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Claire Billman and Emily Minehart | College Gym News | March 24, 2023

Preview, predictions for every 2023 women's college gymnastics regional

Previewing the 2023 NCAA gymnastics regionals, post-selections

It’s finally that time again—postseason! This year has been one for the books as NCAA and program records alike have been broken on a weekly basis. 

If the recent conference championships were any indication, this year’s tournament is going to be particularly fierce. In addition to the usual suspects, there are some unexpected names in the mix who have proven themselves capable of disrupting the status quo. 

Here’s a closer look at each regional, particularly who and what you need to look out for in each round. 

Denver Regional

Round One: No. 28 Arizona vs. No. 35 North Carolina 

When to Watch: 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 30
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Elizabeth Culton (North Carolina), Lali Dekanoidze (North Carolina), Julia Knower (North Carolina), Malia Hargrove (Arizona), Sirena Linton (Arizona), Alysen Fears (Arizona), Jessica Castles (Arizona)
Why to Watch: This match-up is going to be much tighter than it appears on paper. Arizona certainly has a higher scoring ceiling, but North Carolina has been the steadier team overall. This is the Wildcats’ meet to lose, but they’ll need to be at their best to ensure the win: If the Tar Heels go 49-plus on floor, this competition should come down to the wire. 

Round Two Session One: No. 6 LSU, No. 11 Oregon State, No. 19 Georgia and No. 23 Nebraska

When to Watch: 4 p.m. ET on Friday, March 31
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Aleah Finnegan (LSU), Haleigh Bryant (LSU), Jade Carey (Oregon State), Soraya Hawthorne (Georgia), Haley DeJong (Georgia), Emma Spence (Nebraska), Kinsey Davis (Nebraska), Deja Chambliss (George Washington), Alyssa Al-Ashari (Northern Illinois), Natalie Hamp (Northern Illinois), Kendall Whitman (George Washington), Emmalise Nock (Northern Illinois)
Why to Watch: The embattled Tigers have defied obstacles and expectations all season to enter as the top-seeded team and should be able to coast through this round. Oregon State is a different story: Even with superstar Carey leading the charge, the entire team needs to fire on all cylinders—and not leave any room for interpretation regarding its start values—to advance over both Georgia and Nebraska. The Huskers in particular are coming in hot, climbing a remarkable 15 spots in the national rankings over the last month. 

Round Two Session Two: No. 3 Michigan, No. 14 Denver, No. 18 Minnesota and Winner from Round One

When to Watch: 9 p.m. ET on Friday, March 31
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Sierra Brooks (Michigan), Abby Heiskell (Michigan), Natalie Wojcik (Michigan), Gabby Wilson (Michigan), Carly Bauman (Michigan), Naomi Morrison (Michigan), Lynnzee Brown (Denver), Jessica Hutchinson (Denver), Rosie Casalie (Denver), Rylie Mundell (Denver), Mya Hooten (Minnesota), Maddie Quarles (Minnesota), Halle Remlinger (Minnesota), Maddie Diab (Iowa State),
Why to Watch: Regardless of who advances out of Round One, this is shaping up to be a two-team race to second place between Denver and Minnesota. 

Regional Final: First- and Second-Place Teams from Round Two

When to Watch: 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 2
How to Watch: ESPN+
Why to Watch: Assuming the top seeds from Round Two all advance to the final as anticipated, two teams capable of cracking 198 are going to be knocked out in this round. Which two remains to be seen. As the home team, Denver has an immense and immediate advantage, but this Minnesota team is nothing if not resilient: The Gophers are capable of going 49.4-plus on every event and have nothing to lose. 

College Gym News Prediction:

Round One: Arizona
Round Two Session One: LSU and Oregon State
Round Two Session Two: Michigan and Denver
Teams Advancing to Nationals: LSU and Michigan
Individuals Advancing to Nationals: Jade Carey (all-around), Maddie Quarles (vault), Lali Dekanoidze (bars), Jessica Hutchinson (beam), Jessican Hutchinson (floor)

Los Angeles Regional

Round One: No. 33 BYU vs. 36 No. Boise State

When to Watch: 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 29
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Sydney Benson (BYU), Kylie Eaquinto (BYU), Anyssa Alvarado (BYU), Elease Rollins (BYU), Emily Lopez (Boise State), Courtney Blackson (Boise State)   
Why to Watch: MRGC foes Boise State and BYU are both teams having slightly down years after graduating big names. Which will prevail? These two teams also have some of the best event specialists in the country.

