Gymnast McKenna Linnen named WVU Student-Athle

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    Matt Keller
    Matt Keller
    Muskets:

    Following two career-best showings and a pair of third-place finishes at the WVU Coliseum on Jan. 21, freshman gymnast McKenna Linnen has been named the West Virginia University Student-Athlete of the Week, presented by University Apartments.

    A native of Canton, Michigan, Linnen paced the Mountaineers on balance beam in a meet against George Washington and Towson, scoring a career-high 9.8 and tying for third place. She also opened the Mountaineers’ floor rotation with a career-best 9.85, also giving her a share of third place. Linnen has earned 9.85 on floor in consecutive meets.

    After just three career meets, Linnen shows three podium finishes and ranks No. 2 on the team.

    WVU finished second at the Wendy M. Roach Pink Meet Invitational on Sunday with a 195.4 mark. GW scored 195.575 and placed first, while Towson finished third with a 194.4.

    This Week in Women’s Basketball: The Mountaineers (16-4, 4-4) host a pair of Big 12 contests in Morgantown … WVU will welcome Texas Tech to the Coliseum on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tip … the game will be aired live on Nexstar and will be Trivia Night … on Sunday, the Mountaineers play host to Baylor in a 3 p.m. contest … the Big 12 Championship game rematch will be shown nationally on FS1 … WVU will celebrate “I Belong” Day, a celebration of diversity and inclusion.

    Last Week in Women’s Basketball: West Virginia went 1-1 on a five-day road trip … on Wednesday, the Mountaineers dropped a 79-73 contest to Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Oklahoma … junior guard Naomi Davenport led the team with 25 points, while senior forward Teana Muldrow recorded a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds … WVU rebounded with a 69-59 win over Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday … Muldrow and Davenport again led the way, each recording a double-double.

    Notes: The Mountaineers ranked at No. 17 in last week’s AP Poll and at No. 16 via USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll … WVU had a season-high 11 3-pointers in the loss at Oklahoma State … the team also had a season-high 24 turnovers and 23 personal fouls … junior guard Naomi Davenport had a career-high five 3-pointers against OSU … senior forward Teana Muldrow had double-doubles in both games this week … Muldrow leads the Big 12 with 10 on the season … she is now tied for seventh all-time with 20 career double-doubles … Davenport also registered a double-double on Saturday for her fifth of the season … WVU coach Mike Carey picked up his 650th career win at Iowa State.

    This Week in Gymnastics: The No. 24-ranked Mountaineers leave Morgantown for the first time this season and travel to Davis, California, for a meet against UC Davis and Illinois-Chicago on Friday, Jan. 26, with action inside The Pavilion set to begin at 10 p.m. EST.

    Last Season in Gymnastics: WVU tallied a 195.4 score and finished in second place at the Wendy M. Roach Pink Meet Invitational on Sunday, Jan. 21, at the WVU Coliseum … George Washington edged the Mountaineers with a 195.575 mark, and Towson finished third with a 194.0 score, giving WVU (1-3) its first win of the season … the Mountaineers scored a winning, season-best 49.2 on floor and also placed second on vault (48.95), uneven bars (48.4) and balance beam (48.85) … junior Kirah Koshinski won floor outright with a season-best 9.9 … junior Jaquie Tun paced WVU on vault and tied for second overall with a career-high 9.85 … freshman Sydney Marler tied for third on bars with a team-best 9.75 score … on beam, freshman McKenna Linnen tallied a career-high 9.8 and tied for third place.

    Notes: Five scores of 9.8 or better pushed WVU to its season-best floor mark, including third place, career-high 9.85s from Linnen and sophomore Erica Fontaine … senior Jordan Gillette and sophomore Abby Kaufman tied for eighth place with 9.8s, a season high for Kaufman … sophomore Julia Merwin scored a season-high 9.8 on vault, and junior Carly Galpin tallied a season-best 9.775 on beam … Kaufman competed in the all-around for the first time in her career and finished fifth with a 38.95 score.

