The West Virginia gymnastics team is coming off a second place finish in a home tri-meet and heading to Davis, California on Friday to face UC-Davis and Illinois-Chicago.
The Mountaineers, now nationally ranked in the top 25 at No. 24 and standing at No. 3 in the Big 12, recently fell to George Washington, but topped Towson. Their season high score still remains at 195.875 which was achieved against Arizona State.
West Virginia will be one team in just the third meet that UC-Davis has attended this year, and the Aggies are entering this tri-meet with a season-high score of 194.400. UC-Davis finished fourth out of five in the NorCal Classic at Stanford, where it achieved their season-high score despite a second-to-last finish in the meet.
More recently, the Aggies faced Seattle Pacific, where they came away with the highest scores in each event. Alexis Brown won bars, floor and all-around and was also named the MPSF Gymnast of the Week for her performance.
Illinois-Chicago is entering the tri-meet with a season high score of 193.525 and most recently finishing in third place in a meet against No. 8 Boise State, No. 7 Denver and Seattle Pacific with a score of 192.375.
West Virginia will have to utilize Kirah Koshinski and Zaakira Muhammad’s consistent scores to walk out of Davis with a first place finish. Koshinski ranks No. 27 in the nation on vault, while Muhammad ranks No. 37 in the all-around category.
While Koshinski and Muhammad are two of the teams most seasoned gymnasts, head coach Jason Butts says the team has been working on having lots of other options for starters during practices.
“They’ve been working on depth and making sure that we have plenty of options,” Butts said. “We mainly have been working on depth, that way if something goes wrong we have other starters that can step in and still put up the same kind of scores as the starting lineup.”
On the regional level, six Mountaineers are ranked in the top 25 on balance beam. Muhammad is currently at No. 9 and Jordan Gillette is at No. 15, while Koshinski and McKenna Linnen are tied at No. 18. Erica Fontaine sits at No. 20 and Carly Galpin ranks No. 24.
The tri-meet against UC-Davis and Illinois-Chicago is slated to begin at 10 p.m. EST on Friday.