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Pierson Named WVU Student-Athlete of the Week

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Feb. 15, 2021) – Following a season-best 9.9 total on floor exercise, sophomore Abbie Pierson of the West Virginia University gymnastics team has been named the WVU Student-Athlete of the Week, presented by University Apartments. 

The New Kensington, Pennsylvania, native ascended the podium in two-of-three events she competed in, including her second-place, 9.9 showing on floor. Her mark in the anchor position helped propel WVU’s floor lineup to a season-high 49.200 showing. She also tied for second on vault with a matching-season high score of 9.8. 

Pierson now owns 12 career podium finishes, including five on vault and four on floor.  

She currently paces the team and ranks in the top 25 regionally on vault with a season average of 9.794. Pierson also checks in at No. 14 in this week’s Big 12 vault rankings. 

This Week in Gymnastics: The Mountaineers (0-4, 0-4) travel to Denver for another dual meet with No. 9-ranked Pioneers (4-2, 2-2) on Sunday, Feb. 21, inside Magness Arena … competition is set to begin at 4 p.m. ET on Altitude TV. 

Last Week in Gymnastics: West Virginia used season-high scores on two events to power to a season-best total in a 196.375-195.400 loss to No. 7 Denver on Feb. 11, at the WVU Coliseum, in Morgantown … the Mountaineers finished second to the Pioneers on every event … Denver narrowly outscored West Virginia on floor exercise, 49.300-49.200, as five scores of 9.8 or better pushed WVU to a season-best total … WVU also earned a season high on the uneven bars with a 48.75 score … the Mountaineers opened the meet on vault with a 48.725 mark and also scored 48.725 on balance beam in the third rotation … sophomore Abbie Pierson ascended the podium in two-of-three events she competed in, including her second-place, 9.9 showing on floor, good for a season high … the New Kensington, Pennsylvania, native also tied for second on vault with a matching season-high score of 9.8 … additionally, freshman Chloe Asper competed on beam for the first time in her career, scoring a team-high 9.8 mark in the anchor position to tie for third overall. 

Notes: The Mountaineers’ score topped their previous season-high of 195.175 set on Feb. 7 … with the loss, WVU drops to 5-12 all-time against UD … West Virginia’s last win over Denver took place on Jan. 29, 2017, when the squad claimed a 196.3-195.9 victory in Morgantown … WVU is looking for its first conference regular season win since Feb. 26, 2017 … eleven Mountaineers have competed in at least one meet this season, with eight gymnasts reaching the podium … sophomore Emily Holmes-Hackerd paces the team with 143.2 season points, followed by classmate Kianna Yancey with 135.725. 

This Week in Rifle: The Mountaineers are set for an NCAA Qualifying Match on Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Lt. Hugh W. Wylie Range, in Columbus, Ohio. 

Last Week in Rifle: West Virginia suffered its first Great America Rifle Conference (GARC) loss of the season, as the Mountaineers fell, 4717-4723, to No. 2-ranked Kentucky on Saturday, Feb. 13, at the Barker Hall Rifle Range, in Lexington, Kentucky … the Mountaineers (7-1, 5-1 GARC) were swept by the Wildcats (13-1, 6-0 GARC) with UK winning smallbore, 2344-2333 … West Virginia took the win in air rifle, 2379-2384  

Notes: Five Mountaineers counted toward the team’s scores: Junior Jared Eddy, freshman Becca Lamb, freshman Molly McGhin, sophomore Akihito Shimizu and sophomore Calista Smoyer … despite the loss, WVU holds a 20-11 all-time series lead over UK since 1963 … senior Sarah Osborn and Shimizu both paced the Mountaineers with an aggregate total of 1182 and placed third overall, while Smoyer finished third on the team and sixth overall with a combined score of 1180 … Osborn took second place in smallbore with a 589 (194 kneeling, 200 prone, 195 standing) mark, while Shimizu (100-99-100-100-100-99) and Smoyer (99-100-100-99-100-100) tied for first overall in air rifle with matching 598s … Smoyer matched her air rifle career-high total after shooting a 598 … McGhin also matched her career-high air rifle score with a 598. 

