ATHENS, Ga. – The No. 18-ranked University of Arkansas women’s gymnastics team will travel to the Peach State this Saturday, March 7, as the Razorbacks will take on No. 10 Georgia for its 2015 Southeastern Conference regular season finale. Meet time from Stegeman Coliseum is set for 5 p.m. CT.
The meet will be webcast live on the SEC Network+ via ESPN3.com and the Watch ESPN app, while it will re-air on tape-delay on the SEC Network on March 9 at 8 p.m. CT.
|No. 18 Arkansas (5-6; 2-4 SEC) vs. No. 10 Georgia (3-6; 2-4 SEC)|
|March 7, 2015 | 5 p.m.|
|Stegeman Coliseum | Athens, Ga.|
|Arkansas | Georgia | SEC|
|Twitter | Facebook|
The Razorbacks enter the 2015 SEC regular season finale with the 18th-best Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) in the nation. Arkansas was able to raise its RQS to 195.910 after posting a 195.825 in a victory over then-No. 23 Missouri at Barnhill Arena last Friday.
For the first time this season, the Razorbacks are not ranked inside the top-10 in any of the four events, however, they still rank inside the top-15 in three events. Arkansas comes into this week at No. 11 in the floor exercise with its 49.185 RQS. Head Coach Mark Cook’s team is also 13th on the vault with a 49.225 RQS and tied for 15th on the uneven bars with its RQS of 49.050. For the second-straight week, the balance beam rotation is ranked 39th in the RQS with its score of 48.485.
For Georgia, they are currently ranked 10th in the RQS with a 196.720. The Gymdogs have been ranked inside the top-15 all season and are coming off a 196.775-performance on the road at No. 9 Auburn.
The Gymdogs rank inside the top-20 in all four events, as their No. 6-ranking in the uneven bars (49.265) leads the way. Georgia also places inside the top-10, as it is ranked eighth in both the vault (49.265) and the balance beam (49.140). The team’s floor exercise rotation rounds out the group of top-20 events, as it is ranked 17th with an RQS of 49.115.
Last Time Out
Arkansas defeated its third opponent in the last three meets, as they captured a 195.825-195.275 victory over No. 23 Missouri. The Razorbacks have defeated Illinois State/SEMO in tri-meet action and the Tigers over that stretch, with the lone loss coming at No. 24 Kentucky.
Sophomore Amanda Wellick and freshman Paige Zaziski teamed up to win four of the five event titles on the night, as Wellick won the vault (9.925) and floor exercise (9.900), while Zaziski won the uneven bars (9.925) and all-around (39.200). For Wellick, the two event titles pushes her total to 13 on the year. She had just one career event title coming into the 2015 season. While for Zaziski, she upped her event title total to five on the year, as she won her first-ever all-around title and her third uneven bars championship in the last four meets.
Finishing Strong on the Road
Saturday’s meet marks the 2015 regular season road finale for the Razorbacks, and while they are still in search of their first true away victory this season, they are averaging a strong 195.556 through four contests away from Barnhill Arena. A strong showing at Georgia will help Arkansas elevate its RQS score, as they would drop the 194.900 season-opening score at Oklahoma.
The Gymdogs hold a 26-2-1 advantage in series that dates back to the 2003 season. Georgia defeated Arkansas twice last season, including a 197.150-194.900 win over the Razorbacks at the SEC Championship. The last Arkansas victory came on April 20, 2012 at the NCAA Championships in Duluth, Georgia, where the Razorbacks posted a 197.150-196.500 victory.
Facing The Nation’s Best
Saturday’s meet vs. Georgia will mark the sixth time this season Arkansas has face an opponent who finished last year at the NCAA Super Six. Arkansas has already faced both co-defending champions, Oklahoma (twice) and Florida, along with Alabama and LSU.
Every SEC meet for Arkansas has been against a top-25 team, as they have faced a total of seven top-25 teams, including four inside the top-five. The Razorbacks’ strength of schedule is currently ranked the 11th-toughest in the nation.
A Top-20 Gymnast
Sophomore Amanda Wellick currently ranks inside the top-20 in the RQS in three events. She is tied for ninth in the vault with an RQS of 9.915. She is also tied for 17th in the floor exercise with a 9.895 and 18th in the all-around with a 39.250.
An Historic Performance
Paige Zaziski etched her name in the Arkansas record book last Friday as she tied the school’s freshman record on the uneven bars with a 9.925. The score led to her third uneven bars title in the last four meets. Zaziski has had a strong freshman season as she has won five event titles, including her first all-around title last week and became just the second Arkansas gymnast to win two SEC Freshman of the Week honors.
Sophomore Amanda Wellick has been racking up the event titles in a rapid pace this season, as she has won 13 event titles through eight meets this season. The Wheaton, Illinois, native has captured five vault titles, four floor exercise and all-around crowns. Last week, Wellick won multiple event titles for the third-straight meet, as she captured wins on the vault (9.925) and floor (9.900).
She’s Also Vaulting Hard
Wellick is on a remarkable streak over the past four meets, as she has scored a 9.925-or-higher on the vault. Last week, the sophomore posted a 9.925 to win the event title against No. 23 Missouri. Over the streak, Wellick has averaged 9.931 on the vault and has won three event titles.
A Strong Vault Duo
Sophomore Amanda Wellick and freshman Paige Zaziski have sparked the Arkansas vault rotation to a No. 11 ranking in the nation. Welllick, who performs from the anchor spot is currently tied for ninth in the nation with an average score of 9.915, while Zaziski is tied for 29th with a 9.880. The pair have posted a 9.850-plus score in 14 of their combined 16 routines this season, and have twice scored a 9.9 or better in the same meet.
Zaziski Wins Two Titles
For the second time this season, freshman Paige Zaziski took home a pair of event titles in one meet, as she captured the uneven bars and all-around titles against No. 23 Missouri. Zaziski posted a 9.925 on the bars to win the event for the third time in the last four meets and concluded the night with an all-around score of 39.200 to win her first career all-around championship.
Season-Best On Bars
Last Friday, Arkansas scored a season-best on the uneven bars by posting a 49.200. The Razorbacks were led by freshman Paige Zaziski, who tied a freshman record in the event with her 9.925. Junior Erin Freier also brought Arkansas a career-best 9.900 and senior Stephani Canizaro tied her career-best, 9.875.
Freier’s Career Night
Junior Erin Freier enjoyed a career night last Friday against No. 23 Missouri, as she posted a career-best on the uneven bars and a season-high on the balance beam. The Westland, Michigan, native posted a 9.900 on the uneven bars and followed that up with a 9.800 on the balance beam.
For more information on the Arkansas women’s gymnastics team, follow @RazorbackGym on Twitter.