FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 17-ranked University of Arkansas women’s gymnastics team returns home on Friday to challenge another top-25 opponent, as they’ll entertain No. 23 Missouri in Southeastern Conference action. Events from Barnhill Arena will begin at 6:45 p.m.
Friday’s meet will be webcast live on the SEC Network+, and will air on tape-delay on Monday, March 2, on the SEC Network at 6 p.m. The meet will also be Arkansas’ annual ‘Flip for a Cure’ event. Fans who wear pink will receive $1 admission to the meet, and the Razorbacks will compete in pink leotards to help raise awareness for breast cancer.
|No. 14 Arkansas (4-5; 1-4 SEC) vs. No. 23 Missouri (5-5; 0-5 SEC)|
|Feb. 27, 2015 | 6:45 p.m.|
|Barnhill Arena | Fayetteville, Ark.|
|Arkansas | Missouri | SEC|
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Arkansas comes into Friday’s meet again ranked inside the top-20, as its 195.820 Regional Qualifying Score puts them 17th nationally overall. For the third-straight week, the Razorbacks come into a meet ranked in the top-10 in both the vault and floor exercise. Head Coach Mark Cook’s team is tied for ninth on the vault with an RQS score of 49.225 and the floor exercise rotation is tied for 10th with a 49.165.
The Razorbacks are also ranked inside the top-20 nationally on the uneven bars, as their score of 49.000 puts them in a tie for 17th. While the team’s 48.435 average on the balance beam is the 39th-best in the nation.
For Missouri, they are ranked inside the top-25 for the first time since the 2012 season, as the team’s RQS of 195.315 slots them in at No. 23. Like Arkansas, the Tigers are rank inside the top-25 nationally in the vault and floor exercise, as their score of 49.030 on the vault places them at No. 20 and the team’s 48.940 on the floor exercise is tied for the 24th-best score in the nation.
Mizzou is just on the outside of the top-25 on the uneven bars (48.850) and balance beam (48.615), as it is tied for 26th nationally in both events.
Last Time Out
The Razorbacks suffered a 195.750-194.825 defeat at then-ranked No. 24 Kentucky. Arkansas had four gymnast win at least a share of four event titles, as sophomore Amanda Wellick won the vault (9.925) and all-around titles (39.375), freshman Paige Zaziski won the uneven bars (9.850) and junior Heather Elswick and sophomore Samantha Nelson each brought home a share of the floor exercise title (9.850).
For Missouri, they too as coming into Friday’s meet off a loss, as they fell 196.875-195.800 at home against No. 8 Auburn. The Tigers were led by freshman Shauna Miller, who tied the school’s vault record by posting a 9.975 to win the event.
Arkansas holds an 8-5 all-time series lead against Missouri. The Razorbacks have won each of the last five meetings, and are 4-0 against the Tigers since they entered the SEC back in 2013.
Regional Qualifying Score
The first Regional Qualifying Score of the 2015 season came out this week, and the Razorbacks open the RQS at No. 17 with a 195.820. The RQS is used to determine which 36 teams will qualify for the 2015 NCAA Regional. The top 18 teams will be assigned to specific locations throughout the nation, while the remaining 18 will compete within their respective region.
Good To Be Home
For the third time this month, the Razorbacks will host a gymnastics meet from the friendly con-fines of Barnhill Arena. Through three meets this season, Arkansas is averaging a 196.134 team score. In their last home meet, the Razorbacks posted a season-best 196.650 against Illinois State and Southeast Missouri.
Another Top-25 Opponent
Friday’s meet against the No. 23-ranked Missouri Tigers will mark the seventh time in eight meets Arkansas has competed against a top-25 team. Currently, the Razorbacks are ranked eighth in strength of schedule.
A Top-15 Gymnast
Sophomore Amanda Wellick currently ranks inside the top-15 in the RQS in three events. Her No. 7 ranking on the vault leads the way, as she has an RQS of 9.915. She is 12th in the all-around with a 39.250 and 14th on the floor exercise with a 9.890 average.
Sophomore Amanda Wellick has been racking up the event titles in a rapid pace this season, as she has won 11 event titles through six meets this season. The Wheaton, Ill., native has captured four all-around titles, four vault titles and three floor exercise titles. Last week at No. 24 Kentucky, Wellick won the vault title with a 9.925 and the all-around title with a 39.375.
First Career Event Title
Sophomore Samantha Nelson captured her first career event title last Friday at No. 24 Kentucky, as she scored a 9.850 on the floor exercise to share the event title with teammate Heather Elswick.
Elswick Wins Her First Floor
For the first time in her three-year career, junior Heather Elswick capture a floor exercise title, as she scored a 9.850 to share the title with teammate Samantha Nelson. Through seven meets, Elswick is tied for 25th in the nation in the event with an RQS of 9.86.
The Freshman Continues To Impress
Freshman Paige Zaziski added another accolade to her already impressive freshman year at Arkansas, as she won the uneven bars title at No. 24 Kentucky with a 9.850. It was the second time in three meets that the Chesterfield Township, Mich., native has won an event title on the uneven bars.
A Strong Vault Duo
Junior Heather Elswick and sophomore Amanda Wellick have sparked the Arkansas vault rotation to a No. 9 ranking in the nation. Welllick, who performs from the anchor spot is currently 14th in the nation with an average score of 9.890, while Elswick is tied for 25th with a 9.865. The pair have posted a 9.850-plus score in 11 of their combined 13 routines this season, and have twice scored a 9.9 or better in the same meet.
For more information on the Arkansas women’s gymnastics, follow @RazorbackGym on Twitter.