This Week in Swimming and DivingThe Mountaineers are set to open postseason action with two weeks of competition at the 2021 Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championship, from Feb. 19-21 and 24-27, at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center, in Austin, Texas … the diving teams begin the conference meet this week from Feb. 19-21, before the swim teams arrive in Austin to complete the conference meet from Feb. 24-27. 

Last Week in Swimming and DivingWest Virginia did not compete last week. 

Notes: Freshman Roanoke Shirk collected his first conference award on Feb. 10 after being named the Big 12 Men’s Newcomer of the Week … Shirk helped the Mountaineer men’s 400 freestyle relay team to a third-place finish in the regular-season finale against Notre Dame to earn conference recognition … West Virginia returns to the Big 12 Championship after the men’s team finished second in 2020 and the women’s team finished in third place … WVU collected 11 medals in 2020, hosting the conference championship at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park, in Morgantown, for the first time in program history. 

This Week in Women’s Basketball: West Virginia travels to Waco, Texas, on Wednesday, Feb. 17, for a rematch against No. 7/9 Baylor … Wednesday evening’s contest against the Lady Bears is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET … following its game at BU, WVU returns to Morgantown on Saturday, Feb. 20, to play host to TCU … Saturday’s contest against the Horned Frogs is senior day … the Mountaineers will honor seniors Kysre Gondrezick and Blessing Ejiofor prior to tip-off …. WVU and TCU will tip at 2 p.m. … both games this week will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ … single-game tickets for Saturday’s, senior-day contest are now available for purchase at WVUGAME.com

Last Week in Women’s Basketball: WVU split a pair of Big 12 matchups at home last week … the Mountaineers opened the week with a 69-61 win over Kansas on Feb. 10 … West Virginia was led by four double-figure performances from Gondrezick (19 points), junior forward Kari Niblack (17 points), sophomore forward Esmery Martinez (17 points) and sophomore guard Kirsten Deans (11 points) … Martinez and junior guard Madisen Smith led the Mountaineers in rebounding with seven boards … WVU suffered a 72-71, upset loss to Oklahoma on Feb. 13, to close out the week … Deans paced WVU’s scoring efforts, netting 22 points and dishing out six assists … Gondrezick (19) and junior guard Jasmine Carson (10) also finished in double figures in the loss, while Martinez led the way with nine rebounds. 

Notes: West Virginia is 137-92 against its 2020-21 opponents, including 103-79 against members of the Big 12 Conference … prior to Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma, West Virginia won 11 consecutive games, which included 10 consecutive Big 12 Conference wins … WVU’s 11-game stretch was the longest win streak since the 2018-19 season, when the Mountaineers won 13 consecutive games … the Mountaineers’ 10-game conference win streak tied the program record for consecutive Big 12 wins since the 2013-14 season, when WVU also won 10 consecutive league games to claim a share of the Big 12 regular-season title … West Virginia has swept two Big 12 opponents in a series this season … West Virginia is the only team in the Big 12 that has not allowed an opponent to reach the 80-point plateau this season … Gondrezick currently leads the Mountaineers in scoring, with a total of 382 points and an average of 21.2 per game … Martinez is pacing WVU in the rebounding department this season, with 11.5 boards per game … she also has tallied a double-double in 10 games this season, including a streak of seven consecutive games between Dec. 13-Jan. 16 … Martinez and Deans also are averaging double figures for WVU this season, at 13.4 and 13.4 points per game apiece. 

This Week in Wrestling: West Virginia (7-3, 3-2) caps its regular season at home on Friday, Feb. 19, with a match against Iowa State (9-3, 4-1) … start time against the Cyclones is set for 7:30 p.m. ET … Friday is Senior Night, and WVU will celebrate the careers of its senior class before the first bout begins: Hunter DeLong, Seth Hogue, Sean Mullican, Luke Sorboro and Joey Thomas … due to ongoing COVID-19 protocols, and for the overall safety of spectators at indoor events, attendance will be capped at 1,500 spectators … fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance by visiting WVUGAME.com or calling 1-800-WVU GAME to avoid lines at the gate on match day … additionally, Friday’s action will be carried live on Big 12 Now on ESPN+, the conference’s digital platform, with Tony Onorato and Eric Little on the call. 

