Can Iowa Gymnastics Redeem Their Records This Weekend?

The women’s gymnastics team competes twice this weekend, while the men compete once each against two opponents.

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Can Iowa Gymnastics Redeem Their Records This Weekend?

Iowa's Maria Ortiz high fives teammates after performing on the uneven bars during the Iowa/Ball State gymnastics meet at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. Ortiz scored a 9.775. The GymHawks defeated the Cardinals, 195.775-194.825. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's Maria Ortiz high fives teammates after performing on the uneven bars during the Iowa/Ball State gymnastics meet at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. Ortiz scored a 9.775. The GymHawks defeated the Cardinals, 195.775-194.825. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Lily Smith

Iowa's Maria Ortiz high fives teammates after performing on the uneven bars during the Iowa/Ball State gymnastics meet at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. Ortiz scored a 9.775. The GymHawks defeated the Cardinals, 195.775-194.825. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Lily Smith

Lily Smith

Iowa's Maria Ortiz high fives teammates after performing on the uneven bars during the Iowa/Ball State gymnastics meet at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. Ortiz scored a 9.775. The GymHawks defeated the Cardinals, 195.775-194.825. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Taylor McNitt, [email protected]

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Last weekend, victory eluded both Iowa gymnastics teams by a hair’s breadth. For the men, falling was their Achilles’ heel. For the women, it was landings.

Moving on from that, both teams are confident that if they can fix those problems, the results of its weekend competitions will be in their favor.

“We’re trying to get as many hit routines under our belt as we can leading into this weekend,” men’s gymnastics head coach JD Reive said. “Physically, our status is good. Mentally, I’d say we’re still struggling to be consistent from the first routine to the 30th routine, so we’ve got a lot of reps we’re putting in this week to try to get some of their confidence levels to rise and get a full five guys to go and hit a routine.”

This plan of attack for the men, if they’ve had enough time to solidify their confidence, should minimize needless point deductions.

The battle for the women is also simple in nature: details.

“We know we can do routines, we know that we can complete them, we know that we’re able to win,” women’s gymnastics head coach Larissa Libby said. “What we have to move forward with is not, ‘Can it be done?’ but with, ‘How well can it be done?’ It’s in the moment; you’ve got to be thinking about it.”

The 10th-ranked Iowa men’s gymnastics team will host No. 2 Penn State and No. 14 Arizona State in Carver-Hawkeye on March 3.

Penn State brings a team ranked in the top 10 for all six events. The last time the Hawkeyes faced off against the Nittany Lions, even thugh the Hawkeyes were able to snag three event titles, they still fell by more than 6 points.

RELATED: Both Iowa gymnastics teams fall short

Arizona State will be a different story, though. In their previous meeting with the Sun Devils, the Hawkeyes took the victory with an easy 30-plus points.

“I think that any of these guys that we’re going against, we can beat them,” senior Dylan Ellsworth said. “We just need to hit, because our gymnastics is really clean. If we can do really good gymnastics and hit our routines, then we have a really good shot.”

The women’s weekend will be a little more complicated.

On March 2, the GymHawks will host Southeast Missouri State for Senior Night in Carver-Hawkeye, then catch a flight early March 3 so that they can compete against Texas Women’s University on March 4 before catching a flight home later that evening.

Iowa outranks both the Redhawks and Texas Women’s, so victory won’t be a matter of skill, necessarily, but will rely on remaining energized.

The team looks forward to the most to the Southeast Missouri meet — it’s last time in Carver-Hawkeye for the season, and for the seniors, the last time ever.

“[We’re] just enjoying each moment and not thinking ahead of ourselves, for the team as a whole,” senior Nikki Youd said. “Just being in front of a Hawkeye crowd one more time, I think that’s going to be really special.”

 

 

 

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