Huskers claim gymnastics title

Knoxville Tenn.,- The No. 6 Nebraska women's gymnastics team placed first in a tri-meet with No. 3 Alabama, and No. 17 Kentucky on Saturday night for the Ozone Collegiate Classic, earning a team score of 196.250. No. 3 ranked Alabama (1-1) took second at 196.050, with Kentucky (3-1) picking up third 194.650.

Senior Emily Wong led all Huskers on the evening, winning the all-around competition with a 39.55. Wong's effort included finishes of first on floor (9.95), second on bars (9.875), tie for second on vault (9.875) and third on beam (9.85). Jessie DeZiel joined Wong with three, top-two finishes including the all-around (39.20), as well as on floor (9.875) and beam (9.90). Jenifer Lauer added another beam title to her name taking top honors with a score of 9.925.

The Huskers started the evening on beam, posting a solid team showing of 49.200. NU was led by Jennifer Lauer, who soared to a 9.925. Jessie DeZiel followed up with a 9.90 which ties her career-high score, while Wong (9.85) and Schleppenbach (9.80) added two strong scores.

Nebraska's 49.20 leads all teams after the first rotation. Alabama posted a 49.00 on bars, while Kentucky picked up a mark of 48.75 on vault.

NU then headed to floor for the second rotation earning a team score of 49.125. All-American Emily Wong led the way for the Huskers with a 9.95 score, as Jessie DeZiel added a season-best 9.875. Hollie Blanske also tacked on a 9.80 showing.

The Huskers led all the squads after the second rotation with a combined team score of 98.325. Alabama earned a 48.85 on beam and Kentucky earned a 48.40 on bars. With two events down, Nebraska led the meet with Alabama at 97.850, with Kentucky following in third 97.150.

Nebraska took to vault for their third rotation of the night, picking up a 49.275 team mark. The trio of DeZiel, Wong, and Stephens all led the vault squad posting identical scores of 9.875. Ashley Lambert and Ariel Martin also snagged identical marks of 9.825 to boost the Huskers efforts on vault.

Nebraska led all teams again after the third event of the night. Alabama posted a 48.775 on floor, while Kentucky posted a 48.625 on beam. With only one event remaining, Nebraska led all teams at 147.60. Alabama closely followed at 146.625, with Kentucky taking third at 145.775.

The Huskers took to bars for their final rotation of the night posting a 48.65 team score. Despite some uncharacteristic struggles, Wong carried the Huskers with her 9.875 performance, as sophomore Hollie Blanske added a 9.85 score that ties her career-high.

NU held onto their lead even as Alabama posted a 49.425 on vault and Kentucky added a 48.875 on floor. Nebraska defeated No. 3 Alabama 196.050, and No. 17 Kentucky 194.650 to claim the Ozone Collegiate Classic crown.

The Big Red will head to Iowa City, Iowa next week to face the Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Carver-Hawkeye Arena, before returning home on Feb. 1 to face Minnesota.

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