FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The No. 14-ranked University of Arkansas women’s gymnastics team wraps up its two-meet home stand on Friday, as they host Illinois State and Southeast Missouri. The meet will be the first-ever ‘Daddy-Daughter Date Night’ at Barnhill Arena, with events beginning at 6:45 p.m.
|No. 14 Arkansas (2-5) vs. Illinois State (1-4), Southeast Missouri (3-5)|
|Feb. 13, 2015 | 6:45 p.m.|
|Barnhill Arena | Fayetteville, Ark.|
|Illinois State: First Meeting | Southeast Missouri: 3-0; Arkansas|
|Arkansas | Southeast Missouri | Illinois State | SEC|
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Arkansas comes into this week’s meet at No. 14 in the Gyminfo Rankings with an average score of 195.820 through five meets this season. The Razorbacks are ranked inside the Top 10 in two events, as they are the seventh-best team in both the vault (49.24) and floor exercise (49.210). The team is also ranked inside the Top 20 on the uneven bars, as its score of 48.935 places them at No. 16, and are placed at No. 34 on the balance beam with a score of 48.435.
For Illinois State, they have posted the 67th-best average score in the nation at 189.045. The Redbird’s best event this season has been on the vault, as their score of 47.800 is ranked a team-best 58th in the country. ISU’s score of 47.345 on the uneven bars is ranked 62nd, while they are 71st and 72nd on the floor exercise (47.185) and balance beam (46.635) respectively.
Southeast Missouri brings its 193.130 average into Barnhill Arena on Friday, which is currently the 48th-highest average score in the nation this season. Like Illinois State, SEMO’s best event this season has been on the vault, where the Redhawks are averaging a team-best 48.390 this season, which is the 47th-best average in the country. Southeast Missouri has been nearly as good on the uneven bars, as they are averaging a 48.380 in the event, to rank them at 45th nationally. SEMO is also ranked 50th on the balance beam (48.050) and 52nd in the floor exercise (48.310) coming into Friday.
The Last Time Out
Junior Sydnie Dillard and freshman Paige Zaziski each captured their first event titles of 2015, as Arkansas posted a 195.375 against the co-defending national champion, Florida, in Barnhill Arena. The duo spilt the balance beam title, as each gymnast recorded a team-best in the event this season with a 9.875. Zaziski also captured the uneven bars title with a 9.850 and set a pair of career highs against the Gators by collecting a 9.925 on the vault and a 9.875 on the beam.
Daddy Daughter Date Night
This Friday’s tri-meet against will be the first-ever ‘Daddy-Daughter Date Night’ at Barnhill Arena.
The first 200 fathers in attendance with their daughters will receive a free commemorative coffee mug. Dads can pick up their coffee mug at the marketing table located in the southwest corner of the arena beneath Section Q.
There will also be a photo booth in the north lobby where all fans can have their photo taken with props to commemorate the night.
Razorback fans of all ages will have the chance to get an autograph from their favorite gymnast this Friday, as there will be a team autograph session after the meet.
Grable Becoming an Immortal
Former Arkansas gymnast, and two-time NCAA champion, Katherine Grable will be honored prior to Friday’s meet with a banner ceremony to commemorate her two 2014 national titles. Grable captured the program’s first two national titles last season at the NCAA National Championship, as she won both the vault and floor exercise.
Illinois State Series
Friday’s meet will be the first-ever meeting between Arkansas and Illinois State.
Southeast Missouri Series
Arkansas holds a 3-0 lead over Southeast Missouri in the all-time series. The Razorbacks last took on the Redhawks on March 23, 2007, where they won, 196.450-192.975.
Ending a Rough Stretch
This Friday’s meet marks the first time this season that Arkansas will not face a team ranked inside the Top 20. Through five meets, Arkansas has faced both co-defending national champions, Florida and Oklahoma, the top-ranked team in the nation (Oklahoma), three No. 2-ranked teams (LSU, Florida, Oklahoma), the defending Southeastern Conference champion, and sixth-ranked, Alabama and No. 19 Auburn.
Coming Into Her Own
Freshman Paige Zaziski has had an outstanding two-week stretch dating back to Jan. 27. The Chesterfield, Michigan, native was named the SEC Freshman of the Week on Jan. 27, and followed that performance with three career-best scores (uneven bars, balance beam, all-around) at the Metroplex Challenge on Jan. 31. Zaziski would then go on to set two more career-highs (vault, balance beam) and win her first two career event titles (uneven bars and balance beam) against co-defending champion, Florida, last week.
She’s Rocking The Floor
Sophomore Amanda Wellick has been a force on the floor exercise this season for Arkansas. Performing from the anchor spot, Wellick has posted a score of 9.875-plus in all five routines this season. She is currently ranked 12th in the nation on the floor, and scored a career-best 9.950 in the event against No. 6 Alabama back on Jan. 16.
A Strong Vault Duo
Junior Heather Elswick and sophomore Amanda Wellick have sparked the Arkansas vault rotation to a No. 7 ranking in the nation. Wellick, who performs from the anchor spot is currently in a tie for 15th in the nation with an average score of 9.900, while Elswick is in a tie for 27th with a 9.875. The pair have posted a 9.850-plus score in nine of their combined 10 routines this season.
For more information on the Arkansas women’s gymnastics team, follow @RazorbackGym on Twitter.