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GYMNASTICS SET FOR FRIDAY NIGHT MEET AT SEATTLE PACIFIC

GYMNASTICS SET FOR FRIDAY NIGHT MEET AT SEATTLE PACIFIC

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OPENING PASS
The Sacramento State gymnastics team will compete in its final dual meet of the season on Friday, Feb. 22, when it travels to Seattle Pacific. The meet against the Falcons will start at 7 p.m.

Live scoring will be available through the Seattle Pacific athletics website. The meet will also be streamed via YouTube. Links can also be found for both on Hornetsports.com.

Seattle will be a popular destination for the Hornets over the next few weeks. Sacramento State will return to the Emerald City for a three-team meet at Washington on March 8 and then go back to SPU for the MPSF Championships on March 24.

OPPONENT PREVIEW
Seattle Pacific scored 192.600 in its most recent meet to place second in a four-team meet with Air Force, UW-Oshkosk and UW-Whitewater. The score was the second best of the Falcons this season. Darian Burns finished first in the all-around with a total of 39.075. Burns also tied for first on vault and floor.

SPU is ranked 64th nationally with an average of 190.917. However, the Falcons have scored much better on their home floor, averaging 192.613 in a pair of meets.
Laurel Tindall is in her 43rd season as the head coach at Seattle Pacific. Tindall was a two-time national champion on vault as a student-athlete and took the reins of the SPU program immediately after graduation.  The Falcons won the NCAA Div. II team title in 1986 and have claimed a pair of USAG crowns.

Sacramento State leads the all-time series, 50-21, including a narrow win over the Falcons on Jan. 11. The teams will meet for a third time in 2019 at the MPSF Championships.

THE LATEST ACTION
Sacramento State continued its stretch of season highs, scoring 192.725 in a three-team meet at San Jose State on Feb. 15. The Hornets' score surpassed their high of 192.600 which came a week ago. New Hampshire finished first at 194.800 while San Jose Sate was second at 194.400.

Sacramento State opened the meet on bars and scored 47.225 which left the team at least a full point behind the other two squads. Jordyn Brent tied for fifth place and led the team with a 9.800. Freshman Destiny Watley ranked second among Hornets with a score of 9.675 to place 11th and Alexis Belkoff set a personal best with a 9.550.

The team moved to beam and scored 48.400 for its second best score of the year and highest since the season-opening NorCal Classic. For the second consecutive meet, Kendra Braida gave the team a great start, scoring 9.800 which tied her for third place. After a 9.625 from Lauren Schmeiss, freshman Amber Koeth matched Braida with a career high performance.

The Hornets followed with a season high on floor, scoring 48.725. Sacramento State counted five scores of at least 9.700 during the rotation. The group was led by Braida who scored a career best 9.825 to place third overall. Brent tied for sixth after scoring 9.775 and Belkoff provided a 9.725.

Three Hornets set or tied season bests on vault to help the team to a score of 48.375. The scores for the first five gymnasts in the lineup increased from one another. The scores peaked with a career high 9.775 from Brent who tied for second place. Lauren Schmeiss finished in fifth place with a season-high tying 9.750.

Brent finished in third place in the all-around, totaling 38.950. That score left her just a quarter point behind New Hampshire's Danielle Mulligan who claimed the title at 39.200.

SCORES GO UP, NUMBERS GO DOWN
Sacramento State has set its season high in its last four weeks. The streak started at Denver on Jan. 19 where the team totaled 190.150. Since then, the score has increased to 191.625 to 192.600 to 192.725. While the scores continue to escalate, the number of Hornets competing has dropped. Sacramento State used 14 gymnasts in the first two meets of the year. That number fell to 11 at Denver before a slight increase to 12 at UC Davis. In the last two meets, Sacramento State had 10 gymnasts at home against SJSU and only nine in the lineup at San Jose State.

The Hornets could get a slight boost to its participation numbers as senior Jackie Sampson could make her 2019 debut on Friday at Seattle Pacific. Sampson has competed on bars and beam during her career. Last season, she was named second team all-MPSF on bars with a high of 9.875.

BRAIDA SETS PAIR CAREER HIGHS AT SAN JOSE STATE
Kendra Braida continued her breakout season, setting a pair of career highs and finishing among the top three in two events against San Jose State and New Hampshire. Braida started her night with a 9.800 on beam which tied her for third place along with freshman teammate Amber Koeth. She then moved to floor where she posted a career high 9.825 and took third place in just her third routine of her career on the event. The sophomore closed the meet with a 9.525 on vault which also set a personal best.

The Elk Grove, Calif., native ranks second on the team with an average of 9.646 on beam this year. She set her career high a week earlier, scoring 9.850 in a dual against SJSU at The Nest.

CONSISTENCY KEYS FLOOR TO SEASON BEST
The Hornets posted their best floor score of the season, scoring 48.725 at San Jose State last week. The key to the team's success was its consistency as Sacramento State counted five scores ranging from 9.700-9.825. The team's previous season high of 9.650 came a week earlier at home against the Spartans.

Senior Carly Pratt opened the rotation with a 9.700. Pratt has been one of the most stable performers on floor this season as her last five scores have fallen between 9.650 and 9.725. She was followed by Braida who led the team with a career high 9.825 to place third in the meet. The back half of the lineup were all within a tenth of a point of one another. Alexis Belkoff received a 9.725, Lauren Schmeiss posted a 9.700 and Jordyn Brent wrapped up the event with a 9.775.

The five gymnasts who scored for the team last week also own the top five scoring averages on floor this season. Braida has a team-best average of 9.767 in just three floor routines. Belkoff is second at 9.721 while Brent is third at 9.679.

PLAYING WITH NUMBERS
A deeper dive into the Hornet statistics shows a few interesting numbers. Jordyn Brent leads the team by contributing an average 34.008 points per meet towards the team total. Brent has accounted for 17.8 percent of Sacramento State's total this year. Lauren Schmeiss and Alexis Belkoff rank second and third at 28.850 and 28.725 points per meet, respectively.

PROJECTED SACRAMENTO STATE LINEUP
  VAULT BARS BEAM FLOOR
1. Kendra Braida Alexis Belkoff Kendra Braida Carly Pratt
2. Destiny Watley Destiny Watley Lauren Schmeiss Shaye Mathias
3. Shaye Mathias Jackie Sampson Amber Koeth Alexis Belkoff
4. Lauren Schmeiss Jordyn Brent Jackie Sampson Kendra Braida
5. Jordyn Brent Courtnee Marquez Jordyn Brent Jordyn Brent
6. Alexis Belkoff Amber Koeth Shaye Mathias Lauren Schmeiss
ex. Amber Koeth Shaye Mathias Mariah York Destiny Watley