No. 14 Oregon State (7-2) returns to the friendly confines of Gill Coliseum for the final time in 2014 to take on No. 7 Nebraska (9-1) and Arizona State (7-3) Sat., Mar. 1 at 6 p.m. ... the meet will be the final appearance for three seniors, who will be honored immediately following the competition ... the meet will stream live with former OSU gymnasts Heather Humphrey and Stephanie McGregor on the call.
FOLLOWING THE BEAVS
Live stats will be available at osubeavers.com ... fans can also follow @OregonStateGym on Twitter for all game day information, including score updates and observations.
Oregon State trails the all-time series with Nebraska 9-13 but hold a 5-3 advantage at home. The last time the teams faced each other was at the 2011 NCAA Championships when the Huskers edged the Beavers 196.850-196.100 in the preliminary round ... The Beavers lead the all-time series with Arizona State 46-22-2. ASU beat OSU the last time the squads met, at last year’s NCAA Regional meet in Corvallis. Prior to that, the Beavers had topped the Sun Devils 16 straight times dating back to 2007.
Saturday’s meet marks the final appearance in Gill Coliseum for four Oregon State seniors including Kelsi Blalock, Hannah Casey and Brittany Harris as well as former gymnast and current undergraduate coach Amanda Schulberg ... OSU has not lost on Senior Night since 2002 when the 14th-ranked Beavers narrowly missed upsetting No. 4 Michigan 196.700-196.675 and ahead of No. 22 Michigan State (195.050) and Seattle Pacific (192.000) in what was then the Shanico Inn-Vitational. On that night, senior Jerra Lopez went three-for-three with a 9.95 on the floor, a 9.90 on bars and a 9.90 on beam while fellow senior Soni Meduna performed on bars in exhibition ... Since beginning their Senior Night win streak, the Beavers are 25-0 in the final home meet of the year.
IN THE RANKINGS
The rankings system changed this week from season average to Regional Qualifying Score (RQS). This week Oregon State is ranked No. 14, slipping three spots from last week. See page 3 for the preseason top 25 and complete rankings. All four of OSU’s lineups remain ranked among the top 25 in the nation with beam (49.000) at No. 11, bars (49.040) at No. 12, vault (49.020) at No. 17 and floor (48.975) at No. 21 ... individually Chelsea Tang is ranked No. 14 in the all-around (39.250) and tied for No. 16 in the nation on the balance beam (9.860) ... ten of OSU’s 2014 opponents were ranked in the preseason top 25: No. 4 UCLA, No. 6 Utah, No. 9 Stanford, No. 10 Nebraska, No. 17 Arizona, No. 19 Ohio State, No. 20 Washington, No. 22 California, No. 23 Boise State and No. 25 Arizona State ... This is the first week rankings are based on Regional Qualifying Scores (RQS). RQS consists of a team’s three highest road scores and the next three highest scores. The high score is subtracted from the six event totals and the remaining amount is divided by five.
The Beavers go on the road for the rest of the season beginning with a trek to Tucson to face Arizona next Sun,. Mar. 9. The UA meet will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks beginning at noon PT.
The Pac-12 dual meet against California, scheduled for Sat., Feb. 8, was ‘snowed out’ when a winter storm closed the Oregon State campus on Thursday and Friday. The nasty weather continued through the weekend wreaking havoc on the schedules of several OSU athletics teams. Due to other conflicts and a lack of bye weeks on OSU’s gymnastics schedule, the meet will not be re-scheduled. Fans with tickets (single meet or season tickets) can exchange them for tickets to future gymnastics meets. In addition, season ticket holders can instead swap their cancelled tickets for women’s basketball tickets. Ticket holders should contact the OSU Ticket Office in person or by calling 1-800-GO-BEAVS .
LAST TIME IN ACTION
No. 11 Oregon State posted its best road score of the season in a loss at No. 4 Utah, 197.575-196.450. Chelsea Tang led the Beavers with a season-best 39.350 in the all-around while Hannah Casey scored a career-high of 9.90 on the bars and Erika Aufiero added scores of 9.875 on vault and bars. Cerise Witherby notched a pair of career-bests on vault and beam and Madeline Gardiner scored 9.85 on floor and added a person-best on bars for good measure.
WHICH WAY DO WE GO?
The Beavers, like every other team in the country, are striving to reach the NCAA Championships and the Super Six. But to reach that goal teams must get through NCAA Regionals. In 2014, regionals will be held at Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, Minnesota, Penn State and Washington. The top two finishers at each regional will advance to the NCAA Championships.
THAT’S A BIG SCORE
Oregon State’s floor team posted a 49.475 mark against Stanford (Feb. 3) its highest mark the Beavers have tallied on the apparatus since a Feb. 7, 2010 dual at California. In that meet Mandi Rodriguez and Makayla Stambaugh each posted 9.95 marks, while Melanie Jones scored 9.90, Becky Colvin hit for a 9.85 and Olivia Vivian added a 9.825 ... the Beavers came back in the next meet to score 49.400 in the Comfort Suites Invitational.
