Home Opener For Aggie Gymnastics On Tap For Friday
Senior Ana Rickard-Whitfield and Utah State will host two-time defending WAC champion Sacramento State in the Aggies' season-opener Friday. The WAC gymnastics dual will start at 6:30 p.m. at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
 
Senior Ana Rickard-Whitfield and Utah State will host two-time defending WAC champion Sacramento State in the Aggies' season-opener Friday. The WAC gymnastics dual will start at 6:30 p.m. at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
 
 

Jan. 17, 2008

LOGAN, Utah - In its home opener, Utah State (0-1, 0-1 WAC) gymnastics will host two-time defending Western Athletic Conference champion Sacramento State (0-1, 0-1 WAC) on Friday, Jan. 18. The WAC dual meet will start at 6:30 p.m. at USU's Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. USU is ranked No. 41 in the Troester's Gymnastics Poll, while Sac State is 29th.

Fans can watch all USU gymnastics home meets live via the internet through UtahState.tv, available through www.UtahStateAggies.com, the official web site of USU athletics.

"I think we're ready for our home opener," USU head coach Ray Corn said. "Recapping the Boise State meet, it certainly wasn't what we were expecting. We were a little shell-shocked from the get-go. It was a very solemn locker room afterwards and an extremely solemn bus ride all the way home. I met with the team on Saturday for their stretching and rehab and they were still solemn."

USU brings an 0-1 record and an 0-1 WAC ledger into Friday's meet after the Aggies lost in their season-opener at Boise State last Friday, 192.625-187.925.

"We did some research and found that this isn't the first time we have struggled in our opener and when we have, we've bounced back to have success," Corn said. "In 2005, we opened the season 0-4 and recovered to win the conference title, advance to the NCAA Regionals and finish #16 in the nation, our highest finish since 1997. In 2001, we opened with a 188.8 ironically at Boise State as well. We bounced back to win the Big West Conference championship and also went on the NCAA Regionals. In 1998 we had a 187.125 at Washington but came back to win the Big West title and advance to the NCAA Regionals. We just need to bounce back just like we've done in the past."

Sophomore Heather Heinrich took all-around honors at the Boise State dual, posting a 36.875 while junior teammate Nicki Felley was second with a 36.775. Heinrich and Felley were the only two all-arounders in the meet.

 

 

Freshman Nicole Simoneau made a successful Aggie debut by winning the uneven parallel bars event with a 9.800, while fellow freshman Chelsea Marquardt also had a positive opening and was third on beam with a 9.550 and tied for third on vault with a 9.700.

"We started out and finished great on bars but we had three falls in between which I really think took the wind out of our sails," Corn said. "Those were just three of our 11 falls on the night of which we had to count six of them."

Corn is optimistic that his team will be able to recover for the Aggies' home opener.

"We know that gymnastically, that is not our make up, but our character will show up Friday night as to see how we respond to that disappointment and come back against Sacramento State," Corn said. "We have 13 meets, if we're to make mistakes it needs to be in the first three meets of the year. We certainly don't want to be hitting on full cylinders in the first couple of outings if we're experimenting with line-ups and routines. We just want to take it one event at a time and bounce back for success."

The Hornets are also 0-1 overall and 0-1 in WAC action after losing in their home opener on Sunday to Cal State Fullerton, 189.525-189.000. It was Sacramento State's first home opening loss in four years.

Junior Marina Borisova was second in the all-around with a 38.050 after winning the bars with a 9.750 and beam with a 9.675, as well as third on vault with a 9.625.

Freshman Alycia Chan won the vault with a 9.700 and sophomore Eryn Stubblefield was third in the all-around with a 37.850 and second on beam with a 9.600. Junior Amber Basgall was in a three-way tie for second on bars with a 9.675 while sophomore Lissa Zamolo was third on beam with a 9.525.

Utah State is 4-5 against Sacramento State all-time, including 1-2 at Logan.

USU continues its two-meet homestand by hosting Boise State in a WAC dual on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

All Aggie home meets begin at 6:30 p.m.

Gymnastics tickets are available through the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, online at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on "tickets" in left column, or by calling 1-888-U-STATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.

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