Jan. 12, 2013
No. 23 Minnesota 195.550
No. 17 Washington 193.500
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Junior Aliza Vaccher led the No. 17 GymDawgs to their best season-opening score in two years and won the all-around title at the Sports Pavilion on the campus of Minnesota Saturday night. The No. 23 Gophers were confident in their own gym however, defeating the Huskies 195.550-193.500.
Although the Huskies posted a higher team score in this meet than the first two meets of 2012, the GymDawgs have higher expectations than past years and know that this result doesn't reflect their talent.
"This was not how we wanted to start the season," said head coach Joanne Bowers. "We started so rough on bars and vault and it slowly took us a while to get settled in. We ended well on beam and beam is what we've been the most prepared on so I was expecting that. Our expectations were so high coming into this meet that the team and coaches are not happy. We all know we can hit better. We have to make sure we are working on the right things, take a deep breath, perform one skill at a time and not make small mistakes."
Vaccher (Eugene, Ore.) won her first all-around title since her freshman year with a 38.850. Her best performance came on floor where she posted a new career-best 9.825 and finished third. She also had solid scores of 9.750 on beam and 9.700 on vault.
At least one GymDawg placed in the top three in every event. Sophomore McKenzie Fechter (Mequon, Wis.) tied for second on beam with senior Paige Bixler (Rowlett, Texas) with a 9.775 and tied for third on bars with classmate Jackie McCartin (West Covina, Calif.) with a 9.725.
"Paige was such a good leader tonight and hit both of her routines," said Bowers. "Aliza hit nice floor and beam routines."
Senior Lauren Rogers (Plains, Pa.) had the highest score of the night for the Huskies on any event with a 9.900 on vault. Rogers also had a solid 9.750 on beam.
All three freshmen posted scores that counted in the meet, led by Allison Northey (Sammamish, Wash.) with a 9.800 on vault. Sheridan Metcalf (Mesa, Ariz.) scored on bars while Kiersten Graber (Prescott, Ariz.) posted a solid 9.700 on floor.
Washington's best team score on a single event was a 48.700 on vault followed by a 48.575 on beam.
Minnesota started the meet off with a huge score of 49.275 on vault and ended strong on floor with a 49.100.
On Jan. 18 the Huskies will host Cal, UC Davis and Illinois-Chicago in a Quad Meet at 7 p.m. in Alaska Airlines Arena.
At that meet, the Huskies will also host a special fundraising event for local club gymnast, Jacoby Miles. Miles was injured at practice over a month ago and has begun the recovery process for a spinal cord injury. Together, we can all sympathize and support this incredible young woman and her family as they move forward with her therapy. There will be an opportunity to donate and purchase Jacoby t-shirts, hair bands, wrist bands, and Melanie Roach's book, "Lift." All proceeds will go to the Team Jacoby Fund.