Everything is a little brighter for the Sacramento State gymnastics team this week. After a slow start to the season, the Hornets have posted their two best scores of the year in the last two meets. Most recently, Sacramento State score 195.400 which is the highest in the MPSF this year and moved the team up three spots in the national rankings.
The Hornets will look to continue its mid-season surge on Friday night as it travels to Seattle Pacific for a three-team meet at Brougham Pavilion. The meet will also include Alaska Anchorage and will start at 7 p.m. PT.
This will be the second time Sacramento State will face both teams this season. The Hornets won at Alaska Anchorage on Feb. 3 and defeated SPU last weekend at The Nest. UAA comes to Sacramento on March 9 and all three teams will take part in the MPSF Championships on March 24 at Air Force.
Seattle Pacific is 1-10 on the year. The Falcons scored a season-high 191.325 in their opening meet of the year against UC Davis. The team most recently scored 189.200 in Sacramento.
Darian Burns leads SPU on vault, floor and the all-around. The sophomore has a high of 9.700 or better in all four events this year.
Laurel Tindall is in her fourth decade associated with Seattle Pacific gymnastics. She was an All-American as a gymnast and has been the head coach since 1976.
Alaska Anchorage is 3-6 after a pair of wins at Centenary last weekend in Louisiana. The Seawolves scored 188.500 on Feb. 9 and 189.050 on Feb. 11. The team's best score of 190.125 came on Feb. 3 in a home meet.
Former Sacramento State assistant Tanya Ho is in her first year as the UAA head coach.
Isabelle Fox is the team's leader in the all-around with an average of 38.346. She also has the highest average among the team on beam and floor.
THE LATEST ACTION
Sacramento State scored a season best 195.400 and earned victories over San Jose State (194.050) and Seattle Pacific (189.200) last Friday at The Nest. The score was a full point above the team's previous season high.
Sacramento State started the night on vault and found itself in an early deficit. The Hornets scored 48.475 but trailed SJSU which totaled 48.700 on bars. Sacramento State counted five scores between 9.575 and 9.775 during the rotation. The team was led Juarez's 9.775.
The meet turned during the second rotation as the Hornets scored 48.975 for their then-season high on any event. The Spartans had three falls on beam resulting in a 47.650. Jackie Sampson scored 9.875 to earn the event title. Sacramento State had four of the top five individual scores in the event.
The season high on bars did not last long as the Hornets totaled 49.025 on beam to extend their lead. After a fall from the first gymnast, the team posted five scores of at least 9.725 and broke 49 in the event for the first time since the 2016 MPSF Championships. Caitlin Soliwoda scored a season high 9.875 to earn a share of the event title with SJSU's Chelsey Andrada.
Sacramento State nearly reached 49 for a second time during the night as it finished with 48.925 on floor. The team counted scores between 9.700 and 9.850 for its season high. Senior Jennifer Brenner and Juarez tied for first with the Spartans' Taylor Chan at 9.850.
SAMPSON SHINES IN RETURN
Junior Jackie Sampson had been a fixture in the Hornet lineup having competed in bars and beam in the first five meets of the year and on floor in four of those contests. That streak was snapped when she was held out of competition on Feb. 9 at UC Davis.
Sampson returned against Seattle Pacific and SJSU last week and set season highs in all three events. She finished alone in first place on bars with a 9.875 to earn her second title in the event this season. Her beam score of 9.850 was a career best and led her to a third-place finish while she tied a career high on floor with a 9.750.
DOUBLING DOWN ON 39
Annie Juarez and Caitlin Soliwoda each scored season bests in the all-around to finish first and second, respectively, in the meet against San Jose State and Seattle Pacific. The duo each surpassed 39 points for the second consecutive week as Juarez scored a career best 39.200 and Soliwoda was close behind at 39.175.
Juarez led the team on vault and tied for third overall at 9.775. She tied for third on bars with a 9.800 before scoring 9.775 on beam. Juarez completed her meet with a career high 9.875 on floor to tie for first place.
Soliwoda opened with a 9.750 on vault and added a 9.775 on bars. She shared the top honor on beam with a season-best 9.875 and ended with a 9.775.
Soliwoda now ranks second in the MPSF in the all-around with an average of 38.980. All five of her all-around scores this season have been 38.800 or better. Juarez is seventh in the league but will likely rocket up the rankings once RQS is used to sort the leaders. Along with three scores of at least 39.125, Juarez is also counting three between 37.225-37.850 in her average.
BRENNER BREAKS THROUGH ON FLOOR
Jennifer Brenner tied Juarez and San Jose State's Taylor Chan for first place on floor as all three received a 9.850. The senior's score was her best of the year and close to her career high of 9.875. Brenner's path to first place on floor has been a rocky one this season. The Oviedo, Fla., native started the season with a 9.800 on floor at the NorCal Classic. Her scores continued to drop each of the next four meets and she was scheduled to come out of the lineup two weeks ago at UC Davis. Instead, Sampson's absence led to Brenner coming back to the event where she scored 9.675. One week later she earned her second title in the event during her career.
NEWS & NOTES
Eighteen of Caitlin Soliwoda's 22 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.
April 6, 2018 THREE GYMNASTS BEGIN NCAA POSTSEASON ON SATURDAY
March 26, 2018 TRIO OF GYMNASTS SELECTED TO NCAA SALT LAKE REGIONAL
March 24, 2018 GYMNASTICS FINISHES FOURTH AT THE MPSF CHAMPIONSHIPS
March 22, 2018 GYMNASTICS EYES CONFERENCE TITLE AT MPSF CHAMPIONSHIPS
February 23, 2018 GYMNASTICS SCORES 194.075 TO RECORD TWO ROAD VICTORIES
February 22, 2018 GYMNASTICS LOOKS TO CONTINUE HOT STREAK IN TRI-MEET ON FRIDAY
February 16, 2018 GYMNASTICS POSTS SEASON HIGH 195.400, EARNS PAIR OF VICTORIES
February 15, 2018 GYMNASTICS FINALLY BACK HOME FOR TRI-MEET ON FRIDAY
February 9, 2018 BRENT, JUAREZ WIN EVENTS AS GYMNASTICS SETS SEASON HIGH
February 8, 2018 GYMNASTICS READIES FOR A PAIR OF AGGIES
February 6, 2018 JUAREZ NAMED MPSF GYMNAST OF THE WEEK
February 2, 2018 GYMNASTICS HEADS TO THE FRONTIER LOOKING TO BOUNCE BACK
January 26, 2018 GYMNASTICS SUFFERS SET BACK AT SAN JOSE STATE
January 25, 2018 GYMNASTICS BACK ON THE ROAD AGAINST FAMILIAR FOE ON FRIDAY
January 23, 2018 BRAIDA NAMED MPSF FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
January 19, 2018 GYMNASTICS SCORES SEASON HIGH, SAMPSON TIES FOR FIRST ON BARS
January 18, 2018 GYMNASTICS TRAVELS TO UTAH STATE FOR THREE-TEAM MEET ON FRIDAY
January 12, 2018 BRENT WINS ON BARS, GYMNASTICS TOPPED BY HUSKIES
January 10, 2018 GYMNASTICS HOSTS WASHINGTON FOR KIDS DAY ON FRIDAY
January 8, 2018 JUAREZ LEADS GYMNASTICS AT NORCAL CLASSIC
January 7, 2018 GYMNASTICS STARTS SEASON AT NORCAL CLASSIC ON MONDAY
December 8, 2017 GYMNASTICS MAKES DEBUT AT FLIPFEST ON FRIDAY NIGHT