COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s gymnastics team is slated to face No. 16 Nebraska, No. 23 Illinois, Rutgers and Iowa during the Big Five meet at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21 at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio.
QUOTING COACH PAULICIVIC
“We need to put together a complete meet. This is a really important meet because it sets us up for the Big Ten Championships, and this is our final competition against conference opponents,” said head Coach Meredith Paulicivic. “We’ve been practicing in the order that we’re going to be competing in, since we’re starting on beam first. It’s a great feeling to begin on beam in a meet like this because it allows us to go out and stay focused for the rest of the meet.”
LAST TIME OUT
Ohio State (4-3, 2-3 B1G) snapped a two-meet skid when it edged out Penn State, 195.350-195.150, last Friday in a Big Ten showdown inside the Covelli Center. The Buckeyes earned victories on a pair of events behind a 49.050 on uneven bars and 49.425 on floor exercise.
Raina Malas tied for first place on vault with a 9.825, which also matched her career high. Colby Miller paced the team on uneven bars behind a 9.900, which tied her career high and secured a first-place finish. Zoe Schweitzer, Olivia Aepli and Nevin Adamski all tied for silver on uneven bars with scores of 9.825.
Ella Hodges notched a 9.825 to claim the top spot on balance beam, leading Ohio State to a team score of 48.125. On floor exercise, the Buckeyes registered a season-high 49.425 behind Danica Abanto’s and Alexis Hankins’ first-place scores of 9.900. Aepli, Hodges and Claire Gagliardi tied for third with scores of 9.875.
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION
Nebraska (4-3, 3-2 B1G) currently ranks third in the Big Ten after falling to No. 8 Minnesota on Sunday. Nationally, the Huskers check in at No. 16 with an average score of 196.154. The team is also ranked in the Top 25 on every apparatus – No. 10 on vault, No. 12 on floor exercise, No. 20 on balance beam and No. 24 on uneven bars.
Illinois (6-4, 1-4 B1G) is looking to bounce back after a loss to Michigan State last weekend. The Fighting Illini are 23rd nationally behind an average of 195.450 and hold the same spot in the uneven bars rankings with a 48.872. Illinois is tied for eighth in the Big Ten and its lone conference win came against Penn State on Feb. 7.
Iowa (4-6, 1-4 B1G) dropped its last two outings to a pair of Top 10 opponents in Minnesota and Michigan. The Hawkeyes are heading into the weekend at No. 21 on floor exercise (49.079) and No. 25 on vault (48.875).
Rutgers (4-6, 0-4) is still searching for its first Big Ten win of the 2020 season. The Scarlet Knights have come up short in three of its last four competitions with its last victory occurring on Jan. 26 at Penn.
The Buckeyes recorded a season-high 49.425 on floor exercise in their win over Penn State. Raina Malas earned a career-high 9.825 on vault while Ella Hodges notched a career-high 9.875 on floor exercise.
IN THE RANKINGS
As a team, Ohio State ranks 27th nationally with a 195.275 average. The Buckeyes also check in at No. 12 on uneven bars (49.117) and No. 24 on floor exercise (49.025). Individually, Claire Gagliardi is tied for 16th on floor exercise thanks to an average score of 9.896.
Ohio State heads to Columbia, Mo. for a tri-meet against No. 18 Missouri and No. 7 Minnesota at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28.
GET YOUR TICKETS!
Season tickets, on sale now, include a ticket to each of the four home meets and are $40 for adults. Single-meet tickets are also on sale at $12 for adults, $8 for students, and $8 for youth and seniors. Youth under the age of 2 are free. For more information on Ohio State women’s gymnastics tickets click here.