Injuries are providing opportunities for some Nebraska men’s gymnasts this weekend.

The ninth-ranked Huskers will host Illinois-Chicago in their home opener Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Devaney Center. Both teams will be looking for their first victory.

Sophomore Andy House tore his ACL on the vault last weekend at the Stanford Open and is out for the season. Sophomore Louis Klein is banged up and won’t compete Sunday.

“We feel really bad for Andy. He was competing in three events,” coach Chuck Chmelka said. “The next group of guys, we need to get them ready, we’ve just got to be deep. We want to be eight to 10 deep in each event.”

Redshirt freshman Ryan Irick will get his first opportunity to compete on the pommel horse and senior Gabe Sanchez will be on the vault for the first time, which Chmelka said is exciting.

The coaches are also debating whether to use Coleman Tokar, a freshman from Minneapolis who Chmelka had planned to redshirt.

The Huskers will focus on hitting 80 percent of their routines or better to try to get their highest team score of the season. They had a great week of practice, Chmelka said.

“The guys are motivated to be home,” he said. “We’re ready.”

Beam efforts power NU women

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 6 Nebraska women’s gymnastics team held off a late surge by No. 19 Ohio State to claim a 196.150-195.975 win Friday night in Columbus, Ohio. The Huskers (2-1, 2-1 Big Ten) used several key performances early and a clutch performance on beam to stave off the Buckeyes (2-2, 1-1 Big Ten).

Nebraska’s Janelle Giblin, Brittany Skinner and Emily Wong had strong performances. Giblin, an All-American last season, paved the way for the Huskers, hitting an early 9.90 on bars to secure the event title. She also added a 9.825 late on beam to finish fifth and tied for third on vault with teammate Jessie DeZiel at 9.875. Skinner tied for the vault title, posting a 9.925. Wong finished second on both beam (9.90) and bars (9.875).

Other upcoming NU events

>> The Nebraska rifle team is headed to Murray State for the Roger Withrow Open. Last year, the Huskers finished second and they hope to carry the momentum from last weekend’s season-best 4,661 into the two-day meet. The seventh-ranked Huskers (8-5, 2-2 GARC) are in position to qualify for their first NCAA championship since 2010.

>> The No. 17 women’s tennis team (2-0) is hosting the ITA Kickoff on Saturday and Sunday. No. 18 Notre Dame, No. 22 Georgia Tech and No. 23 Tennessee will be competing at the Nebraska Tennis Center. NU opens against Tennessee on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The winner of the event gets a bid to the ITA national indoor team championships Feb. 8 to 11 in Charlottesville, Va.

>> The Husker swimming and diving teams travel to Illinois for an 11 a.m. meet Saturday.

The contest will be the first Big Ten dual for the Huskers as they’ll try to avenge last season’s 152-148 loss.

Nebraska (10-1) is hoping for a different result than last weekend’s 158-142 home loss to San Diego State that knocked it from the ranks of the unbeaten. Illinois (2-3) will also be looking to bounce back after suffering a home loss to Iowa.

Contact the writer:

402-444-1034, marjie.ducey@owh.com

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