GYMNASTICS RETURNS TO COMPETITION TO HOST SAN JOSE STATE ON FRIDAY NIGHT

GYMNASTICS RETURNS TO COMPETITION TO HOST SAN JOSE STATE ON FRIDAY NIGHT

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OPENING PASS
A well-rested Sacramento State gymnastics team returns to competition on Friday, Feb. 8, when it welcomes San Jose State to The Nest. The meet against the Spartans will start at 7 p.m.

Friday's meet will also be the annual Tied Together meet as well as Alumni Night. The Hornets will wear tied-dyed leotards during the competition in an effort to increase unity and acceptance of all.

Live scoring will be provided by the meet by selecting the link on hornetsports.com. A live stream is also available through Pluto.TV with Brian Berger and former Hornet gymnast Dallas Smith providing the commentary.

Sacramento State has not competed since Jan. 27 when the team was a in a tri-meet at UC Davis. The 12-day break between meets is the longest since the Hornets had 15 days between competitions in 2013.

Friday's meet is one of just two duals on the schedule this season. The other will come on Feb. 22 at Seattle Pacific.

OPPONENT PREVIEW
San Jose State is coming off its best performance of the year. The Spartans scored 194.175 in a home meet against UC Davis and Boise State on Feb. 1.  SJSU scored at least 48.450 on all four events and were led by Taylor Chan who totaled 39.125 in the all-around.

Carli Orcutt was named the MPSF Freshman of the Week after scoring 9.725 on vault and bars and 9.650 on floor.

This meet is the second of five between the schools this season. The Spartans scored 193.300 compared to a 190.000 from Sacramento State at the NorCal Classic on Jan. 6. The teams will square off next week (Feb. 15) at San Jose State in a meet which includes New Hampshire. On March 17, they will both be a part of a quad meet at Cal along with Illinois and then close out the regular season at the MPSF Championships on March 24 in Seattle. The all-time series between the schools is tied 51-51-1.

Joanne Bowers is in her first year as the head coach at San Jose State. Bowers was the head coach at Washington from 2007-16. She also served as an assistant coach at Michigan (2001-06) and Kent State (1997-01).

MATHIAS NAMED MPSF FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Shaye Mathias was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Freshman of the Week following her performance at UC Davis on Jan. 27. The honor is the first for Mathias this season.

Competing in her first collegiate all-around, Mathias set or tied season highs in three events in the team's meet against UC Davis and Alaska Anchorage. The Golden, Colo., native led the team with a 9.750 on beam during the second rotation. That score tied her season best from the first meet of the year. She then moved to floor where she performed for the first time at Sacramento State and responded with a 9.650.

Mathias wrapped up the meet with a 9.625 on vault to easily surpass her career high by .15. Overall, she scored 38.250 in the four events which is the third highest all-around score on the team this season.

BREAKTHROUGH YEAR FOR BELKOFF
Junior Alexis Belkoff earned second team all-MPSF honors on vault a year ago after averaging 9.694 and setting her career high with a 9.850. This season, Belkoff has raised her average to a team-best 9.750 and has also been in the lineup for every meet on bars and floor. She leads the team on floor with an average of 9.731 and tied her career high with a 9.800 in the most recent meet at UC Davis.

Prior to this season, Belkoff had only competed on floor seven times and had a high of 9.700. The Tucson, Ariz., native had not been in the bars lineup at any point during her first two seasons.

BRAIDA SHINES IN HER FLOOR DEBUT
Since arriving on campus a year ago, Kendra Braida has owned the leadoff position on beam for the team. She averaged 9.648 and had an RQS of 9.760 as a true freshman. Braida scored 9.7-plus in six meets and ended the year with back-to-back scores of 9.800 and 9.825.

The Elk Grove, Calif., native returned to her leadoff position on beam in 2019 and has a high of 9.725 at the NorCal Classic. She made her debut on floor at UC Davis and responded with a 9.725 which ranked third on the team.

NEW PRACTICE HOME ON THE WAY
For the first time in decades, Sacramento State will be able to walk to practice. The University recently purchased a building on Folsom Blvd. (between 60th and 61st) that will be renovated to become the team's training home. The Hornets are hopeful to occupy the space next season. Sacramento State currently trains at Elevate Gymnastics in Elk Grove. The move will allow the team to save nearly an hour per day which is currently lost in commuting.

Fundraising opportunities for the new facility will be announced shortly. The building will eventually house all the training equipment as well as a locker room and athletic training room.