MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University gymnastics team (2-2, 0-1 Big 12) returns to the road to take on Big 12 Conference foe Iowa State on Friday, Jan. 28, in Ames, Iowa. The meet is set for 7:30 p.m. ET, inside Hilton Coliseum.
“We are excited to see another Big 12 opponent this weekend at Iowa State,” West Virginia coach Jason Butts said. “They’re a very competitive team, and we have a great opportunity to bring home a win and a big road score. To do that, though, we definitely will have our work cut out for us. Our focus will be on hitting 24-for-24 routines, and we may see some athletes competing tomorrow who haven’t been in a lineup yet this year. Hilton Coliseum is a great venue, and this should be a good competition on Friday.”
WVU and the Cyclones will meet for the 24th time in program history on Friday, as Iowa State owns a 16-6-1 all-time series advantage. Additionally, ISU also holds a 13-6-1 record over the Mountaineers since West Virginia joined the Big 12 in 2012-13.
The two teams last met on March 20, 2021, at the Big 12 Championship, hosted by the Mountaineers at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown. ISU edged out WVU, 197.05-195.725, to secure third place. West Virginia’s last win over the Cyclones came on March 18, 2017, at the Big 12 Championship in Frisco, Texas. WVU secured third place over ISU with a 195.575-195.5 win.
West Virginia is looking for its first conference, regular-season win since Feb. 26, 2017, when the Mountaineers topped Iowa State, 195.95-195.725, in Morgantown.
In this week’s Road to Nationals rankings, WVU is ranked No. 7 on floor exercise (49.338 avg.) and No. 24 on balance beam (48.863 avg.). Overall, the Mountaineers did not crack the top 25, coming in at No. 29 with a season average of 194.863. The Cyclones are just behind West Virginia, slotted No. 32 (194.667 avg.).
In the Big 12, WVU is No. 3 overall and ISU is No. 4. West Virginia is No. 2 in the conference on floor (49.338 avg.) and No. 3 (48.863 avg.) on beam, while the Cyclones are fourth on floor and beam. Iowa State is ahead of the Mountaineers on vault and bars, claiming No. 3 in the conference. WVU sits in fourth on both events with a 48.763 average on vault and a 47.9 average on bars.
Iowa State’s Maddie Diab sits just ahead of junior Abbie Pierson and sophomore Kiana Lewis on the league’s individual rankings on floor. Diab is third with a 9.9 season average, while Pierson and Lewis sit tied for fourth (9.887 avg.).
Last week, West Virginia opened its home and conference slates with a 197.600-195.725 loss to No. 6 Denver on Feb. 21, at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown. Despite WVU finishing second to Denver on all four events, the Pioneers narrowly outscored the Mountaineers on floor, 49.4-49.35, as West Virginia tallied five scores of 9.85 or better.
Three different Mountaineers earned four podium appearances against UD, including three on floor and one on the all-around. Senior Kendra Combs led the way in second place on floor with a 9.9 total and third place on the all-around with a 39.150. Pierson and Lewis tied for third place on floor with a pair of 9.875 scores