No. 9 Women's Gymnastics Opens 27th Season With 193.350-191.700 Win Over Utah State

Jan. 11, 2002

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TEMPE, Ariz. - The 27th season of Arizona State women's gymnastics opened Friday with the No. 9 Sun Devils (1-0) defeating Utah State (1-1) 193.350-191.700 in front of a crowd of 1,102 at Wells Fargo Arena.

The Sun Devils hit 19 of 24 routines for the night, but scored at 9.8 or better only five times. Ultimately, they got their best routines when they needed them as junior Ashley Ellsberry and sophomore Maggie Germaine helped close out the final rotation on floor exercise with scores of 9.85 and 9.9, respectively.

From the opening routine it seemed ASU might have a higher scoring night as freshman Nicole Gause opened the meet and her collegiate career with a 9.8 on vault. However, Gause's mark would prove to be the highest of the night on vault as the Sun Devils outscored the Aggies 48.775-48.475 in that event.

'I was actually really pleased with the two events I thought were going to be our weakest due to all the holes we've had to fill because of injuries,' said ASU's 22nd-year head coach John Spini of vault and uneven bars. It was on bars where ASU earned its second-best team total of the night with a 48.475, led by Germaine's 9.8.

The Sun Devils struggled on the two events that have traditionally defined ASU as one of the nation's best teams, balance beam and floor exercise. Despite Ellsberry's 9.85, no Sun Devil scored better than 9.65 on beam, as ASU suffered a pair of falls.

On floor, it was more of the same, with Ellsberry (9.85) and Germaine (9.9) leading a lineup that otherwise didn't score above a 9.525.

'There's no question that we need to get better in our first two floor routines,' Spini said. 'The effort was there, they were competing with their hearts, but we need to sharpen up there.

'And I never expect to have falls on beam. A lot of people expect to have falls there, but that's one of the areas that has led us to nationals, hitting six-for-six on beam. Overall though, I'm pleased with our effort for the first meet of the year.'

Although ASU earned the top individual scores of the night in all four events, plus Germaine's top effort in the all-around at 38.725, Utah State sophomore Mike Love Houston was also impressive, with a second-place all-around score of 38.625.

ASU leaps into Pac-10 Conference action next weekend, when it faces No. 1 UCLA, Sunday, Jan. 20, at 2:00 p.m. PST. Last year the Sun Devils handed UCLA its only regular season dual loss, knocking off the eventual national champions 196.350-196.300 in Tempe.

Final Team Scores:
Utah State -- 191.700 (vault 48.475, bars 46.850, beam 48.250, floor 48.125)
Arizona State -- 193.350 (vault 48.775, bars 48.475, beam 48.050, floor 48.050)

ASU Scores (in order of competition):
Vault (48.775) -- Gause 9.8, Wojciak 9.775, Dixon 9.675, Cox 9.775, Vreeke 9.65, Germaine 9.75
Bars (48.475) -- Dixon 9.675, Muth 9.775, Robinette 9.55, Germaine 9.8, Wojciak 9.675, Ellsberry 8.6
Beam (48.050) -- Dixon 9.625, Vreeke 9.1, Ellsberry 9.85, Muth 9.65, Germaine 9.275, Robinette 9.65
Floor (48.050) -- Dixon 9.525, Wojciak 9.2, Muth 9.425, Ellsberry 9.85, Vreeke 9.35, Germaine 9.9

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