The Illini are one of six Big Ten squads ranked in the Top-25, coming in at No. 18
Dec. 4, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The University of Illinois women's gymnastics team will kick-off their 2013 campaign ranked No. 18 in the nation by the Troester GymInfo Coaches' Preseason Poll. The ranking marks the sixth-consecutive year and seventh overall that the Illini have achieved a Top-25 spot heading into the season. Specifically, Illinois started last year ranked 15th, 17th in 2011, 13th in 2010, 16th in 2009, 23rd in 2008 and 25th back in 1999.
"To be ranked in the Top-25 for the sixth consecutive year is a nice recognition as it shows consistency in our program over the past several years," said Illinois head coach Kim Landrus. "As a team, we are working on the little details in the gym so that we are ready come January. We have a solid schedule in which we face several Top-25 opponents so it will be exciting. I look forward to January 12 to officially begin our season."
The Orange and Blue will pick up right where they left off, finishing the 2012 season ranked 18th after finishing third in the Champaign Regional and producing a National Championship qualifier. The Illini also finished in the Top-25 in three of the four events: 23rd in Bars, 13th in Beam and 20th on Floor while producing two Top-25 All-Arounders which includes current senior standout Alina Weinstein. This season, the Illini return 17 of 24 routines, nine letterwinners and two All-Big Ten honorees.
Defending National Champion Alabama holds onto the top spot after claiming 689 total points and 11 first place votes. UCLA, who finished third at the National Championships last year just edges out Florida with 645 points but fewer first place votes with five. The Gators, who were last year's runner-up, will begin at No. 3 with 644 points and 10 first place votes. Concluding the Top-five are No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 5 Utah.
Five other Big Ten schools join the University of Illinois in the Preseason Top-25, ensuring an exciting 2013 season. 2012 Big Ten Champion Nebraska earns the highest ranking of the conference, checking in at the No. 7 spot. Michigan is next at No. 10, followed by Ohio State at No. 14, Penn State at No. 16 and Minnesota at No. 23.
The Orange and Blue square off with eight total Preseason Top-25 opponents in the 2013 season, including two in their opening meet on Jan. 12 with No. 19 Arizona and No. 6 Stanford. The final ranked non-conference foe the Illini clash with this year is No. 21 Missouri on March 8.
The 18th ranked Illini host their annual Orange and Blue exhibition this Sunday, Dec. 9, at 2 p.m. CT, alongside the Illini men's team at Huff Hall. Admission is free for all home meets this year.