#11 Illinois Selected to Minneapolis Regional
March 24, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In a year where records have been shattered, it made sense that history would continue to be made on Monday when the NCAA announced the participating teams selected to the six NCAA regional sites. The No. 11 Illini women's gymnastics team was selected as the two-seed at the Minneapolis Regional, marking the first time the Orange and Blue garnered a top-two seed.
Today's announcement also marked the 11th consecutive year that Illinois has received a regional invite. The Illini will venture to Minneapolis with its highest national ranking and highest RQS (196.650) ever heading into post-season competition.
"I think it's great going to the University of Minnesota," said Illinois head coach Kim Landrus. "We've been there before and seen them a couple times this year so I think it's a great draw for us."
No. 14 Minnesota is set to host the regional as the No. 3 seed. The Gophers just edged out the Illini by half of a tenth for a podium spot at the Big Ten Championships this past Saturday. The top-seed at the regional is also a familiar foe to the Illini this year, in No. 2 Oklahoma. The Sooners finished in second at last year's NCAA Championships. Rounding out the field of competition is No. 19 California, Southern Utah and San Jose State.
"Beating Minnesota is definitely one of our goals. It's a good matchup. We're very even teams where anything can happen, which is exciting for us," said Amber See.
The top two teams and the top two all-arounders (who are not on an advancing team) from each regional will receive an automatic berth to the National Collegiate Gymnastics Championships April 18-20 in Birmingham, Ala. inside the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex. Illinois will look to punch its second consecutive ticket to Nationals and make its fourth trip in the past six years.
"We are in a pressure packed sport," added Landrus. "To advance to NCAA Nationals, you got to be a great team and compete against great teams and have everything come together on that day."
Six teams, five all-around competitors (who are not on a qualifying team) and one individual event specialist per event (who has a minimum RQS of 9.4) were named to each of the six predetermined host sites: Minneapolis, Minn., Athens, Ga., Fayetteville, Ark., Baton Rouge, La., State College, Pa. and Seattle, Wash. Each regional is made up of three seeded teams that are ranked amongst the top-18 in the nation, followed by the No. 19-36 squads that fill in the remaining three spots.
The meet is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. CT inside the Sports Pavilion on Saturday, April 5. General admission for adults will be $12 while students/youth/seniors will be charged $8. Groups of 10+ can purchase tickets for $8 as well.
MINNEAPOLIS REGIONAL (hosted by Minnesota)
5. Southern Utah
6. San Jose State
1. Alie Glover, Iowa
2. Angel Metcalf, Iowa
3. Linnaea Hance, Air Force
4. Sydney Hoerr, Iowa
5. Katie Fiorilli, Wisconsin-Whitewater
Alt. - Courtney Benson, Hamline
Individual Event Specialists
Vault - Jordyn Doherty, Iowa
Alt. - Jessica Wallander, Air Force
Uneven Bars - Katie Hawthorne, Air Force
Alt. - Alexandra Stych, Air Force
Balance Beam - Shannen Kelly, Air Force
Alt. - Sarah Neumann, Air Force
Floor Exercise - Mollie Drenth, Iowa
Alt. - Maryah Huntley, Iowa