Jan. 11, 2011
The third-ranked University of Michigan women's gymnastics team (3-0, 2-0 Big Ten) opens the 2011 home season on Friday (Jan. 14), hosting Penn State (0-1, 0-0 Big Ten) and No. 21 Illinois (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten) at 7:30 p.m. inside Crisler Arena. A free live video stream is available on MGoBlue.com, but you can also follow along on Michigan's Twitter and Facebook accounts .
Illinois and Penn State were picked to finish second and third, respectively, in the Preseason Big Ten Coaches poll released at the beginning of the season. The Nittany Lions debuted at No. 14 in the GymInfo preseason poll, while the Illini came in at No. 17. The two programs have either come in second or third in three of the last four Big Ten Championships. Penn State and Illinois each have new head coaches this season, with former Auburn head coach Jeff Thompson taking the helm for the Nittany Lions and former associate head coach Kim Landrus is the interim head coach with the Illini.
Michigan is 29-5 all-time against Penn State, winning six of the last seven meetings. The Wolverines have not lost to the Nittany Lions at home since 2007. Michigan is 39-9-1 all-time against Illinois, winning each of the last 31 meetings dating back to Jan. 27, 1991. Fifth-year senior Jordan Sexton had yet to celebrate her second birthday the last time Illinois beat the Wolverines in competition (at the 1990 Big Ten Championships).
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL NIGHT [PRINT COUPON]: Redeem this voucher for free admission to the meet for fans in 8th grade or under!
GIVEAWAYS AND PRIZES! Free trading cards all night, t-shirt tosses, Hungry Howie's pizza deliviers and post-meet autographs by gymnasts.
THE MICHIGAN WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS RUNDOWN
Michigan Debuts at No. 3 in the Polls
After Michigan's 195.700 at the MSU Quad, the Wolverines debut at No. 3 in the GymInfo poll tied with Utah and trailing No. 1 Florida and No. 2 Stanford. The Wolverines topped out at No. 6 last season, earning that ranking on the final week of the regular season.
Botterman is Fourth-Best in the All-Around
Senior Kylee Botterman's 39.400 all-around total in the first meet was the fourth highest in the first week of the gymnastics season and the highest total put up by an athlete in a visiting meet. Botterman had seven all-around performances in 2010 of 39.400 or better in 14 meets, including a career-best 39.675 showcase at Illinois on Feb. 27.
Kari Pearce Makes it Happen
Senior Kari Pearce was an All-Big Ten performer in her freshman campaign but injuries and setbacks limited her to vault her last two seasons. Back healthy and ready to tackle her final year, Kari competed on three events for the first time in her collegiate career at the MSU Quad, scoring a 9.800 on bars in her first-ever routine while competing on vault and floor.
Get Your Season Tickets TODAY!
Season tickets to Michigan women's gymnastics are available through the U-M ticket office at affordable prices. Catch top-flight gymnastics all season long with visiting schools like in-conference rivals Penn State and Illinois (Jan. 14) as well as national powers Nebraska (Feb. 13), Stanford (Feb. 13), Oklahoma (Feb. 26) and Alabama (March 4). Just $20 for adults and $10 for kids for an entire season of gymnastics! Go to MGoBlue.com/tickets or call 734-764-0247 and get your tickets today!
The All-Around: The Official Podcast of Michigan Women's Gymnastics
The official podcast of the Michigan women's gymnastics team "The All-Around" is in its second season and it's better than ever! Listen to it in the All-Access player on MGoBlue.com and in the MGoBlue.com Podcast Center for download it to your iPod or MP3 player. Check back every Thursday for a new episode.
Last week, head coach Bev Plocki previewed the season and predicted that Kari Pearce would make waves in her senior season. Guess what? Kari came out and competed three events for the first time in her career, including a 9.800 on bars in her first-ever performance. Not bad!
Michigan welcomes its largest freshman class in 20 years with seven newcomers ready for action in 2011: Teresa Arthur (Tulsa, Okla./Bishop Kelley), Stephanie Colbert (Naperville, Ill./Nequa Valley), Shelby Gies (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central), Tori Kane (Mickleton, N.J./Glouchester County Institute of Technology), Kristin Nagle (Farmington Hills, Mich./North Farmington), Joanna Sampson (Willow Grove, Pa./Upper Moreland) and Reema Zakharia (Miami, Fla./Coral Gables Senior High).
The Michigan Women's Gymnastics Yearbook is Online
Check out the brand new Michigan women's gymnastics yearbook. The fully interactive online publication features the athletes and coaches, Crisler Arena, the Donald R. Shepherd Gymnastics Training Facility and covers the storied history of Michigan women's gymnastics.
Follow Us on Facebook and Twitter
Follow the Michigan women's gymnastics program all season long on Twitter and Facebook. Get news, features, photos and exclusive information on your computer or mobile device all year long. "Like" us today!
Have You Heard About This Thing Called Foursquare?
Michigan has teamed up with Foursquare to give you another way to get involved with Wolverine athletics and the Michigan women's gymnastics team. Here's how to start:
1. On your smartphone, go to Foursquare.com to find the Foursquare application for your iPhone, Android or Blackberry.
2. Install the program and create a user account to get started.
3. To find tips and special offers for Michigan athletics, add "MichiganGoBlue" as a friend. To add friends, go to the Me tab, then click "Friends" and select "Add Friends."
4. Start checking-in to Michigan athletic venues and join the fun!
Contact: Richard Retyi (734) 763-4423