Though she expected a solid start to the season, Gophers women’s gymnastics coach Jenny Hansen said her team has done even better than she anticipated. The No. 7 Gophers (3-1) will look to keep that momentum going in their home opener against No. 17 Illinois (4-1) at 6 p.m. Saturday at Maturi Pavilion.

The Gophers are ranked No. 1 in the nation on balance beam, earning a program-record score of 49.700 last week in a victory at Rutgers. Junior Lexy Ramler of St. Michael scored a perfect 10 in the event and is the nation’s top-ranked individual on beam.

Ramler, who tied for second place in all-around at the 2019 NCAA championships, is ranked fifth in all-around; sophomore Tiarre Sales (No. 3, beam) and redshirt freshman Maddie Quarles (No. 8, vault) also carry top-10 rankings into Saturday’s meet.

Last week, the Gophers were ranked No. 6 in the nation, the second-highest team ranking in program history.

“To start off this consistent, this high-scoring, this high in the rankings, it’s a huge confidence booster for us,’’ Ramler said. “People are more comfortable under the pressure this year, more confident in their ability and believing in themselves.

“We can’t get complacent. We have to be hungry for more. But to be able to perform like we have in our first few meets is very exciting.’’