Women's Gymnastics Named No. 9 In Preseason Coaches Poll

Jan. 2, 2002

TEMPE, Ariz. - Receiving 582 votes, Arizona State's women's gymnastics team debuted at No. 9 in the national GymInfo coaches poll released January 1, matching their 2001 NCAA Championships finish.

Two-time defending national champion UCLA was picked to defend its status as the nation's best team, picking up 912 overall votes and 29 first-place votes. Georgia was second with 840 overall votes but no first-place votes. Michigan (838 votes/3 first-place votes), Alabama (825/2) and Utah (778/2) rounded out the top-five, respectively.

The Sun Devils, who last year were picked 11th in the preseason coaches poll, find themselves neighbored by fellow Pac-10 Conference members with Stanford picked eighth (647) and Oregon State picked 10th (510). Arizona (17th, 238) and Washington (19th, 231) rounded out the list of Pac-10 teams making the top-25.

Led by head coach John Spini, who returns for his 22nd season, the Sun Devils boast a lineup of eight returnees and five newcomers. Among the returnees are senior Laura Moon and sophomore Maggie Germaine, both of whom earned second-team All-America honors in 2001. Moon, who earned a pair of perfect 10.0 scores on the uneven bars last season, is expected to be out of the lineup until mid-February as she recovers from knee surgery.

For ASU, the 2002 season begins Friday, January 11, at 7:30 p.m., when the Sun Devils welcome Utah State to Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Ariz. The Utah State meet is one of five dates on ASU's 2002 home schedule, including the NCAA South Central Regional, April 6. For ASU ticket information call (480) 965-2381.

Complete Preseason Coaches Poll:
1. UCLA 912 votes (29 first-place votes), 2. Georgia 840, 3. Michigan 838 (3), 4. Alabama 825 (2), 5. Utah 778 (2), 6. Nebraska 744 (1), 7. Florida 667, 8. Stanford 647, 9. Arizona State 582, 10. Oregon State 510, 11. Louisiana State 488, 12. Penn State 435, 13. Oklahoma 349, 14. Denver 346, 15. Minnesota 330, 16. Iowa 246, 17. Arizona 238, 18. Ohio State 233, 19. Washington 231, 20. Iowa State 228, 21. West Virginia 204, 22. Maryland 196, 23. Brigham Young 170, 24. Kentucky 157, 25. North Carolina State 124.

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