchorage (190.125) but fell to Air Force (193.100).

Sacramento State opened the meet on beam and immediately placed itself in a hole after scoring 47.900. Annie Juarez scored a career high 9.775 which helped her finish third in the meet.

The Hornets improved during the second rotation, scoring 48.175 on floor. Juarez tied for second in the meet with a 9.850 for her season best and Caitlin Soliwoda tied for fourth place at 9.775.

The Falcons stretched their lead to 144.925-144.175 after the third rotation. The Hornets were led by Caitlin Soliwoda who tied for first with AFA's Anna Salamone with a 9.775.

Sacramento State nearly pulled off the comeback with a 48.825 on bars. Jordyn Brent scored a career high 9.825 to finish in second place.

JUAREZ NAMED MPSF GYMNAST OF THE WEEK
Following a career best performance, Sacramento State senior Annie Juarez was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Week. The honor is the first for Juarez during her career. She is the second Hornet to be recognized by the MPSF this season, joining Kendra Braida who was the MPSF Freshman of the Week on Jan. 23.

Competing in a three-team meet at Alaska Anchorage, Juarez finished first in the all-around with a career high of 39.125. The Westfield, Ind., native opened the competition with a career high 9.775 on beam where she tied for third place. She them scored a season high 9.850 on floor to place second. A 9.700 on vault was followed by a 9.800 on bars where she finished third. Her total marked the first time this season that a Hornet gymnast has surpassed 39 points in the all-around.
Juarez missed all of the 2016 season and most of 2017 while recovering from an injury. She has returned this year to compete in the all-around for the first time in her career. She currently leads the team on floor with an average of 9.780 and ranks second on vault at 9.745.

BREAKING BARRIERS ON BARS
The Hornets saved their best performance of the year for the final rotation at Alaska Anchorage. Sacramento State scored 48.825 on bar which was the highest score on any event in 2018 for the team. Senior Courteney Ng opened with a 9.625 and was followed by a career high 9.825 from Jordyn Brent who finished in second place. Two gymnasts later, Annie Juarez contributed a 9.800 which placed her third in the competition. Caitlin Soliwoda added a 9.725 before Courtney Soliwoda closed the event with a 9.850 to win the individual title and give the team a sweep of the top three spots.

FRESHMEN TAKING CONTROL
Nearing the midway point of the season, Sacramento State is led by freshmen in a pair of events. Braida owns an average of 9.675 for the highest score on beam. The Elk Grove native has scored between 9.575 and 9.800 in her five routines this season. Her high score of 9.800 came at Utah State.

Brent owns an average of 9.750 on bars in five routines. She has three scores of at least 9.775, including a career best 9.825 last weekend in Alaska. All five of Brent's scores have been 9.675 or better.

NEWS & NOTES
Ten of Caitlin Soliwoda's 14 routines this season have received a score of 9.7 or better…17 of the 19 gymnasts on the team have performed in the lineup or as an exhibition this season…the Hornet leotards were voted as one of the top five in the nation in a recent online poll…Sacramento State will have 35 days between home meets (Jan. 12-Feb. 16).

PROBABLE SACRAMENTO STATE LINEUP
Vault Bars Beam Floor
1. Courtney Soliwoda Courteney Ng Kendra Braida Carly Pratt
2. Jordyn Brent Jordyn Brent Lauren Schmeiss Jordyn Brent
3. Alexis Belkoff Jackie Sampson Jackie Sampson Tara Catour
4. Caitlin Soliwoda Annie Juarez Annie Juarez Jackie Sampson
5. Annie Juarez Caitlin Soliwoda Caitlin Soliwoda Annie Juarez
6. Tara Catour Courtney Soliwoda Courtney Soliwoda Caitlin Soliwoda
ex. Katelyn Garay None Jordyn Brent Alexis Belkoff