Last Week in Wrestling: West Virginia completed the 2021 Cowboy Challenge in Stillwater, Oklahoma, with three runner-up finishes on Feb. 14 … the eight-man bracket for each weight class featured competition from host Oklahoma State, Missouri and Wyoming, as redshirt junior Noah Adams (197), redshirt freshman Ryan Sullivan (133) and freshman Peyton Hall (165) each earned second place-finishes in their respective pools, while redshirt freshman Michael Wolfgram placed third in the heavyweight bracket …  additionally, junior Jackson Moomau (184), redshirt sophomore Alex Hornfeck (157), sophomore Scott Joll (174) and redshirt freshman Jeffrey Boyd (141) each recorded a win in their respective weight brackets to place fourth overall … five other Mountaineers competed in a Gold and Blue singlet at the Cowboy Challenge, while freshman Anthony D’Alesio made his Mountaineer debut in the 174-pound bracket.  

Notes: The Mountaineers have won four of their last five matches for a 7-3 overall record and a 3-2 mark in Big 12 action, their best start to a season since the 2013-14 campaign … WVU is 2-19 against ISU, with both programs joining the Big 12 Conference in the summer of 2012 … though not the most prolific, it is one of the longest-running series in WVU program history, with both teams going head-to-head for the first time in 1922 … the NCAA announced qualifier allocations for the 2021 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on Feb. 11 … the Big 12 Conference was awarded 45 automatic qualifying spots, tied for second most with the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) … six weight classes (125, 133, 149, 165, 197 and HWT) will qualify the top-five finishers at the 2021 Big 12 Wrestling Championship – the most of any weight classes … additionally, four Mountaineers rank in the top 33 of their respective weights in the first NCAA coaches’ panel rankings released on Feb. 11: No. 4 Adams, No. 19 Sullivan, No. 21 Hall and No. 24 Killian Cardinale. 

This Week in Track and Field: West Virginia is off this week … the Mountaineers return to action on Feb. 26-27, at the 2021 Big 12 Indoor Championship, hosted by Texas Tech, at the Texas Tech Sports Performance Center, in Lubbock, Texas.  

Last Week in Track and Field: The Mountaineers did not compete last week. 

Notes: West Virginia last competed at the Marshall Classic, hosted by Marshall University, at the Jeff Small Track at the Chris Cline Athletic Complex, in Huntington, West Virginia, on Feb. 6 … the quad meet included Marshall, Eastern Kentucky and FIU … the meet was highlighted by Mountaineer freshman Abigale Mullings, who captured a victory in the high jump (1.69 m) redshirt junior Ellie Gardner led the way for WVU, finishing in second place with a height of 3.55 meters … behind Gardner was redshirt freshman Sarah Stair with a height of 3.55, good for third place … freshman Lynsie Curtis and sophomore Katelyn Caccamo placed fifth (3.40 meters) and seventh (3.25 meters), respectively … junior Peter-Gay McKenzie placed second in long jump with a distance of 5.49, and she was followed by sophomore Erica Hegle who placed sixth with a 4.93 distance … freshman Jo-Lauren Keane and junior Tessa Constantine placed second (58.07) and third (58.41), respectively in the 400-meter run. A trio of freshmen participated in the 300-meter dash … West Virginia finished the meet in third place with 68 points … Marshall placed first with 163.5 points and was followed by FIU in second with a score of 117 … with 61.6 points, Eastern Kentucky placed fourth. 

