Friday Live Blog – January 18, 2019

Friday, January 18 Scores Stream
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – [14] Arkansas @ [16] Kentucky LINK SECN
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Michigan State @ [9] Michigan LINK FREE
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Pittsburgh, Temple, Bridgeport @ New Hampshire LINK FREE
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [22] Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan @ Northern Illinois LINK ESPN3
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – NC State, Cornell, William & Mary @ Towson LINK FREE
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Winona State @ Lindenwood FREE
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – UW-Whitewater @ UW-Stout LINK FREE
7:30 ET/4:30 PT –[17] Alabama @ [10] Georgia LINK SECN
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – Illinois State @ Iowa State LINK ISU($)
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – San Jose State @ SEMO LINK FREE
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – Hamline @ UW-La Crosse
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [3] Florida @ [5] LSU LINK SECN
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [20] Washington @ Arizona LINK FREE
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [7] Boise State @ Southern Utah LINK FREE
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [6] BYU @ Utah State LINK FREE
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – UC Davis @ Seattle Pacific LINK FREE

For the most part, this will be SEC Day in live blog town, but with Michigan, Washington/Arizona, Boise State and BYU also going, there will be other meets worth keeping at least half an eye on. Continue reading Friday Live Blog – January 18, 2019

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NCAA Week 3 Preview

Full schedule and links

Marquee Meets

[3] Florida @ [5] LSU
Friday, 8:00 CT, SEC Network

Oooooh boy. It’s a big one. Am I going to try to pick a winner? Of course not. That would be insane. It’s Florida and LSU. They’re both good, if you haven’t heard, and all outcomes are very believable, including the one where D-D transforms into a tiger and ascends to the spirit realm to become one of the Sages of Time after beam, and the meet is immediately canceled.

But before that happens, there are several compelling and unusual dynamics going on in this one worth picking apart—vault and floor chief among them. Typically the go-to events and safely gigantic scores for powerhouse teams, vault and floor are providing the bigger struggles and more pressing question marks at this early juncture. They’re basically the beam of this meet, and the team that’s better able to say, “we’ve got those events figured out now” will win. (He says, right before the meet is obviously decided based on beam.)

And then there are the stakes. It’s only January, but coming directly on the heels of a loss to Auburn, LSU will be especially prickly about even entertaining the possibility of losing to Florida as well.

So let’s call this LSU’s “over my dead body” meet, which presumably means the team will want to pull out its very best lineups. The question: what does that mean at this point, especially with regard to that still-turbid floor squad? Kelley’s ankle problem from last week is not too serious, but is pushing back quickly for a January meet worth it? Same goes for if LSU is willing to go full Priessman already. Desiderio fell in week 1 and did not do floor in week 2. Ferrer looked like she needed more time in her week 2 debut. That’s a lot to work out in a floor lineup that can’t be just 9.850y-rudis against a team like Florida. You have to think LSU needs to be the better floor team to win this thing. As for Florida, the floor lineup scored well for the most part in its opener, though with 80 million options, I wouldn’t classify that lineup as looking anywhere near settled either. I want to see some different options, but that can be a tricky prospect.

In many ways, LSU and Florida mirrored each other in their first-meet performances, putting up three solid events but struggling to open the competition on vault with some very January (December?) Y1.5s that took the score under 49. LSU stuck to its lineup in the second meet and got hits from Harrold and Edwards—they’ll still want more than low 9.8s from those vaults, but it was progress—and Florida will be faced with exactly the same challenge this week.

The Gators absolutely need 1.5s like Schoenherr’s, but after the landings last week, will going safe be the chief priority to avoid giving the meet away, or is the priority a trial by fire to ensure preparedness for when the meets actually matter? You know my answer. (Always fire.)

[17] Alabama @ [10] Georgia
Friday, 7:30 ET, SEC Network

It may not have the “this will decide the best team in the country” oomph this dual brought with it back in the day, but this year’s Alabama/Georgia clash has its own, different level of deliciousness as both teams battle not to get caught by the pack. Auburn and Missouri outscored both of them last week (as did BYU, Boise State, and Denver), and Alabama and Georgia’s presumptive top-tier status has come under attack early on.

