Dec. 1, 2011
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan women's gymnastics team is ranked 10th in the 2012 NCAA Preseason Coaches Poll, released on Thursday (Dec. 1). The Wolverines received 641 points from voters, including two first-place votes. UCLA topped the preseason poll, with Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, Utah, Nebraska, Oregon State, Stanford, and Georgia rounding out the remainder of the top 10.
Michigan is the second-highest Big Ten team ranked in the poll, behind new member Nebraska at No. 6. Five other conference schools dot the rankings, including Penn State (No. 13), Illinois (No. 15), Ohio State (No. 18), Minnesota (No. 22) and Iowa (No. 25).
The Wolverines will face nine preseason top-25 teams -- four in the top 10 -- during the regular season. They will host No. 5 Utah (Feb. 17), No. 9 Georgia (March 9), No. 15 Illinois (Jan. 27), and No. 18 Ohio State in the home opener. Road trips include No. 4 Oklahoma (Feb. 24), No. 6 Nebraska (Feb. 11, with No. 16 Washington and Southern Utah at the Masters Classic), No. 13 Penn State (March 2; with North Carolina and Centenary), and No. 22 Minnesota (Jan. 21).
Michigan returns nine letterwinners off last year's NCAA Super Six and Big Ten championship squad, including 2011 NCAA All-Americans Natalie Beilstein (Butler, Pa./Knoch), Brittnee Martinez (Colorado Springs, Colo./Doherty) and Katie Zurales (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South). The Wolverines have won 18 of the last 20 Big Ten titles -- including a run of five straight -- and have advanced to the last 20 NCAA Regional Championships and 19 of the last 20 NCAA Championships.
The team's annual Maize and Blue Intrasquad opens the season next Friday (Dec. 9) at 6 p.m. inside Crisler Arena. Admission to the event is free.
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423