PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Jan. 31, 2014) – Starting off a three-meet road swing, No. 25 Rutgers gymnastics travels to Denton, Texas, to face Texas Woman’s University on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. ET. The Scarlet Knights will compete in the Pioneers’ annual “Think Pink” meet to raise funds for cancer research.
RUTGERS MEET PREVIEW
The Scarlet Knights are 6-0 for the second time in program history, looking to match the 1978 squad that went 7-0 to start the season. Rutgers holds a No. 25 national ranking, remaining in the top 25 on two events: floor exercise (22) and uneven bars (24). With a team average of 194.656, RU remains first in the Eastern Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) standings for the third-straight week.
Senior Alexis Gunzelman (Tabernacle, N.J.) paced the team with a 39.175 all-around score this past Friday against Brown. Holding an all-around average of 39.056, redshirt junior Luisa Leal (Cali, Colombia) registered a 9.925 on floor for the second time this season. Junior Emma Hoffman (Union, N.J.) earned EAGL Specialist of the Week following her career-high 9.850 performance on the uneven bars.
Texas Woman’s holds an average of 192.192 on the season, going as high as 194.250. The Pioneers are coming off a second place finish at a tri-meet against NC State and William & Mary. The team has also faced No. 13 Auburn this season, finishing second against the Tigers. Head coach Lisa Bowerman is in her second season at the helm of the program.
Saturday will mark the first meeting between the two teams. This will also be the Scarlet Knights’ first trip to Texas in program history.
HEAD COACH LOUIS LEVINE Q&A
On the team’s performance against Brown: “Unfortunately, it wasn’t our best week of competition. We struggled a little bit, but we are looking to learn from that. It is really easy to compete when everything is going the right way. We had to learn to deal with adversity. We will work on that this week and we hope to come back stronger from this.”
On the team’s confidence: “It wasn’t a great meet so it really does come down to whether or not they can rebuild their confidence, especially with beam. The other three events went okay, they weren’t great, but they were okay. Beam was a struggle so we’ll have to come back in and make sure that we are moving in the right direction this week.”
On the floor performance: “It is one of the nice things about ending on floor. We ended the meet on a high note. I think it does help. It is better to finish strong than to finish on a bad note. We’ll get back in the gym and really work hard towards rebuilding what we had the first three weeks.”
On three consecutive road meets ahead: “[We will prepare] the same way we prepare for everything. The nice part about this week is we have a full week of practice. We will get in a bunch of practices and then head off on the road. So far we have competed twice on the road and twice at home, and I would probably say we competed better on the road than at home. The only difference is the travel and staying in a different bed than you [normally] stay in. In terms of the equipment, the equipment is all the same. I don’t foresee any issues with us being away from home three meets in a row.”
On what’s to come: “We definitely haven’t hit our peak yet. There is definitely a lot of room to grow, to get healthier and to keep working on the consistency. We will put up some higher scores than we have, for sure.”
INTERVIEW WITH SOPHOMORE KATIE STEBICK