Alabama made progress by breaking the 196 mark last week but will still be glad to leave behind the scoring of those two home quad meets, going out onto the road for a competition no one expects to be conservatively judged. It’s only week 3, so nothing matters yet in the scores, but Alabama has just three home meets remaining and no big, juicy scores to lean on yet. That puts a little more pressure on getting those big, juicy scores out of road meets as we go.

In particular, Alabama needs to hit a quick-rhythm beam rotation that actually gets out of the 9.7s. This team should not be scoring 9.7s on beam at any point in the rotation, and beam has no business being a weakness compared to Georgia. Georgia is probably the better bars team, the vaulting is very similar, and Georgia has home floor, so if we’re pinpointing events where Alabama needs to establish superiority, beam is essential.

Georgia hasn’t won its dual meet against Alabama since 2013, and for the first time in a loooonnng time, Georgia has a solid argument for entering this meet as the favorite. That said, we still need to determine which Georgia is the real Georgia. The season started out well in that opener, then got reee-ough in the second meet, meaning this competition provides a sort of “best 2 out of 3, which one is actually you?” opportunity.

I’m very willing to chalk up the counting bars fall from last week as a fluke—it’s like a cough, where did it come from?—because someone like Snead probably isn’t going to fall again on bars all season (and with Megan Roberts expected to come in this week, the lineup gets a boost), but beam and floor do still seem very ragged and very January. “I got a 9.6 because I’m still figuring things out” isn’t going to fly against Alabama.

What else?

  • In general thoughts, I am gravely concerned about the potential state of the floor judging this weekend. Gretchen, stop trying to make viral 10 happen. It’s not going to happen. Judges, remember, your job is to make everyone unhappy. And it is a noble pursuit.

  • Arkansas vs. Kentucky provides the first meet of Friday’s three-meet SEC slate, and it too is worth your time. Neither team has gone 196 in the first two weeks, which has seen them fall a hair off the conference pace, so both will be eager to accomplish that 196 in this one. There’s so much similarity among the challenging teams in the SEC that this meet should help sift out where some of these schools actually stand in that hierarchy. Because right now, it’s Florida and LSU and then who even knows?

  • Similar is true for Auburn and Missouri, meeting on Saturday. Auburn owns the big result among those challenging teams with 196.700 in beating LSU, but it will be incumbent upon Auburn this week to prove that wasn’t just the function of a charitable home environment or an outlier great day.

  • Blue Michigan hosts Green Michigan on Friday, a meet more compelling for “school rivalry things” or whatever than the gymnastics result, but it’s also Michigan’s Sensory Friendly meet, which I love that they do. What if Rhonda was just there in the front row like, “Hello…”

  • Georgia will have a two-meet weekend, following up the Alabama meet with its traditional MLK Monday competition, hosting Iowa State. This may provide an interesting glimpse into depth options (i.e., whether they exist) should Georgia decided to rest some people for the second meet. At the same time, with the intense postseason schedule now demanding multi-meet weekends at both regionals and nationals, I could also see teams making a point of putting out the same lineups throughout a two-meet weekend to have the athletes feel what it’s like to go twice back-to-back. Iowa, the kind of team that may also need to prepare for that play-in meet, competed twice last weekend with very similar lineups.

  • UCLA competes Monday against Arizona State, and presumably it’s goodbye to any rest weeks for Katelyn Ohashi for the remainder of the season now that she’s the show. (Sincerest apologies, of course Miss Val is always the show, but now that Ohashi is the other show.) How that floor routine gets evaluated this week will be fascinating. Is she still eligible for deductions, or are we just like nah?

  • The Pac-12 schedule also starts in earnest this weekend with Utah visiting Oregon State on Saturday. I’m very interested to see Oregon State’s full slate of routines because we saw some encouragingly competitive glimpses in the first meet (i.e., Isis Lowery as a legit three-eventer) but also some super low scores on routines we didn’t see. Hopefully this meet will answer the question, what was going on with that?

  • Cal and Stanford complete the action on Monday night with their rivalry showdown. Unfortunately, it’s looking like Stanford Bars Terror is going to be a thing for another season if the first two meets are an indication, part of what makes Cal the favorite heading into this one. Of note, however, Stanford is currently ranked better than Cal on beam and floor.

