Sun Devils Fall Short Of Super Six

April 19, 2001

ATHENS, Ga. - Held back by their lowest team total of the season on uneven bars, Arizona State University's women's gymnastics team finished fifth in Session II of the NCAA Championship preliminaries at Stageman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., Thursday.

In front of 4,523 fans, meet host Georgia finished with 197.100 points to win the second session, with Utah (196.575) and Nebraska (196.200) rounding out the top three to advance to Friday's Super Six team finals. Stanford was fourth at 195.400, with ASU's 194.775 topping Denver.

Earlier, in Session I, UCLA (197.625), Michigan (196.525) and Alabama (196.375) qualified for the Super Six. Florida (195.825), Oklahoma (193.875) and Oregon State (193.775) did not advance.

'I'm so proud of this team,' ASU head coach John Spini said. 'The only thing is, of all the teams I've coached this team has so much heart that it's hard for them to leave it with a loss. It's not that this team has to win, but they don't like the feeling of losing.'

Halfway through the meet, it appeared that ASU's season might see another day. After leading off on floor exercise with a 49.050 and putting together their best vault performance in over a month at 48.900, the Sun Devils came out of a bye in the third of six overall rotations trailing Utah for the third position by just more than two tenths (98.175-97.950), while Georgia and Nebraska sat knotted for the lead (98.250).

But ASU encountered low scores on bars, scoring a pair of 9.65s and a 9.675 to get the event underway. A 9.75 effort by freshman Maggie Germaine and back-to-back 9.725s by junior Laura Moon and senior Kim Skinner boosted the team to a 48.525 event total, but failed to resurrect the Sun Devils' previous momentum.

'It's a big meet and I think we did phenomenal on bars,' senior Kelly Cowley said. 'They (the judges) found every little thing to take points off for and they did, but I think we did great. We hit six-for-six routines and that was our goal.'

However, ASU's event total was its lowest on bars this season, dropping beneath the Sun Devils' 48.675 showing at Oregon State in the second meet of the season.

'At the coaches' meeting they (the NCAA Committee) said they were going to be tight on the judging, and when I look at the scoring, they were pretty tight all the way through on bars,' Spini said. 'On vault we were nailing our landings, but we weren't sticking our landings on bars. We had just little breakdowns, and they didn't just take the deductions, they took the full deductions. That's the nature of our sport.'

Finishing on balance beam, ASU's struggles continued. Suffering two falls, the Sun Devils posted a 48.300 event total and watched Stanford overtake them for fourth place in the final rotation.

Not only were the Sun Devils knocked out of the team competition, but with no individuals placing in the top four ASU will sit out Saturday's individual finals. ASU's magical season, which saw six of the school's all-time top-ten team scores, including a record 197.450, has come to a close.

'I've loved every minute I've spent with this team,' Cowley said, having wrapped up her collegiate career. 'I couldn't ask for anything more than that. It would have been great to go on to the Super Six, but I'm going to have these friends for a lifetime and that's a better gift than anything that could have happened tomorrow.'

Session II Team Results:
Georgia 197.100, Utah 196.575, Nebraska 196.200, Stanford 195.400, Arizona State 194.775, Denver 193.625

ASU Results (in order of competition):
Floor (49.050) - Moon 9.8, Ellsberry 9.8, Germaine 9.775, Fanning 9.825, Vreeke 9.8, Cowley 9.825
Vault (48.900) - Skinner 9.75, Moon 9.8, Germaine 9.85, Vreeke 9.75, Cox 9.025, Cowley 9.75
Bars (48.525) - Robinette 9.65, Cowley 9.675, Wojciak 9.65, Germaine 9.75, Moon 9.725, Skinner 9.725
Beam (48.300) - Moon 9.775, Ellsberry 9.775, Germaine 8.425, Vreeke 9.15, Robinette 9.8, Wojciak 9.8

Session I Team Results:
UCLA 197.625, Michigan 196.525, Alabama 196.375, Florida 195.825, Oklahoma 193.875, Oregon State 193.775.

Super Six (Friday):
UCLA (197.625), Georgia (197.100), Utah (196.575), Michigan (196.525), Alabama (196.375), Nebraska (196.200)

Individual Finalists - From Session I:
Vault - Katrina Severin (OSU) 9.95, Kristin Parker (UCLA) 9.9, Lara Degenhardt (OSU) 9.9, Janessa Grieco (Michigan) 9.875, Karina Senior (Michigan) 9.875
Bars - Jamie Dantzscher (UCLA) 9.925, Natalie Barrington (Alabama) 9.9, Mohini Bhardwaj (UCLA) 9.9, Doni Thompson (UCLA) 9.9, Yvonne Tousek (UCLA) 9.9, Onnie Willis (UCLA 9.9, Elise Ray (Michigan) 9.9
Beam - Elise Ray (Michigan) 9.925, Kristen Maloney (UCLA) 9.9, Yvonne Tousek (UCLA) 9.9, Lissy Smith (Alabama) 9.875, Kristen Sterner (Alabama) 9.875, Onnie Willis (UCLA) 9.875
Floor - Mohini Bhardwaj (UCLA) 9.95, Jamie Dantzscher (UCLA) 9.95, Elise Ray (Michigan) 9.925, Jeana Rice (Alabama) 9.9, Jill Fisher (Maryland) 9.9, Onnie Willis (UCLA) 9.9, Hilary Thompson (Florida)

Individual Finalists - From Session II:
Vault - Suzanne Sears (Georgia) 9.95, Cory Fritzinger (9.925), Marline Stephens (Georgia) 9.9, Gina Bruce (Nebraska) 9.875
Bars - Kathleen Shrieves (Georgia) 9.875, Tami Harris (Nebraska) 9.875, Alecia Ingram (Nebraska) 9.875, Theresa Kulikowski (Utah) 9.875
Beam - Shannon Bowles (Utah) 9.95, Lindsay Wing (Stanford) 9.925, Cory Fritzinger (Georgia) 9.9, Theresa Kulikowski (Utah) 9.875, Melissa Vituj (Utah) 9.875, Theresa Wolf (Utah) 9.875
Floor - Suzanne Sears (Georgia) 9.95, Cory Fritzinger (Georgia) 9.9, Marline Stephens (Georgia) 9.9, Lise Leveille (Stanford) 9.9, Nicki Arnstad (LSU) 9.9, Melissa Vituj (Utah) 9.9

All-Around Finals (decided from Thursday's preliminary sessions):
Top-Three/ASU - 1t. Onnie Willis (UCLA) 39.525, 1t. Elise Ray (Michigan) 39.525, 3t. Jeana Rice (Alabama) 39.475, 3t. Mohini Bhardwaj (UCLA) 39.475, 3t. Yvonne Tousek (UCLA) 39.475, 17. Laura Moon (ASU) 39.100, 42. Maggie Germaine (ASU) 37.800.

For complete results, go to www.ncaa.org

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