Round Two Session One: No. 5 Utah, No. 12 Auburn, No. 21 Southern Utah and No. 27 Washington

When to Watch: at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 30
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Jaedyn Rucker (Utah), Maile O’Keefe (Utah), Kara Eaker (Utah), Cristal Isa (Utah), Cassie Stevens (Auburn), Derrian Gobourne (Auburn), Karley McClain (Southern Utah), Ellie Caccicola (Southern Utah), Shylen Murakami (Southern Utah), Skylar Killough-Wilhelm (Washington), Amara Cunningham (Washington), Brenna Brooks (Washington), Syd Morris (LIU), Lauren Macpherson (San Jose State), Jaudai Lopes (San Jose State), Mara Titarsolej (LIU), Emma Milne (San Jose State), Ilka Juk (LIU), Taylor Pitchell (Central Michigan), Jada Mazury (San Jose State)
Why to Watch: Both Utah and Auburn will likely be without superstars here, with Grace McCallum recovering from a knee injury and Sunisa Lee coming back from a non-gymnastics related health issue. Neither team has issued timelines for McCallum’s nor Lee’s return. Nevertheless, they remain favorites to advance.

Round Two Session Two: No. 4 UCLA, No. 13 Missouri, No. 20 Stanford and Round One Winner

When to Watch: 10 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 30
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Jordan Chiles (UCLA), Selena Harris (UCLA), Chae Campbell (UCLA), Emma Malabuyo (UCLA), Ana Padurariu (UCLA), Sienna Schreiber (Missouri), Helen Hu (Missouri), Jocelyn Moore (Missouri), Amari Celestine (Missouri), Alisa Sheremeta (Missouri), Anna Roberts (Stanford), Chloe Widner (Stanford), Brenna Neault (Stanford), Hannah Demers (Central Michigan), Amber Koeth (Sacramento State), 
Why to Watch: UCLA’s rebound under first-year head coach Janelle McDonald has been incredible, but this will be the Bruins’ first big test under her leadership. Missouri will be looking to rebound from an off vault performance at SECs that led to a sixth-place finish in the goal of holding off a Stanford squad looking to shake off a tough conference championship performance of its own.

Regional Final: First- and Second-Place Teams from Round Two 

When to Watch: 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 1
How to Watch: ESPN+
Why to Watch: This meet should feature a rematch of the Pac-12 championship between rivals Utah and UCLA. They’ve met twice in 2023, both on the Utes’ turf. How will UCLA leverage home floor advantage, and can Auburn or Missouri play spoiler if one of the top two falters?

College Gym News Prediction:

Round One: Boise State
Round Two Session One: Utah, Auburn 
Round Two Session Two: UCLA, Missouri
Teams Advancing to Nationals: Utah, UCLA
Individuals Advancing to Nationals: Cassie Stevens (all-around) Jocelyn Moore (vault), Emily Lopez (bars), Helen Hu (beam), Karley McClain (floor)

Norman Regional

Round One: No. 30 N.C. State vs. No. 34 Ball State  

When to Watch: 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 29
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Hannah Ruthberg (Ball State), Victoria Henry (Ball State), Suki Pfister (Ball State), Megan Teter (Ball State), Grace Sumner (Ball State), Emily Shepard (NCSU), Chloe Negrete (NCSU)
Why to Watch: Ball State is having a Cinderella season after finishing 2022 ranked No. 48 and missing the postseason by a wide margin, while N.C. State finds itself in the first round after narrowly escaping it last year. Will the Wolfpack prevail or will the Cardinals' fairy tail continue?

Round Two Session One: No. 8 Alabama, No. 9 Kentucky, No. 22 Illinois and No. 25 Iowa

When to Watch: 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 30
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Luisa Blanco (Alabama), Makarri Doggette (Alabama), Gabby Gladieux (Alabama), Lilly Hudson (Alabama), Raena Worley (Kentucky), Arianna Patterson (Kentucky), Isabella Magnelli (Kentucky), Mia Takekawa (Illinois), Mia Townes (Illinois), Mallory Mizuki (Illinois), Adeline Kenlin (Iowa), Jerquavia Henderson (Iowa), Linda Zivat (Iowa), Karina Muñoz (Iowa), Rachel Decavitch (Kent State), Hannah Joyner (Rutgers), Emily Leese (Rutgers), Kylie Gorgenyi (New Hampshire), Stephanie Zannella (Rutgers), Karlie Franz (Kent State), Alyssa Guns (Kent State)
Why to Watch: Alabama and Kentucky get an SEC championship rematch at least once in Norman, and likely twice. They’re joined by the Big Ten’s Illinois and Iowa, teams coming out of vastly different conference championships. The Illini have been on a consistent path in 2023 while the Hawkeyes have counted falls on beam in the past three meets. 