Roster Notes – Week 2

Bold = currently in the lineup
Not bold = has been in the lineup/done exhibition this season


UCLA
Seniors
Brielle Nguyen
BB
  • Competed BB in first 2 meets, avg of 9.800
Katelyn Ohashi
BB
FX
  • Anchored BB, FX lineups in first two meets—no score lower than 9.900
  • Scored 10.000 on FX in week 2
Stella Savvidou
  • Did not compete in first 2 meets
Macy Toronjo UB
  • Performed exhibition on UB in week 2
Juniors
Anna Glenn
UB
  • Competed UB in first 2 meets, avg of 9.775
  • Limited with knee tendonitis
Grace Glenn
VT
UB
BB
  • Competed VT, UB, BB in first meet
  • Did not compete in second meet
Felicia Hano
VT
FX
Madison Kocian
UB
BB
  • Competed UB in first 2 meets, avg of 9.838
  • Added BB in week 2 for 9.850
Gracie Kramer
VT
FX
  • Competed FX in first 2 meets, avg of 9.938
  • Added VT in week 2 (Yfull) for 9.775
Kyla Ross
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in first 2 meets, avg 39.675
  • Scored 10.000 on UB in week 2
Mercedez Sanchez
  • Has not competed for UCLA
Sophomores
Nia Dennis
VT
BB
FX
  • Competed VT, BB in first 2 meets, avg of 9.363 VT (week 1 fall), 9.800 BB
  • Competed FX in first meet, not in second meet
Savannah Kooyman
UB
  • Debuted on UB in meet 2 with 9.775
  • Did not compete in first meet
Kendal Poston
VT
BB
  • Performed exhibition on VT, BB in week 2, score of 9.850 on VT
Pauline Tratz
VT
FX
  • Competed VT, FX in first 2 meets, avg of 9.825 VT, 9.875 FX
Freshmen
Norah Flatley
VT
UB

BB
FX
  • Added FX in week 2 to compete AA for 39.275
  • Competed VT, UB, BB in week 1
Margzetta Frazier
VT
UB
FX
  • Added VT (Yfull) and FX for week 2 for 9.825, 9.925
  • Competed UB in first 2 meets for 9.900 avg
Sara Taubman
  • Did not compete in first 2 meets
Sekai Wright
  • Did not compete in first 2 meets following ankle injury

 

OKLAHOMA
Seniors
Brenna Dowell
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in week 1 for 39.550
  • Competed VT, UB, FX in week 2, with exhibition on BB
Ashley Hiller
  • Did not compete in first 2 meets
Nicole Lehrmann
VT
UB
BB
  • Competed VT, UB, BB in first 2 meets, avg of 9.912 VT, 9.925 UB, 9.875 BB
Alex Marks
UB
  • Competed UB in first 2 meets for 9.863
Juniors
Jade
DeGouveia
VT
FX
  • Competed VT, FX in first 2 meets, avg of 9.950 VT, 9.838 FX
Maggie Nichols
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in first two meets, avg of 39.700
  • Scored 10.000 on VT in week 1
Brehanna Showers
VT
UB
BB

FX
  • Competed UB, BB in week 2
  • Competed VT, UB, FX (fall) in week 1
  • Late scratch from BB lineup in week 1
Sophomores
Jordan Draper
  • Did not compete in first 2 meets
Evy Schoepfer
VT
BB
FX
  • Showed exhibition BB in week 1
  • Showed exhibition VT, FX in week 2
Karrie Thomas
UB
  • Currently slated as alternate for UB
Anastasia Webb
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed UB, BB, FX in first 2 meets, avg of 9.863 UB, 9.925 BB, 9.875 FX
  • Late scratch on VT in week 2
Carly Woodard
BB
  • Competed BB in first 2 meets, avg of 9.800
Freshmen
Emma LaPinta
FX
  • Debuted on FX in week 2 for 9.125
  • Did not compete in first meet
Allie Stern
VT
FX
  • Late add to VT lineup in week 2 for 9.850
  • Showed exhibition on VT, FX in week 1
Olivia Trautman
VT
BB
FX
  • Competed VT, BB, FX in first 2 meets, avg of 9.863 VT, 9.862 BB, 9.938 FX

 