    This Week in Track and Field: WVU travels to University Park, Pennsylvania, for the Penn State National Open on Jan. 26-27.

    Last Week in Track and Field: The Mountaineers won two events and added one second place and two third-place finishes at the YSU College Invitational on Jan. 19, at the Watson and Tressel Training Site in Youngstown, Ohio … WVU was led by a pair of redshirt seniors in Maggie Drazba and Amy Cashin … Drazba won the women’s mile (4:49.92) in her 2017-18 indoor debut, while Cashin won the women’s 800 meters (2:10.76).

    Notes: Cashin’s time of 2:10.76 in the 800-meter run broke the track record; the performance also was a lifetime best for the Werribee, Australia, native … freshman Ellie Gardner broke her own freshman indoor school record in the women’s pole vault, earning a mark of 3.86 meters (12’ 8’’) while placing second in the event, matching the fifth-best indoor mark in school history … redshirt senior Sara Finfrock and redshirt junior Madelin Gardner also reached 3.86m at the event … additionally, redshirt freshman Sarah Wills claimed third in the women’s mile … WVU’s trip to Penn State is the first of two during the 2017-18 indoor season … the meet also marks the sixth time WVU will compete at PSU since the 2014-15 campaign.

    Coach Sean Cleary following the YSU College Invitational: “This was a very nice road trip for us. Most of the team either ran lifetime bests or were jumping at personal-best bars. Maggie Drazba showed a nice turn of speed in dropping down in the mile, and Amy Cashin showed that she is ready for a big winter. She and Maggie clearly came back from break fit. It’s nice to see the kids rewarded for working hard over break.”

    This Week in Wrestling: The Mountaineers will take a week off from competition before they travel to Colorado for a pair of Big 12 matches at Air Force and Northern Colorado on Feb. 2 and Feb. 3, respectively.

    Last Week in Wrestling: West Virginia suffered a 29-6 setback at No. 5 Oklahoma State on Friday, at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma … freshman Nick Kiussis picked up the Mountaineers’ lone victory of the evening, winning by fall over Dalton Moran in 2:04 at 165 pounds … on Sunday, the Mountaineers dropped a heartbreaking match to Iowa State, 25-17, at the Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa … four Mountaineers came away with victories in the loss, including one win by tech. fall at 125 pounds and one win by fall at 165 pounds … Kiussis pinned ISU’s Logan Breitenbach in 1 minute, 30 seconds to earn his second pin of the weekend … the Brunswick, Ohio, native now has a team-high five pins on the year … redshirt freshman Matthew Schmitt and junior Christian Monserrat also topped their first ranked opponent of the season in the match vs. Iowa State at 133 and 141 pounds, respectively … Schmitt collected a 4-2 decision in sudden victory over No. 20 Ian Parker, while Monserrat claimed a 9-7 decision in sudden victory over No. 16 Kanen Storr.

    Notes: Four wrestlers appeared in the top 33 of their respective weight classes in the first of four coaches’ panel rankings for the 2017-18 season released on Jan. 18 … redshirt junior Zeke Moisey ranks 14th at 125 pounds, while redshirt senior Jacob A. Smith ranks 17th at 197 pounds … Schmitt (133) and redshirt sophomore Zachary Moore (157) each enter the coaches’ panel rankings for the first time in their careers at No. 32 in their respective weight classes … the final rankings will be used in determining qualifiers for the 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, which will be held in Cleveland, Ohio, at the Quicken Loans Arena, from March 15-17 … Moisey and Schmitt are tied for the team lead with 16 wins on the year, with each of them boasting a 16-7 overall record in their respective weight classes … in addition, Moisey paces the Mountaineers with 24 match points and sports a team-best 19 takedowns on the year.

    Coach Sammie Henson following Sunday’s loss at Iowa State: “I’m really proud of our lower weights and how they fought today. They competed against some of the best guys in the country and prevailed. I’m disappointed in the results. We had a good shot at winning this dual, and we didn’t pull through.”