WINNER, WINNER ...
Chelsea Tang has seven total wins including four all-around wins in the first six meets plus one on bars and two on beam ... other Beaver winners are: Erika Aufiero (3), Kelsi Blalock (3), Madeline Gardiner (2), Hannah Casey (1), Brittany Harris (1) and Kaytianna McMillan (1) ... The Beavers have completed 138-144 routines without a fall. Gymnasts without a fall are Tang (24-24), Gardiner (13-13), Aufiero (12-12), Taylor Keeker (12-12), Cerise Witherby (11-11), Hannah Casey (6-6), Katelyn Ohlrich (6-6), Nicole Turner (6-6), Megan Jimenez (4-4) and Jaime Wright (3-3).
Through six meets, Oregon State’s routines have been split fairly evenly throughout the squad with the juniors leading the way with 37% (53 out of 144) of the routines performed this year. The seniors are providing 28% (40 of 144), the freshmen 21% (30 of 144) and the sophomores 15% (21 of 144). In comparision, in 2013, the senior class accounted for 53% (151 of 287) of the production while the sophomores provided 23% (65 of 287), the juniors accounted for 18% (53 of 287) and freshmen 6% (18 of 287).
GAINING PAC-12 ATTENTION
When you’re competing in a conference whose teams ALL reside in the nation’s top 25, it can be hard to garner accolades with all of the tough competition. Still, Beaver gymnasts have done exactly that ... junior all-arounder Chelsea Tang was named the Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week, for the week of Jan. 13-19, for the first time in her career. Tang led the Beavers to victory over Iowa State, 196425-194.850. Tang tallied season-highs on bars (9.875) and scored 39.275 in the all-around earning individual titles on both events ... this week freshman Madeline Gardiner made her mark earning Pac-12 Specialist of the Week honors, for the week of Feb. 10-16. Gardiner’s career-bests of 9.95 on the floor exercise and 9.875 on balance beam gave her the first individual titles of her career. Gardiner’s performance helped lead the Beavers to a first place finish in the Comfort Suites Invitational, 196.675-196.000.
Oregon State had a quirk in the schedule in 2014 with four straight meets at home. After the Beavers’ two season-opening trips to Ohio State and UCLA they returned to Corvallis for a month with home dates Jan. 25, Feb. 3, Feb. 8 (which was cancelled) and Feb. 15. The Beavers then have just one more home meet Mar. 1.
CHAPLIN THE RECORD-SETTER
Head coach Tanya Chaplin, in her 17th season at OSU, set the school’s record for win in the home opener with a 196.425-194.850 decision over Iowa State. It was the 318th victory of Chaplin’s career pushing her into sole possession of first on Oregon State’s all-time list moving past Jim Turpin (1986-97) at 317 wins. She also holds the school record with 260 regular season wins and currently has 322 wins overall.
WALK-ONS MAKE IMPACT
In Oregon State’s season opener walk-ons Hannah Casey, Taylor Keeker and Katelyn Ohlrich made a dramatic impact on the Beavers’ lineups. Casey, a senior from Portland, Ore., has played a key role in the OSU bars lineup since her sophomore year mostly filling the lead-off position. This year, Casey has moved to the latter half of the lineup where she set her career-high of 9.90 lasat week at Utah and earned the first event title of her career at Ohio State ... Ohlrich, a junior from Bend, Ore., joined the beam lineup last year “hitting” all 12 of her routines despite a nagging knee injury that prevented her from training other events. Ohlrich has now solidified herself as a fixture in the middle of the lineup and has scored her career-high of 9.85 on three occasions ... Keeker, a junior from Keizer, Ore., is performing in the competition lineup for the first time in her career. She is lead off for the bars lineup and resides near the end of the vault lineup. Keeker has established season-bests of 9.90 on vault and 9.80 on bars.
ONCE MORE AROUND THE BLOCK
In June, Kelsi Blalock was officially granted a medical hardship for the 2009-10 season giving her a fifth year of eligibility. Blalock suffered an ankle injury during warm-ups at a dual meet at California, what would have been her fourth meet of the year, forcing her to miss the remainder of the season ... in the Beavers’ meet against Stanford, Blalock scored a career-high 9.95 on the floor exercise.
Single-meet tickets for the 2014 OSU gymnastics season are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online at BeaverTickets.com, by calling 1-800-GO-BEAVS or in person at the OSU Ticket Office located in room 107 of Gill Coliseum.
TWO FOR 2015
In November, two high school seniors signed the National Letters of Intent to join the Oregon State gymnastics program for the 2014-15 academic year. Danielle Dessaints (Henderson, Nev.) and Shireen Khamedoost (Bountiful, Utah) are scheduled to enroll at OSU this coming summer ... “I’m extremely excited to welcome two outstanding young women to the Oregon State Gymnastics family. I am confident that both will make an immediate impace on our lineup next season,” Tanya Chaplin said.