FLORIDA
Seniors
Alicia Boren
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in first meet for 39.575
Amanda Cheney
  • Did not compete in first meet
Juniors
Sierra Alexander
VT
  • Competed VT in first meet for 9.775
Maegan Chant
  • Did not compete in first meet
Rachel Gowey
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in first meet for 39.325
Amelia Hundley
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed UB, BB, FX in first meet for 9.875 UB, 9.850 BB, 9.850 FX
Sophomores
Alyssa Baumann
  • Injured in training prior to first meet and did not compete
Jazmyn Foberg
  • Elbow surgery in November, likely out for 2019
Megan Skaggs
UB
BB
  • Competed UB, BB in first meet for 9.925, 9.875
Freshmen
Leah Clapper
BB
  • Competed BB in first meet for 9.875
Sydney Johnson-Scharpf
FX
  • Competed FX in first meet for 9.750
Nya Reed
VT
FX
  • Competed VT, FX in first meet for 9.775 VT, 9.925 FX
Savannah Schoenherr
VT
UB
  • Competed VT (Y1.5), UB in first meet for 9.450 VT, 9.875 UB
Halley Taylor
VT
FX
  • Did not compete in first meet
Trinity Thomas
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in first meet for 39.475

 

LSU
Seniors
Julianna
Cannamela
VT
  • Competed VT in first 2 meets, avg of 9.800
Sarah Finnegan
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in first 2 meets, avg of 39.575
Lexie
Priessman
VT
UB
  • Competed VT, UB in first 2 meets, avg of 9.850 VT, 9.850 UB
  • Once again hopes to add FX later in year
Juniors
Kennedi
Edney
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in first 2 meets, avg of 39.237
Ruby Harrold
VT
UB
FX
  • Competed VT, UB, FX in first 2 meets, avg of 9.550 VT (week 1 fall), 9.838 UB, 9.838 FX
McKenna
Kelley
(redshirt)
FX
  • Injured in FX warmups in week 2, did not compete
  • Made return from Achilles injury in first meet for 9.900 on FX
Ashlyn Kirby
  • Did not participate in first 2 meets, currently injured
Sophomores
Reagan Campbell
BB
FX
  • Debuted on FX in week 2 for 9.850
  • Competed BB in first 2 meets, avg of 9.850
Bridget Dean
UB
BB
  • Competed UB, BB in first 2 meets, avg of 9.750 UB, 9.725 BB
Christina Desiderio
BB
FX
  • Competed BB in week 2 for 9.275
  • Competed BB, FX in week 1 for 9.825, 9.250
Sami Durante
UB
BB
  • Competed UB, BB in first 2 meets, avg of 9.838 UB, 9.788 BB
Sarah Edwards
VT
FX
  • Competed VT, FX in first 2 meets, avg of 9.575 VT (fall week 1), 9.812 FX
Olivia Gunter
  • Did not compete in first 2 meets
Freshmen
Rebecca D’Antonio
  • Did not compete in first 2 meets
Bailey Ferrer
  • Made LSU debut on FX in week 2 for 9.550

Continue reading Roster Notes – Week 2

Only the Best – Week 2

The 10s

Kyla Ross – UCLA – UB

Katelyn Ohashi – UCLA – FX

The 9.975s

MyKayla Skinner – Utah – VT

Katelyn Ohashi – UCLA – BB

The 9.950s

Trinity Thomas – Florida – UB

Sydney Snead – Georgia – VT

Jade Degouveia – Oklahoma – VT

Brenna Dowell – Oklahoma – UB

Maggie Nichols – Oklahoma – UB

Natalie Wojcik – Michigan – VT

Derrian Gobourne – FX – 9.950

MyKayla Skinner – Utah – FX

Shani Remme – Boise State – BB

Week 2 Ranking Notes

1. Oklahoma Sooners

Average: 197.938
Previous ranking: 1

Oklahoma retains the #1 spot this week following a 197.825—a score that didn’t even get into the 198s, so psssh what are we here for? Of note, the Sooners brought out the holy grail of vault lineups six Y1.5s, which is so far ahead of the rest of the country at this point as to be comical—and certainly sets the new standard that all other teams will hope to catch by nationals. No contending teams will feel at peace bringing two 10.0s when Oklahoma has six. Also, there was the issue of Maggie Nichols limping a little after her floor routine, which broke several angels.


