Women's Gymnastics Ranked 13th in GymInfo Preseason Poll
Dec. 2, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women's gymnastics team is ranked 13th in the 2011 GymInfo Preseason Coaches Poll. The Nittany Lions are one of seven Big Ten programs to earn a spot in the top 25, while another received votes.
"Although I don't read much into the preseason rankings, it is gratifying to see that the other coaches have ranked us in the top 15," said head coach Jeff Thompson. "I definitely find it interesting that Alabama for the most No. 1 votes, but finished No. 2 in total points. I still think they are going to be the team to beat in 2012."
"I think that is a great place to be ranked going into the season," said senior Natalie Ettl. "However, I gives us motivation to work harder in order to break into the top 10."
Other Big Ten teams in the top 25 include, No. 6 Nebraska, No. 10 Michigan, No. 15 Illinois, No. 18 Ohio State, No. 22 Minnesota and No. 25 Iowa. Michigan State received votes in this year's preseason poll. The Pac-12 has the most teams in the Top 10 with four, including UCLA, Utah, Oregon State and Stanford, while the SEC had three teams and the Big 10 tallied two. The Big Ten and the SEC led all conferences with seven schools in the top 25.
The women's gymnastics team is joining forces with the Penn State men's gymnastics team for a Blue & White Showcase on Friday, Dec. 9. Action is set for 7 p.m. at Rec Hall and is open to the public.
The Penn State women's gymnastics team hosts four meets in Rec Hall in 2012. The Nittany Lions open the 2012 slate in a tri-meet at West Virginia with Maryland on Jan. 8, before traveling to New Hampshire on Jan. 14. The Lions welcome Michigan State, Cornell and Alabama to Rec Hall on Jan. 21 for their home opener.
Head coach Jeff Thompson and associate head coach Rachelle Thompson welcome back 10 letterwinners from the 2011 season, including first team All-Big Ten honorees Sharaya Musser (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Natalie Ettl (Waukesha, Wis.) and second team All-Big Ten selection Madison Merriam (Gaithersburg, Md.). The Nittany Lions welcome the addition of three newcomers, including freshmen Lexi Carroll (Olney, Md.), Krystal Welsh (Bowie, Md.) and Alex Witt (Odessa, Fla.).