Most would consider the 2014-2015 athletic year a success for the University of Utah based solely on the football team's Las Vegas Bowl win and the Runnin Utes sweet sixteen appearance in the NCAA tournament. While those two programs deserve praise for their successful seasons, often overlooked are the Women's programs for Utah that have had just as much, if not more success in their respective sports. Here's a look at the success Utah women's athletics had this year.
Gymnastics finishes second in NCAA Championships
The storied Utah gymnastics program was excellent once again this year. The red rocks capped an outstanding season off by advancing to the NCAA championships where they fell just short of their 11th national title. Finishing the competition with 197.800 points, the Red Rocks finished a heartbreaking half of a tenth of a point behind Florida when all was said and done to finish second in the nation.
The final team standings were Florida 197.850, Utah 197.800, Oklahoma 197.525, Alabama 197.275, Stanford 197.250 and Auburn 195.625
Utah senior Georgia Dabritz finished her career on a high note, taking home the individual NCAA title on the eneven bars. During the team competition she made NCAA history, by becoming the first gymnast ever to score a perfect 10.0 on bars on both days of the team competition.
Dabritz is Utah's first individual event champion in gymnastics since 2007, when Ashley Postell won the individual balance beam title.
Women’s skiing finishes third in Nation
On the slopes, the women's ski team represented the U well by placing third in the nation at the NCAA championships. Senior Veronika Mayerhoffer led the way for the skiers, with 10 podium finishes including four first place finishes, five second place finishes and never finishing below fourth in a race all season. She finished her career by winning the individual national title in the Women's 5km freestlye. Mayerhoffer earned further post season honors by being named collegiate skier of the year by FasterSkier.com and United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSCA) Nordic skier of the year.
Volleyball finishes in top 25
The women's volleyball team opened the 2014 season with 10-consecutive wins for a second-straight season. The Utes also racked up some quality wins this season with five of their final seven wins of the season coming against ranked Pac-12 teams, including a Washington team that was ranked no. 2 in the country at the time. They would finish out the season strong with the only loss in their final eight games coming on the road against the no.1 ranked team, Stanford.
The team advanced to the NCAA tournament for the 10th time in school history, where they were able to get by Kansas State, before falling to Nebraska.
Seniors Shelby Dalton and Bailey Bateman along with freshman Adora Anae were named All-Pac-12 and senior Chelsey Schofield-Olsen became the fourth player in Utah history to record 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in her career.
They team finished the season with a top 25 ranking of 18th. It marked the 7th time in school history the volleyball team has had a top 25 finish, and the first time as PAC-12 member.
Softball finishes successful season at regionals
The softball team completed their season over the weekend at NCAA regionals where they promptly defeated Virgina Tech 6-1 on Friday afternoon beore falling to Tennessee on Saturday afternoon. The UTes were able to stave off elimination in the Saturday night game against Longwood, before falling to Tennessee a second time on Sunday to end their season.
The team recently had four members named to the all Pacific region team. Sophomore Hannah Flippen was named first team, while senior Katie Dickman and freshman Katie Donovan were named second team. Junior Kristen Stewart was name d a third team selection. Coach Amy Hoque was named Pac-12 softball coach of the year after leading the team to a 36-19 record.