2. UCLA Bruins

Average: 197.475
Previous ranking: 2

UCLA cruised with a 197.700 at the Anaheim quad meet, a performance that is becoming more remarked upon for Katelyn Ohashi’s floor being shared online by various famouses than anything else. (When are famouses going to share Gracie Kramer’s floor routine, or like their money or something, that’s what I want to know.) There were certainly moments of cracktastic scoring in that one—the beam rotation that scored 49.475 had far fewer errors than the floor rotation that scored 49.700, and this why judging will be the death of me—but you absolutely take this performance for a January meet.


3. Florida Gators

Average: 197.300
Previous ranking: UNR

Florida debuts in 3rd place with a very respectable 197.300 for an opening meet that was also very much in the “solid progress for January” category. Vault isn’t there yet with quite a few landing problems, but the potential on bars and beam is tremendous, the lineups didn’t look to be totally lost without Baumann even though she’ll be in the best-case lineups on three pieces, and Trinity Thomas is already priming herself to get 10s this season by debuting with a 39.475 AA score.


4. Utah Utes

Average: 197.213
Previous ranking: 3

Utah drops a single spot this week because of Florida’s entry into the rankings but will nonetheless be pretty content with scoring over 197 in another January meet. It wasn’t a mistake-free performance—the team is clearly still working through some lineups, which is good because they should have options to explore—but Utah is already showing the ability to put up equivalent results in home and away contexts. I’m happy Utah isn’t settling on “reliable veteran for 9.825” when there are freshmen who could score higher in time to be given experience. For instance, Randall didn’t get a good floor score in this meet, but I like her potential for the lineup. 


5. LSU Tigers

Average: 196.525
Previous ranking: 4

LSU drops to 5th after a disappointing loss to Auburn, which will sting more because of the result than the score. A 196.275 is LSU’s lowest total in quite some time, but it’s a long season and that score will be a distant, dropped memory by late February. Meanwhile, this team is not going to forget losing to Auburn any time soon. Like basically ever. We don’t know how much the warmup injury to McKenna Kelley (which sounds like it’s not going to be too major) affected the performance, but floor and beam were far below LSU’s expected level—uncertain in landings on floor, shaky and tentative on beam. Issues to work out for next week.


Continue reading Week 2 Ranking Notes

Sunday Live Blog – January 13, 2019

Sunday, January 13 Scores Stream
12:00 ET/9:00 PT – Penn, Cortland, West Chester @ Maryland BTN+
FLO
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – North Carolina, Ball State, Cornell @ George Washington LINK FREE
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Iowa @ New Hampshire LINK FREE
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Northern Illinois @ Western Michigan
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Ithaca @ Rhode Island
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – [7] Kentucky, Oregon State, Lindenwood @ Illinois LINK BTN+
FLO
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – San Jose State, Air Force @ Boise State LINK FREE
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Kent State, Centenary, UW-Oshkosh @ [24] UIC LINK
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Brown @ Alaska LINK FREE

In early action today, technical difficulties. That seems to have been the name of the game with live scores and streams.

Maryland won its opening quad meet with a 193.850 over Penn Westy Chesty (which no one calls West Chester but me) and Cortland.  Continue reading Sunday Live Blog – January 13, 2019

Saturday Live Blog – January 12, 2019

Saturday, January 12 Scores Stream
12:00 ET/9:00 PT – Ursinus, Springfield, Brockport @ Rhode Island FREE
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – [22] West Virginia, Utah State, Eastern Michigan @ Pitt LINK ACC+
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – [10] Arkansas @ [18] Arizona LINK FREE
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Winona State, Hamline, Gustavus Adolphus @ [22] Minnesota LINK BTN+
FLO
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Rutgers, Yale, So Connecticut @ Bridgeport
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – [15] Ohio State @ [25] NC State LINK ACC+
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [13] Arizona State @ TWU LINK FREE
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – [20] Penn State, Towson, Temple (@ Boston, MA)
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Washington @ [8] Nebraska LINK FREE
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [2] UCLA, [9] Cal, [14] UC Davis, Michigan State (@ Anaheim, CA)

A little of this, a little of that. That’s the live blog approach for today.

PITT QUAD MEET

The Pitt quad meet broadcast is showing only the Pitt routines, but we’ve seen a solid vault rotation so far, complete with six 9.950 starts. That’s important because we’ve seen plenty of teams in Pitt’s ranking territory so far this year having to put up a layout or two as part of their lineups so far. Some solid fulls in this group. Scores pretty loose (by about a half tenth to me) so far.

Continue reading Saturday Live Blog – January 12, 2019