It felt like we all needed a chance to catch our breath after last week's track & field - women's basketball conference title combination. The basketball team, of course, went on to double-dip, winning the Big Ten Tournament just for good measure.
Even with Track & Field taking the week off, Iowa Olympic sports still found a way to make it a memorable week, with the Hawkeye gymnasts adding another victory over rival Iowa State.
Let's take a closer look.
- The Hawkeye gymnastics squad traveled to Ames Friday night and came away with the 196.825 - 196.500 victory over the 20th ranked Cyclones.
- Iowa's score was the 5th best in program history, thanks to a dominant night across the board. The Hawks won four events: Linda Zivat on the vault (9.925), Lauren Guerin and JerQuavia Henderson on floor (9.975), Adeline Kenlin and Bridget Killian on the beam (9.900), and JerQuavia Henderson in the all-around (39.325)
- The Hawkeyes' 49.500 team score on the vault was 2nd-best in school history and included three career-high scores from Zivat, Allyson Zuhlke, and Kendall LaPlante. The Hawks also scored six scores of 9.9 or higher, most in school history.
- Iowa's Lauren Guerin earned Big Ten Specialist of the Week honors for her school-record tying performance on the floor:
Just In!— Iowa Gymnastics (@IowaGymnastics) March 8, 2022
Lauren Guerin is the ! After tying a program record 9.975 Floor score against ISU, @Laureng1515 earns her 1st B1G award of the season & 4th of her career!
: https://t.co/EDwqBo4KI9#Hawkeyes x @bigten pic.twitter.com/DUMQfKMnG5
- Iowa has gone up against some stiff competition over the past few weeks and while the Cyclones aren't in the top-10 like some of Iowa's recent opponents, they're certainly no slouch. Seeing the Hawkeyes perform against another talented school and in a rivalry meet is a great sign as they head towards the postseason. The team seems to be hitting their stride, especially on the vault and the floor (where they are currently ranked 7th in the country). The Big Ten has some of the best gymnastics programs in the country so a team title will take an extraordinary effort, but there will no doubt be some individual Hawkeyes making noise at the conference championship meet in a few weeks.
- Iowa travel to California to take on the #8 ranked Cal Bears next weekend in their final tuneup before the conference meet.
- The Hawkeye softball team played another trio of games last weekend, coming away with two wins.
- Iowa got their weekend started with a Friday doubleheader. In Game 1, the Hawkeyes took on Indiana State and earned a convincing 6-1 win. The game was tight through the first five innings with Iowa holding a 3-1 lead thanks to a strong outing from Breanna Vasquez. In the 6th inning, the Hawkeye bats came alive, bringing home three runs and pulling away from the Sycamores. Denali Loecker led off the inning with a home run and the Hawks scored another on Marissa Peek's second double of the day.
- In Game 2, Iowa kept the hot bats rolling, dominating the Memphis Tigers 8-0. Denali Loecker struck out a career-high eight batters and both Grace Barnes and Madison Weaver drove in a pair of runs. Iowa scored early and often, putting up a pair of runs in the top of the first and adding 2 more in both the 6th and the 7th to put a stamp on a great day of Hawkeye Softball.
- Saturday's game against Butler was hard-fought, but the Hawks ultimately fell 4-2. Butler was able to get three across in the third inning and that proved to be enough to earn the win. Loecker was again on the mound and threw a complete game, but the bats weren't able to muster enough runs to complete the comeback. The Hawks loaded the bases in the 7th and were threatening to tie or take the lead before Butler was finally able to shut them down.
- The Iowa softball team has gotten off to a strong start on the season and now sit at 11-5. They'll be back in action next weekend in Kansas as part of the Jayhawk Invitational.
- It was a tough week for Iowa baseball, as they went 2-3, including a rough loss to Loras College.
- The loss to Loras kicked off the week for the Hawks and it was one to forget. The Hawkeyes never looked comfortable in their home opener and fell behind 3-0 after three innings. Iowa's bats remained dormant until the 9th inning when Peyton Williams was able to drive home the Hawks' only run, but it wasn't enough in the 3-1 loss. Losing to a lower division team is never fun and is definitely not a great look for a team that had high aspirations this season, but baseball is a finicky sport and it's early in the season. It's not an excuse for what is certainly a bad loss, but take a deep breath before you give up on the rest of the Hawkeyes' season.
- The Hawks were able to rebound the next day against Cornell College, striking out 19 batters en route to a dominant 8-0 win. Iowa scored five in the first two innings, clearly wanting to waste no time making amends for Tuesday's loss, and looked in control throughout. Nine Hawkeyes notched a hit and Brody Brecht hit 101 on a pair of pitches during his relief appearance to highlight a nice bounce-back day for Iowa.
- The weekend featured a trio of games for the Hawks. On Friday, Iowa fell 6-4 to Witchita State. Iowa took a 4-0 lead after three, but the Shockers scored four in the 6th and two more in the 8th to earn the comeback win. Adam Mazur no-hit Witchita for 5 1/3 innings, but the Shockers finally figured something out and hit four straight singles. Brayden Frazier nearly made a spectacular play to get out of the inning, but the ball came loose after he collided with the wall, clearing the bases and tying the game. Iowa's offense tried to rally in the 9th, but ultimately came up short after putting two runners on.
- The 6th inning again proved troublesome for the Hawks on Saturday against Texas A&M. Iowa was tied with the Aggies 2-2 going into the 6th, but TAMU put up five runs to pull away and earn the 7-3 win. Three errors in the 6th doomed the Hawks, who never could string together enough hits to climb back into the game. Ben Tallman had a highlight day at the plate, going 3/4 and Peyton Williams continued his hot start, driving in a run after a home run on Friday, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Aggies' big inning.
- Iowa turned their 6th inning woes on their head Sunday, scoring 4 runs of their own in the inning to rally past the Washington State Cougars and win 6-5. The Hawks fell behind 3-0 after two innings, but put together a scrappy 6th to take the lead. Iowa batted around on only two hits, drawing two walks and reaching on a wild pitch en route to the 4 run outburst. Keaton Anthony and Brendan Sher came up with the clutch hits, driving home two each in the inning. When Wazzu tied the game in the 7th before Peyton Williams came up big yet again, hitting a massive home run. Anthony Mangano notched the insurance RBI that proved very necessary to the Hawkeyes' 6-5 win.
- It's been a bumpy start for the Hawkeyes, who are now 6-5, but all of the pieces have flashed at one point or another. Consistency will be key to the team reaching the heights they are shooting for as the season continues.
- Iowa Tennis took on Kansas State and Minnesota last week, falling 4-3 to KSU and 6-1 to the Gophers.
- Friday's match against Kansas State. was hard-fought from the jump. The Wildcats rallied late to take the doubles point and then quickly followed up with two more on the #1 and #2 courts. Iowa fought back, earning points at #5 and #6 from Samantha Gillas and Barbora Pokorna, but the Hawks weren't able to find the decisive 4th point to earn the win.
- Against Minnesota, points were harder to come by. The Gophers jumped out early with the doubles point and held serve throughout the singles matches. Iowa's lone point came from Samantha Mannix on the #3 court.
- The Hawkeyes will be back in action next weekend against Memphis.