GymHawks set to host Illinois-Chicago


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The Iowa women’s gymnastics team will make its final home appearance of the season on Feb. 23 against Illinois-Chicago in Carver-Hawkeye Arena beginning at 3 p.m.

Iowa is coming off its best performance this season. The GymHawks posted a season-high team score (195.075) in their dual against No. 20 Ohio State on Feb. 14, improving on their previous season best at Illinois (195.025). Iowa posted season-best scores in three events in that meet — bars (48.900), vault (48.925), and floor (49.100) — but ultimately fell to the Buckeyes by .200 (195.275 – 195.075).

Sophomore Alie Glover and freshmen Mollie Drenth and Angel Metcalf all posted season bests, tallying 9.750 (bars), 9.825 (floor), and 9.850 (bars), respectively. Iowa dropped its lead over Ohio State when it took to beam for its third rotation with a score of 48.150.

“I’m certainly not impressed that we are falling on my event, the beam,” head coach Larissa Libby said. “I take that very seriously.”

“They have to go out there and attack [the beam]. They’re holding back a little bit.”

Metcalf, who claimed her third all-around title of the season on Feb. 14, will help lead the GymHawks this weekend in their dual against Illinois-Chicato, which has a 2-1 dual meet record.
Metcalf improved her all-around score to 39.325 on Feb. 14. This was Metcalf’s first time back competing in the all-around after resting from an injury. She finished ahead of two Buckeyes and two teammates, Glover and Sydney Hoerr, in that contest.

“I was shocked,” Metcalf said. “Winning the all-around is never my goal. It’s just to come in here, and hit 4-for-4, and be confident in everything that I do.”

Confidence will be a key factor in the Hawkeyes’ matchup against Illinois-Chicago. The Flames posted a 193.175-193.100 win over conference rival Texas Woman’s gymnastics team in their most recent outing on Feb. 14.

“It’s a confidence thing, not a skill thing,” Libby said. “They don’t trust themselves, and I need to figure out how to instill more confidence in them.”

Iowa, now 0-7, will try to post its first win of the season in the home finale. Libby and Hoerr agree that it will ultimately come down to consistency and attention to details.

“We keep making mistakes in dumb areas,” Libby said. ”If you’re going to make a mistake, make one on each event. It’s my job to figure out where we are breaking down [on the beam] and fortunately, we had a week to figure that out.”

“Details are something that our team really needs to focus on — tight legs, pointed toes, landings especially,” Hoerr said. “Those are just easy points that we are just giving away right now, and if we just focus on that, the score will show. I have more potential, and so does the team.”

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