Huskers Finish Third at Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minn. - The No. 12 Nebraska women's gymnastics team finished third in a quad meet with No. 14 Minnesota, No. 24 Arkansas and Centenary on Saturday night, earning a team score of 196.150. Minnesota (15-3, 5-1 Big Ten) took first overall at 196.600, with Arkansas (6-5-1, 1-5-1 SEC) picking up second (196.350) and Centenary (1-8) finishing fourth (190.425). The Huskers (8-3, 5-2 Big Ten) battled uncharacteristic errors on several events but still counted multiple strong performances.

"This is obviously not what we came in here to do," Head Coach Dan Kendig said. "It's not what I expected, especially since we came in with a high confidence level. We had mistakes everywhere. The big message here is that it's not what happened, it's how we react to it and what we do with it. If this doesn't motivate us to do better things, I don't know what will."

Jessie DeZiel led all Huskers on the evening, tying for first in the all-around with a 39.475 effort in front of her home state crowd. DeZiel's effort included finishes of first on vault (9.95) and bars (9.925), as well as third on beam (9.85). Emily Wong joined DeZiel with top-two finishes, tying for second on vault (9.90) and finishing second on floor (9.90). Janelle Giblin added a top-two finish with a 9.875 on bars.

The Huskers started the evening on bars, posting their highest road score of the season at 49.200. NU was led by DeZiel, who soared to a career-best-tying score of 9.925. Giblin followed up with a 9.875 for the Big Red bars squad, while freshman Hollie Blanske picked up a 9.825 on the event.

Minnesota posted a 49.250 on vault to lead all teams after the first rotation. Arkansas picked up a mark of 48.850 on beam, while Centenary earned an even 48.000 on floor.

Nebraska battled uncharacteristic struggles in their second rotation on beam, fighting to their lowest total of the season at 48.550. NU was led by identical 9.85s from a duo of sophomores in DeZiel and Jennifer Lauer. Wong tacked on a 9.825 for the Huskers.

Arkansas led all squads in the second rotation, earning a 49.100 on floor. Minnesota earned a 48.950 on bars, and Centenary posted a 47.425 on vault. With two events down, Minnesota led the quad meet with a 98.200. Arkansas took over second at 97.950, with NU following in third (97.650) and Centenary in fourth (95.425).

The Huskers took to floor for their third rotation of the night, picking up a 49.075 team mark. Wong led all Huskers with a 9.90, followed by Jennifer Lauer's mark of 9.825. Brittany Skinner and Blanske also snagged identical scores of 9.80 for NU.

Arkansas led all squads again in the third event of the night, picking up a 49.150 on vault. Minnesota posted a 49.100 on beam, while Centenary posted a 47.500 on bars. With only one event remaining, Minnesota led all teams at 147.300. Arkansas closely followed at 147.100, with Nebraska taking third at 146.725 and Centenary fourth at 142.925.

The Huskers displayed great mental toughness in their final rotation, posting one of their best vault scores this season with a 49.375. DeZiel led the way for NU, earning a stellar 9.95. Wong followed close behind with a powerful 9.90, while Desire' Stephens and Blanske tacked on solid marks of 9.85.

Despite Nebraska's efforts, it would not be enough to overcome Minnesota and Arkansas. The Golden Gophers posted a 49.300 on floor to finish at 196.600, while Arkansas earned a 49.250 on bars to complete their efforts at 196.350. Centenary rounded out the evening on beam with a 47.500, giving the Ladies a finish of 190.425.

The Huskers will close their regular season on the road next weekend, facing the California Golden Bears in Berkely, Calif. Nebraska and Cal will square off on Saturday, March 16 at 9 p.m. CDT (7 p.m. PDT) at Haas Pavilion. Cal is holds a 6-6 record overall in 2013, including a 1-6 mark in Pac-12 action. The Golden Bears will take part in a quad meet against No. 3 Michigan, No. 6 UCLA and Iowa State on Sunday, March 10 before next weekend's meet.


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