Round Two Session Two: No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 16 Ohio State, No. 17 Arkansas and Round One Winner

When to Watch: 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 30
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Olivia Trautman (Oklahoma), Katherine LeVasseur (Oklahoma), Jordan Bowers (Oklahoma), Audrey Davis (Oklahoma), Ragan Smith (Oklahoma), Faith Torrez (Oklahoma), Payton Harris (Ohio State), Elexis Edwards (Ohio State), Nicole Riccardi (Ohio State), Claire Gagliardi (Ohio State), Norah Flatley (Arkansas), Frankie Price (Arkansas), Lauren Williams (Arkansas), Alana Laster (Illinois State), Alyssa Worthington (New Hampshire), Robyn Kelley (New Hampshire), Jaye Mack (Illinois State),
Why to Watch: Oklahoma has been in the driver’s seat for the entire 2023 season. The battle in this matchup is between Ohio State and Arkansas. Both have been stronger at home, and the Razorbacks have a slight edge on the road. With advancing to the Sweet 16 on the line, which squad can hit like it does at home?

Regional Final: First- and Second-Place Teams from Round Two

When to Watch: 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 1
How to Watch: ESPN+
Why to Watch: Alabama and Kentucky are the two most closely matched seeded teams in the postseason, separated by just one tenth in NQS. Alabama had a better SEC championship showing, but the Wildcats cannot be counted out, qualifying to SECs ahead of Alabama on the back of an incredible regular season. They’re likely to fight to the last routine for a ticket to Fort Worth.

College Gym News Prediction:

Round One: N.C. State
Round Two Session One: Alabama, Kentucky
Round Two Session Two: Oklahoma, Arkansas
Teams Advancing to Nationals: Oklahoma, Kentucky 
Individuals Advancing to Nationals: Raena Worley (all-around), Suki Pfister (vault), Colby Miller (bars), Mia Takekawa (beam), JerQuavia Henderson (floor)

Pittsburgh Regional 


Round One: No. 31 Towson vs. No. 32 Penn State 

When to Watch: 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 30
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Ava Piedrahita (PSU), Maddie Johnston, Cassidy Rushlow (PSU), Polina Belanovski (Towson), Isabella Minervini (Towson), Grace Vaillancourt (Towson)
Why to Watch: The Nittany Lions have gone on a late-season roll as freshman all-arounder Ava Piedrahita has settled into a leadership role. Towson has been strong and steady all season, led by excellent event specialists.

Round Two Session One: No. 7 California, No. 10 Michigan State, No. 26 Western Michigan and No. 29 West Virginia

When to Watch: 2 p.m. ET on Friday, March 31
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Mya Lauzon (California), eMjae Frazier (California), Andi Li (California), Gabby Perea (California), Madelyn Williams (California), Nikki Smith (Michigan State), Gabrielle Stephen (Michigan State), Skyla Schulte (Michigan State), Jori Jackard (Michigan State), Payton Murphy (Western Michigan), Cassie St. Clair (Western Michigan), Ronnie Binstock (Western Michigan), Abbie Pierson (West Virginia), Kendra Combs (West Virginia), Emily Holmes-Hackerd (West Virginia), Hallie Copperwheat (Pittsburgh), Katrina Mendez (Bowling Green), Keanna Abraham (UC Davis), Megan Ray (UC Davis), Natalia Pawlak (Pittsburgh), Brianna Brooks (Uah State), Reyna Garvey (Pittsburgh), Sofi Sullivan (Utah State)
Why to Watch: California and Michigan State both had excellent seasons. The Spartans are on a record-breaking tear, and the Golden Bears haven’t missed a step after losing lauded bars coach Janelle McDonald to the head role at UCLA. Western Michigan rode a late-season surge to advance directly to round two. West Virginia is also capable of a competitive score.

Round Two Session Two: No. 2 Florida, No. 15 Arizona State, No. 24 Maryland and Round One Winner

When to Watch: 7 p.m. ET on Friday, March 31
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Trinity Thomas (Florida), Sloane Blakely (Florida), Leanne Wong (Florida), Kayla Dicello (Florida), Hannah Scarf (Arizona State), Sarah Clark (Arizona State), Emma Silberman (Maryland), Reese McClure (Maryland), Maddie Komoroski (Maryland), Ella Chemotti (Eastern Michigan), Brooke Donabedian (Temple), Renee Schugman (Temple) 
Why to Watch: Florida should advance easily, but Maryland is capable of putting pressure on Arizona State, as is either Towson or Penn State. The Sun Devils have been a little off pace in March, and each of the other three teams can put together a big number on a good day.

Regional Final: First- and Second-Place Teams from Round Two

When to Watch: 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 2
How to Watch: ESPN+
Why to Watch: Florida and California are the easy picks to move on, but the Spartans might have something to say about that. Michigan State’s historic year has included hitting on big stages—the Spartans upset Michigan earlier in the year. They’re capable of advancing if either of the top two opens the door. Arizona State also can’t be counted out after a string of mid-197s in late February to early March put the Sun Devils on the map.

College Gym News Prediction:

Round One: Towson
Round Two Session One: California, Michigan State
Round Two Session Two: Florida, Arizona State
Teams Advancing to Nationals: Florida, California
Individuals Advancing to Nationals: Hannah Scarf (all-around), Nikki Smith (vault), Cassidy Rushlow (bars), Emily White (beam), Skyla Schulte (floor)


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