    This Week in Rifle: The Mountaineers travel to Annapolis, Maryland, for a shoulder-to-shoulder match at Navy on Saturday, Jan. 27, at 8 a.m. EST.

    Last Week in Rifle: The Mountaineers earned a pair of wins over top-10 opponents in Fairbanks, Alaska, over the weekend, defeating No. 9 Mississippi, 4718-4669, at Tanana Valley Sportsmen’s Association on Jan. 20, and No. 5 Alaska-Fairbanks, 4719-4704, on Jan. 21, at E.F. Horton Rifle Range … on Saturday, WVU swept the Rebels in both disciplines, outshooting Ole Miss 2340-2322 smallbore and 2378-2347 air rifle … junior Ginny Thrasher earned both individual wins, shooting 591 smallbore and 599 air rifle … included in her smallbore results Saturday was a school-record-matching 199 kneeling … on Sunday, the Mountaineers earned a narrow 2333-2332 smallbore victory over the Nanooks and also scored a 2386-2372 air rifle win … Thrasher also shot 591 smallbore Sunday for her second straight win, while sophomore Milica Babic tied for the air rifle victory with a 598 mark.

    Notes: Sophomore Jack Anderson shot a season-best 566 smallbore Saturday … redshirt-freshman Noah Barker shot two career highs Sunday, finishing eighth in smallbore and air rifle with marks of 578 and 590, respectively … five Mountaineers counted toward the team scores on both days: Babic, Thrasher, senior Elizabeth Gratz, sophomore Morgan Phillips and freshman Sarah Osborn.

    This Week in Swimming & Diving: The Mountaineers host Villanova and Big 12 foe Iowa State (women only) on Senior Day on Saturday, Jan. 27 … competition at the WVU Natatorium begins with diving at 10 a.m. ET, and continues with swimming at 11 a.m.

    Last Week in Swimming & Diving: WVU hosted rival Pitt in the Backyard Brawl on Jan. 18, at the WVU Natatorium … the men topped the Panthers, 187-113, earning their second win over Pitt in the last three years … WVU’s women’s team fell, 193-107 … the men’s team won 11 events and was led by junior Merwane El Merini’s four total wins (two individual) … WVU broke three pool records during the meet, including the men’s 200 medley relay (1:29.94), junior Morgan Bullock in the women’s 200 butterfly (2:00.47) and freshman David Dixon in the men’s 200 butterfly (1:45.80) … additionally, senior Logan McHenry won the men’s 1- and 3-meter dives against Pitt.

    Notes: The Mountaineers will recognize 15 seniors prior to Saturday’s regular-season finale … WVU swept Villanova in last season’s dual meet outside Philadelphia … the men’s team took down the Wildcats, 172-71, while the women’s team earned a 147-96 victory … Saturday marks the fifth consecutive season the women’s squad will compete against Iowa State … the Cyclones narrowly defeated the Mountaineers last season, 153-147, in Ames … the men’s victory over Pitt marked its eighth all-time Backyard Brawl win and fourth under coach Vic Riggs … the Mountaineer men are looking to finish the regular season unbeaten for the first time since 2006-07 with a victory on Saturday … the meet also ends the teams’ stretch of three meets in 14 days … in the past two meets, freshman David Dixon has won seven of the eight events he has competed in (individual and relay).

    Coach Vic Riggs following Thursday’s meet against Pitt: “I am really proud of both teams today, we discussed focusing on creating our own environment and I think both teams did a great job of that today. For the men to come out with a victory today was fantastic. Coming out with a 1-2 finish in the 200 medley relay really set the tone for the rest of the meet. David (Dixon), Merwane (El Merini), Tristen (DiSibio), Luke (Hene), Logan (McHenry) and Michael (Proietto) had key victories today. Overall, it was a very solid performance for both teams.”

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Home forums BlueGoldNews WVU Sports Gymnast McKenna Linnen named WVU Student-Athle