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GymHawks prepare to take on Maryland Friday

BY ALEXANDRIA GRIFFIN | JANUARY 30, 2015 5:00 AM

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Since dropping a contest at Ohio State on Jan. 24, the Iowa women’s gymnastics team has been gearing up to welcome Maryland to Carver-Hawkeye at 7 p.m. today.

As one could imagine, the team has had a challenging week of practice after the loss, in addition to getting back into the swing of things academically.

“This upcoming meet has been a challenge for the girls to prepare for,” head coach Larissa Libby said. “Now that the team has to add a normal schedule with school added on, it is taking a toll on them.”

The women’s team trained three days this week in preparation against the No. 40 Terrapins.

“Our team made some great improvements last weekend,” junior Alie Glover said. “I anticipate that our upcoming meet against Maryland will be where we really put it all together and show what we’re capable of.”

Libby said the Hawkeyes have focused on the physical and mental training this week, focusing on getting their minds in the right place.

“I continue to emphasize to the team that the score should never be the main focus when walking into a meet,” Libby said.

Rather, she continues to push them to improve and gain confidence, telling the Hawks to compete with themselves.

That advice has allowed Glover and sophomore Angel Metcalf to focus on keep improving.

“At Ohio State, we had mistakes and counted a few falls,” Glover said. “However, we improved greatly in our confidence and our approach to the competition as a team.”

In the floor event, No. 13 Maryland fell to Penn State at its first road meet this year, turning in a score well below its average of 48.933. The Hawkeyes rank 20th in that event.

Maryland is ranked 18th nationally as a team on the vault with an average score of 48.975. Iowa is ranked 16th nationally as a team on the uneven bars (48.883 average score) and ninth nationally on the floor (49.058).

Maryland senior Karen Tang is a strong competitor on the bar, breaking her personal record, numerous times this season.

Metcalf and Glover have both broken their career bests on bars this season, and including other events as well.  The team goes into the meet with confidence and determination.

“I hope this weekend we can capitalize on this newfound confidence and do what it takes to get the job done,” Glover said.


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