Jan. 26, 2013
Site: Minneapolis, Minn. (Sports Pavilion)
Team Standing: 2nd of 4 Teams (196.775)
Records: U-M (6-1, 2-1 Big Ten), Minnesota (7-0, 2-0), CMU (3-3), Iowa State (2-3)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Feb. 2 -- vs. Iowa (Crisler Center), 4 p.m. [ Tickets ]
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Sophomore Sachi Sugiyama (Keller, Texas/Keller) shared the vault title, while junior Joanna Sampson (Willow Grove, Pa./Upper Moreland) took the uneven bars crown in the top-ranked University of Michigan women's gymnastics team's runner-up effort in a quad meet on Saturday night (Jan. 26) inside Minnesota's Sports Pavilion. U-M posted a 196.775 to fall just .025 short of first behind the host and 12th-ranked Gophers (196.800). No. 20 Central Michigan finished third (194.650), and Iowa State took fourth (193.950).
The Wolverines were once again paced by their captains -- senior Katie Zurales (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South) and Sampson -- who finished second (39.375) and third, respectively, (39.325) in the all-around. Sampson won the uneven bars (9.850), while Zurales tied for second on balance beam (9.850) and tied for fourth on vault (9.875). Sugiyama was the team's other individual-event winner, tying for top honors on vault (9.950).
The Wolverines entered the final rotation with a 147.450-147.350 lead with only vault to go, while Minnesota wrapped up on floor exercise. Michigan scored a season-best 49.325 on the apparatus, but the Golden Gophers made up for the deficit on floor exercise, scoring 49.450 to narrowly seal the win.
In the final rotation, following Sugiyama's 9.950 performance on vault, was a quartet of gymnasts with scores above 9.825, including Zurales at 9.875, freshman Austin Sheppard (Dallas, Texas/Plano East) scoring 9.850, and freshman Briley Casanova (Dallas, Texas/Spring Creek Academy) scoring 9.825.
Michigan scored identical 49.100 scores on uneven bars and balance beam to open the quad meet. Sampson's 9.850 effort led the team on uneven bars, while Sugiyama and senior Brittnee Martinez (Colorado Springs, Colo./Doherty) received identical 9.825 scores. Zurales and junior Shelby Gies (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central) also received the same score (9.800). Those two also tied for second on balance beam (9.850) to lead the team, followed by Martinez (9.825) and Sampson (9.800).
Sugiyama led the team with a score of 9.875 on floor, and Sampson, Zakharia and Zurales each received 9.850 scores.
The Wolverines return to Crisler Center next Saturday (Feb. 2), hosting Iowa at 4 p.m.
Vault Natalie Beilstein 9.625 Briley Casanova 9.825 Katie Zurales 9.875 (t4) Sachi Sugiyama 9.950 (t1) Joanna Sampson 9.825 Austin Sheppard 9.850 Uneven Bars Katie Zurales 9.800 (t5) Lindsay Williams 9.225 Shelby Gies 9.800 (t5) Sachi Sugiyama 9.825 (t2) Brittnee Martinez 9.825 (t2) Joanna Sampson 9.850 (1) Balance Beam Lindsay Williams 9.675 Reema Zakharia 9.775 Shelby Gies 9.850 (t2) Brittnee Martinez 9.825 Joanna Sampson 9.800 Katie Zurales 9.850 (t2) Floor Exercise Natalie Beilstein 9.650 Stephanie Colbert 9.825 Katie Zurales 9.850 Reema Zakharia 9.850 Sachi Sugiyama 9.875 (t3) Joanna Sampson 9.850 All-Around Katie Zurales 39.375 (2) Joanna Sampson 39.325 (3)
N O T E S
Michigan is 39-20 all-time vs. Minnesota. The two teams will meet again at the 2013 Big Ten Championships on March 23 in East Lansing, Mich. The Wolverines also improve to 33-5 all-time against Central Michigan and 13-0 against Iowa State.
The Wolverines have scored more than 49.000 in all but one rotation this season (15 of 16 in four meets). The only time they scored below 49.000 was on vault at the Cancun Classic on Jan. 4, scoring 48.975.
Michigan's previous season best on vault was 49.300, scored last Saturday (Jan. 19) vs. Illinois.
Sachi Sugiyama tied a career high on vault (9.950). She also received that score at the 2012 Big Ten Championships when she won the conference title on that apparatus. Sugiyama also tied for second on uneven bars (9.825) and tied for third on floor exercise (9.875). She won the all-around title at Minnesota last season (39.050).
Austin Sheppard made her second collegiate appearance in the vault lineup. She had not been in the lineup since the Cancun Classic on Jan. 4.
Reema Zakharia was in the balance beam lineup for the first time this season.
Head coach Bev Plocki now has 593 career victories.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Bev Plocki
On the team's performance ... "I'm proud of the way that our team competed tonight. We performed very well, and they did not get discouraged by the scores that we were receiving or the road environment. The judging was tighter than we are used to, but our team stayed in the moment and did a great job. This is a very determined group of young women."
On the team's first road performance ... "It's disappointing that we didn't win the meet, but this road performance will only help our road RQS score. This type of performance can provide us with some confidence that we can be a great road team. These women are capable of having a great performance in a different atmosphere, and they fought hard the entire way tonight. We were clean and strong in our performances. It was definitely one of our best meets of the season."
On Katie Zurales' performance and her leadership ... "Katie is a senior and learned a lot from Kylee Botterman. She saw how Kylee trained and learned from her that you take advantage of every opportunity to compete. Katie has been working very hard, and it shows every time she performs."
On what the team can team take from tonight's meet ... "We had a great meet, and I was proud of our team. Minnesota has a very good team, and they did well and pushed our team. We absolutely earned every tenth that we received from each routine."
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423