Schleppenbach Leads NU Past No. 7 Utah
The Huskers, who have now beat three straight top-10 opponents, were brilliant on all four events, scoring season-bests on the bars (49.425) and floor (49.45) en route to posting the sixth-highest score and second-highest away meet score in school history. Nebraska, who performed in front of over 14,000 fans, hadn't won at the Huntsman Center since 1999.
"I'm so proud of this group," Head Coach Dan Kendig said after the meet. "They were so awesome tonight. They were relaxed, focused, and ready to go from the get-go. What a total team win. They competed so hard and I couldn't be prouder of them. Utah was very good tonight, and we had to be better than good, and we were."
Schleppenbach had the best meet of her career as a Husker, winning the vault (9.95) and beam (9.90) titles and putting up a career-high 39.575 in the all-around. Schleppenbach wasn't alone in her success, as junior Janelle Giblin took home the bars title (9.925) and true freshman Jessie DeZiel finished first on floor (9.95).
"For Jamie (Schleppenbach) to win, it gives her that much more confidence," Kendig said. "It gives one more of our gymnasts the confidence to know that she can do that anytime she goes out and competes. She was great tonight."
Entering their final event on beam with a slight lead, the Huskers found themselves needing a big score from Schleppenbach in the final spot to capture the victory. The Lincoln native didn't disappoint, posting a career-high 9.90 to seal the win for NU. DeZiel and fellow freshman Jennifer Lauer each posted 9.85s on the event, while Skinner and Wong scored a 9.875 and 9.825, respectively.
"Talk about clutch, talk about pressure," Kendig said about Schleppenbach's beam performance. "She went out there and rocked it.
The Huskers jumped out to an early lead after their first rotation on the uneven bars, led by Giblin, who posted a team-high 9.925 to help NU score a season-best 49.425. The No. 3 bars performer in the country was helped by four Huskers that each posted 9.875s. Wong led the event off with a seamless performance, and was followed by Schleppenbach in the second spot, who scored a career-high 9.875. DeZiel also scored a 9.875, while Evenstad closed the rotation with the same score.
Nebraska held onto the lead after two rotations, scoring a 49.425 on the vault. Lauer scored a career-high 9.85 in the Huskers' opening spot to give NU a solid start. Schleppenbach, who won the event title, stole the show with her career-high 9.95 and was followed by Giblin who posted a 9.90. DeZiel and Wong scored a 9.875 and 9.85, respectively, to round out the action for NU on vault.
On the floor, all five Huskers scored above a 9.85 to help them post a season-best 49.45 on the event. The event was highlighted by DeZiel, who posted a career-best 9.95. DeZiel was followed by Evenstad, who posted a 9.90 to finish the event. Both Giblin and Schleppenbach tied their career-high score with 9.85s, while Wong tallied a 9.90.
The Huskers return to action next Friday, March 16, for their last regular season meet of the year against the Iowa State Cyclones at 7 p.m. at the Devaney Center. Seniors Lora Evenstad and Katelyn Busacker will be honored after the meet for Senior Night ceremonies.
Name Vault Bars Beam Floor All-Around
Katelyn Busacker --- --- --- --- ---
Deanna Barmore --- --- --- --- ---
Jessie DeZiel 9.875 9.875 9.85 9.95 39.55
Lora Evenstad --- 9.875 --- 9.90 ---
Janelle Giblin 9.90 9.925 9.15 9.85 38.825
Amanda Lauer --- --- --- --- ---
Jennifer Lauer 9.85 --- 9.85 -- ---
Kassandra Nathe --- --- --- --- ---
Jamie Schleppenbach 9.95 9.875 9.90 9.85 39.575
Brittany Skinner 9.675 9.00 9.875 9.825 38.375
Desire' Stephens --- --- --- --- ---
Emily Wong 9.85 9.875 9.825 9.90 39.45
Team Score Vault Bars Beam Floor Total
Nebraska 49.425 49.425 49.30 49.45 197.600
Utah 49.40 49.40 49.15 49.50 197.450