The West Virginia gymnastics team hopes to add its first win of the season during Sunday afternoon’s meet at the Coliseum against Towson and George Washington.
West Virginia started the season with two home losses to top-25 teams in No. 2 Florida and then No. 14 Arizona State. The Mountaineers are entering this tri-meet with a season-high of 195.875, which is higher than both of their upcoming opponents.
“It’s hard to open your season with No. 2 in the country and No. 14 with Arizona State, but they have to rise to the challenge,” said West Virginia head coach Jason Butts on the losses. “I tell them all the time that we’re only going to be as good as the teams we compete against.”
Butts is entering his sixth year as the head coach for the Mountaineer gymnastics team, but this will be his eleventh year as a member of the gymnastics coaching staff at WVU. Coming off of a strong 2017 season, Butts is eager to see what the rest of the season holds for the Mountaineers.
“They look good, they look confident,” Butts said. “We’re coming off our season high. In the gym they continue to work on all the little details and the plan that we’re setting up for them to continue to rise their scores as we go through the season.”
Towson will be entering Morgantown with a 2-3 record, recently picking up two wins in a tri-meet against Temple and William & Mary with a season high score of 194.75.
Last week, Lauren Cahalan, a senior gymnast for the Tigers, was named the East Atlantic Gymnastics League’s Specialist of the Week for her career-high floor score of 9.875 and beam score of 9.750.
The George Washington Colonials are coming off of a first place finish in the Lindsey Ferris Invitational against Cornell, Ball State and Pennsylvania with their season high score of 195.325. George Washington is currently ranked No. 27, but has been ranked as high as No. 21 in the NCAA top-25.
“They’re both pretty good teams. George Washington has really improved over the past few years, they’re definitely a national contender program. That’s going to be a tough challenge. We go back and forth with them a couple of times a year,” Butts said. “They always put up a good fight. Towson also has shown remarkable improvement over the past few years. Their head coach has put a lot of hard work into increasing their depth and talent there.”
West Virginia’s meet against the Tigers and Colonials on Sunday is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start.