This Week in WVU Baseball: The Mountaineers open the 2021 campaign by traveling to Atlanta for a four-game series at Georgia State from Feb. 19-21 … Friday’s Opening Day contest at the GSU Baseball Complex is set for 2 p.m., before a double-header scheduled for Saturday begins at 1 p.m., and 5 p.m., respectively … Sunday’s series finale is set for 12 p.m. 

Last Week in WVU Baseball: West Virginia finished 11-5 in a COVID-19-shortened 2020 season, marking the club’s best 16-game start since 2009 … WVU allowed four runs or fewer in 14 of its 16 games on the year, while the Mountaineer bullpen allowed just one run in its final 28.0 innings pitched … on March 4, four WVU pitchers combined to no-hit Kent State in an 8-0 win, good for the squad’s first nine-inning no-hitter since 2002, and the first no-no in Monongalia County Ballpark history … left-handed pitcher Jake Carr and catcher/infielder Matt McCormick earned Freshman All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, marking the first time two Mountaineers received the honor in the same season since 2016 … in the classroom, eight players were named to the Academic All-Big 12 Team, tying for the most in program history. 

Notes: WVU is set to begin its 129th year and 126th season of baseball … Randy Mazey enters his ninth season at the helm in Morgantown and holds a mark of 238-181 at WVU … overall, Mazey has won 425 career games in 14 seasons as a head coach … the Mountaineers are ranked in a trio of polls this season, including No. 14 in the D1Baseball.com Preseason Poll, good for the highest preseason ranking in program history … WVU also was slotted at No. 21 in the NCBWA poll and No. 22 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll … West Virginia welcomes 25 returners back to the squad, including eight of nine starters … a total of 12 newcomers also joins WVU this spring, with the 2021 signing class ranked No. 21 nationally by D1Baseball and inside the top 40 by Perfect Game … the Mountaineers were picked to finish sixth in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches Poll, while senior infielder Tyler Doanes, senior catcher/designated hitter Paul McIntosh and senior left-handed pitcher Jackson Wolf earned Preseason All-Big 12 honors … WVU’s 48-game schedule features 28 home game at Monongalia County Ballpark … the home opener is slated for Friday, March 5, against Kent State. 

This Week in Golf: The Mountaineers will remain in Florida this week and compete in the Seminole Intercollegiate Friday to Sunday in Tallahassee, Florida, at the Golden Eagle Country Club. 

Last Week in Golf: The golf team completed play in its first spring tournament of the season at the Gators Invitational, held at the Mark Bostick Golf Course in Gainesville, Florida … due to predicted inclement weather for Sunday, four Mountaineers played 30 holes on Friday, while one player completed 33 holes … on Saturday, after a weather delay, WVU finished the second round, then played another 18 holes to finish the event with scores of 280-281-287=848 at 8-over-par in 18th place … in the abbreviated second round Saturday morning, WVU recorded eight birdies to finish 1-over par at 281. In Friday’s first round, the Mountaineers shot even par and concluded play with a third-round score of 287 … senior Mark Goetz paced the Mountaineers this weekend, shooting 2-over-par with rounds of 70-70-72=212 … the Greensburg, Pennsylvania, native recorded 10 birdies on the weekend, including four of the final six holes to finish round two Saturday morning … freshman Jackson Davenport also finished the weekend at 2-over-par with a birdie on his 54th hole … the Austin, Texas, native recorded eight birdies, four in the first round, to finish with a 71-70-71=212 score … senior Logan Perkins finished the 54-hole event at 3-over-par with rounds of 71-72-70=213 … on his 54th hole, the Locust Grove, Georgia, native eagled the 525-yard, par-5 hole to finish the third round at even par … sophomore Trent Tipton competed in his fourth collegiate event and the first in the Mountaineers’ lineup … the Orient, Ohio, native recorded eight birdies on the weekend, and posted a career-best 69 in the second round to shoot 4-over-par with a 71-69-74=214. … junior Kurtis Grant had WVU’s low round of the tournament with a 2-under-par 68 on Friday … the native of Herndon, Virginia, finished with a score of 68-74-80=222 at 12-over-par. 

