Oct. 6, 2010
LOGAN, Utah -
Utah State head gymnastics coach Jeff Richards released the Aggies' 2011 schedule, which consists of 11 regular-season meets with five at home.
USU, which is entering its sixth season in the Western Athletic Conference, will face each of its five conference foes at least once, as well as each in-state opponent at least once. The Aggies will face opponents from five different conferences, but the farthest they will travel during the regular season is Sacramento, Calif. and Boise, Idaho.
"We are glad to be keeping our schedule regional this season," Richards said, noting that the team traveled to New Hampshire and Central Michigan last season.
Utah State will face four teams ranked in the top 25 of last season's final Troester/Women's Gymnastics National Poll, in No. 6 Utah, No. 17 Southern Utah, No. 18 Boise State, No. 20 Arizona and No. 24 Iowa State.
"Right away we have some tough competition, facing No. 18 SUU, then No. 33 BYU and No. 20 Arizona. If we want to meet one of our goals to break into the top 36, those will be good bench marks to see where we're at," Richards said.
Richards also noted that there are not any meets that are Friday-Monday or Monday-Friday weeks, giving the squad some much-needed rest.
"We are hoping to get more rest this year. The dual meet weekends are good and bad, but we are glad to have one meet weekend for recovery and rest," Richards said.
Richards views the schedule as a good challenge for his squad, which returns nine gymnasts from last season's team that placed third at the WAC Championships at Fullerton, Calif., matching the Aggies' best WAC finish ever, equalling the third-place finish in 2007. Included amongst the returners are two regional qualifiers in senior all-arounder Lyndsie Boone and senior bars specialist Jackie Dillon, along with junior Rebecca Holliday, who earned all-WAC honors on both the beam and bars.
Utah State will host its annual Blue-White Intrasquad Meet on Saturday, Dec. 18 at 11 a.m. at the Health, Physical Education and Recreation building (HPER).
The Aggies' officially open the 2011 season on Friday, Jan. 7 hosting No. 18 Southern Utah in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. USU will stay at home for its second meet of the season as it hosts a tri-meet including BYU and No. 20 Arizona in Logan.
"It's good to start the season out and be in front of your home crowd, and work out those kinks. It is good to be able to do that early in the season," Richards said.
The Aggies will then hit the road for their first WAC competition at San Jose State on Jan. 21 in the Spartan Gym. San Jose State will also host the 2011 WAC Championships at the end of the regular season.
"I think its great that we get to compete at the WAC Championship site during the season," Richards said. "Our girls are able to come in feeling comfortable and familiar with the facilities."
USU will stay on the road for three more away meets. The Aggies will be at BYU on Saturday, Jan. 29 for a quad meet including Iowa State and Southern Utah. The following Friday, Feb. 4, USU will travel to Cedar City, Utah to compete against Southern Utah and close out the long road stretch with a dual meet at Sacramento State on Friday, Feb. 11.
The Aggies will return to the friendly confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum to host No. 17 Boise State on Friday, Feb. 18. On Friday, Feb. 25 the Aggies will host No. 6 Utah in the Spectrum. USU will complete the home-and-home with BSU by heading to Boise, Idaho on Sunday, Feb. 27 for a dual.
The Aggies will close out the regular season at Southern Utah in Cedar City, Utah, on Saturday, March 12 with a tri-meet including Iowa. The tri-meet at Southern Utah with Iowa will have special meaning for Richards, as he was an assistant at both SUU and Iowa.
The 2011 WAC Championships will be Saturday, March 19 at San Jose, Calif., hosted by San Jose State.
If it qualifies, Utah State will compete in the NCAA North Central Regional Championships, hosted by Denver University at Denver, Colo. on Saturday, April 2. The NCAA National Championships are Friday-Sunday, April 15-17, at Cleveland, Ohio in the Wolstein Center.
Utah State finished the 2010 season 1-16 overall and 0-5 in Western Athletic Conference action, finishing third at the WAC Championships meet.
For the complete 2011 Aggie Gymnastics schedule, fans can log onto www.UtahStateAggies.com.
For USU gymnastics ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305, or online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the "buy/renew tickets" under the "tickets" drop down menu.
Fans can follow the Aggie gymnastics program at twitter.com/USUGymnastics, or on facebook at UtahStategymnastics Aggies. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
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