Notes: The Mountaineers competed against nine Top 25 teams in the 21-team event … this season, West Virginia shot eight strokes better as a team than last year’s 16-over-par finish. 

This Week in Men’s SoccerThe Mountaineers are set to open the 2021 spring season on the road, with a mid-day contest against No. 20 Coastal Carolina on Saturday, Feb. 20, in Conway, South Carolina … kickoff from CCU Soccer Stadium is set for 12 p.m. ET. 

This Week in Men’s Soccer: The Mountaineers are set to open the 2021 spring season on the road, with a mid-day contest against No. 20 Coastal Carolina on Saturday, Feb. 20, in Conway, South Carolina … kickoff from CCU Soccer Stadium is set for 12 p.m. ET. 

Last Week in Men’s Soccer: WVU finished 10-9-2 in 2019, winning its first Mid-American Conference Tournament Championship … goalkeeper Steven Tekesky was named the MAC Tournament MVP, the first Mountaineer to earn the honor … four Mountaineers were named to the MAC All-Tournament Team … the Mountaineers also made their 14th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, advancing to the Second Round for the second consecutive season and eighth time ever … West Virginia ranked as high as No. 19 in the College Soccer News national poll … WVU’s five goals in its 5-1 win at Butler were the most scored in the NCAA Tournament in program history, also marking the squad’s first road win in the NCAA Tournament since 1981 … nine Mountaineers were named to the Academic All-MAC Team, the second-most since joining the league in 2012 … WVU finished No. 1 in the MAC and No. 26 nationally with 38 assists as a team … West Virginia earned WVU Student-Athletes of the Week honors (Nov. 18) following the team’s MAC Tournament victory. 

Notes: First-year head coach Dan Stratford is prepped to begin his tenure as the program’s 10th head coach after the Mid-American Conference delayed fall sports to the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic … Stratford arrived in Morgantown in January 2020 after a three-year stint at the University of Charleston, compiling a 61-4-5 record … the Mountaineers return nine lettermen from the 2019 season, while adding 12 newcomers to the group … among WVU’s starting 11 from 2019, six players return to the team this spring … returning for his senior season is standout goalkeeper Steven Tekesky, who ranks No. 4 in program history with 27 wins, No. 5 with 4,658 minutes played and No. 6 in starts (50), saves (164), shutouts (14) and goals-against average (1.29).  

This Week in Tennis: The Mountaineers open the spring 2021 season this week, as the team welcomes Cleveland State to Morgantown on Friday, Feb. 19 … first serve from the Summit Tennis Academy is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET … due to ongoing COVID-19 health and safety protocols, fans will not be permitted to attend home matches at the Summit Tennis Academy or the Mountaineer Tennis Courts this season. 

Last Fall in Tennis: Members of the West Virginia University tennis team competed in the 2020 Fall Circuit from Oct. 23-25 at the Summit Tennis Academy in Morgantown … freshman Momoko Nagato led the way for the Mountaineers, posting three wins and making an appearance in the tournament final of the women’s main draw … Nagato finished second after falling in two sets to Taylor Ng, 2-6, 6-7 (4-7) … senior Anne-Sophie Courteau and freshman Amber Fuller also competed in the Fall Circuit event and each picked up two wins to make it to the quarterfinals. 

Notes: WVU coach Miha Lisac enters his eighth season as the Mountaineers’ head coach … during his time in Morgantown, Lisac has amassed 46 victories and has 108 career wins … the 2020-21 squad is made of up of two seniors, two juniors and three freshmen … Hunter Bleser, a graduate transfer from Virginia, and Anne-Sophie Courteau make up the senior class for West Virginia … Courteau leads the team in career wins (87), singles wins (44), and doubles wins (42).  

Press Release: WVU Athletics Communications

Photo Credit: WVU Sports

Shanna Rose
WVU Graduate with a bachelor's in journalism and multimedia journalist. Sports Fan and sports writer. Former WVU News reporter. Contact Shanna on Twitter @SMR1837
http://bluegoldsports.com
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