No. 6 Arizona Gymnastics Battles No. 3 UCLA
Jan. 21, 2002
What's Coming Up - The No. 6 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team (5-1, 0-0 Pac-10) returns home to face the No. 3 UCLA Bruins (6-3, 1-0 Pac-10) Friday, Jan. 25, at 7:30 p.m. in McKale Center. Last season, the Wildcats finished fourth (194.400) at the UCLA Invitational on Feb. 11, 2001, in Pauley Pavilion. The last time Arizona defeated UCLA was Jan. 21, 1996, in McKale Center. The Wildcats are coming off their first defeat of the season as Arizona was edged by No. 4 Utah 197.150-196.100 on Friday, Jan. 18. With the defeat, Arizona fell to 5-1 on the regular season.
Last Time Out - The No. 7 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team fell to No. 4 Utah, 197.150-196.100 on Jan. 18, in front of a crowd of 7,637 in Utah's Huntsman Center. The Wildcats posted a season-high team total (196.100) that stands as the fifth-highest team score in school history.
In addition to its season-high team total, Arizona took the team vault title for the third consecutive meet, tying a season-high 49.125. The Wildcats set a season-high and new team record on beam with a score of 49.325. Utah posted three season-high totals and took first place honors on bars (49.600), on beam (49.425) and on floor (49.626). Seven Wildcat gymnasts - Monica Bisordi, Jamie Duce, Stevie Fanning, Katie Johnson, Kristine Harper, Randi Liljenquist and Andi McCabe each set or tied season-high and career-high marks.
Individually for the Wildcats, senior Randi Liljenquist finished with a season-high 39.550 to claim second place in the all-around. Liljenquist finished in third-place on floor with a season-high 9.925, tied for second on beam (9.900), and placed fifth on bars with a season-high 9.875 and on vault (9.850). Freshman Monica Bisordi tied Liljenquist for second on beam with a career-high 9.900 and tied for third place on vault (9.875). Sophomore Andi McCabe tied for third place on vault (9.875) and tied a season-high 9.750 to finish ninth on bars. Freshman Katie Johnson tied for fifth place on beam with a career-high score of 9.875, placed sixth on vault (9.800) and sixth on floor (9.875).
Making her debut for the Wildcats, freshman Stevie Fanning posted scores of 9.175 on bars and 9.800 on beam. Freshman Jamie Duce also made her debut on beam for Arizona, scoring a 9.750 in the event. Freshman Kristine Harper finished eighth on beam with a career-high 9.850 and ninth on floor (9.775).
Scouting UCLA - The No. 3 UCLA Bruins come into Friday's meet with a record of 6-3, 1-0 Pac-10. Last season, UCLA finished the season with a 23-2 mark. The Bruins finished first at the NCAA West Regional Championship and first at the NCAA Championship (197.575) to win its second consecutive NCAA team championship. This season, the Bruins rank No. 1 in the West Regional and the team's season-high total for the year is 196.875. UCLA has posted victories over Florida, Louisiana State, Penn State, CS Fullerton, Boise State and Arizona State so far this season. UCLA returns 13 gymnasts from last season's squad, including four freshman newcomers. Head Coach Valorie Kondos Field (UCLA, 1987) is in her 11th year at the helm of the UCLA gymnastics program and has posted a career and school record of 231-50.
Wildcats in the Rankings - Arizona began the 2002 season ranked No. 17 in the preseason coaches poll. After posting a season-high team score of 196.100 against No. 4 Utah (Jan. 18), the Wildcats have moved up to a No. 6 national ranking. Arizona owns a No. 2 ranking in the South Central Region behind No. 1 Nebraska. Individually for the Cats, senior Randi Liljenquist is No. 7 nationally in the all-around. Liljenquist is also ranked No. 16 on floor and vault, No. 22 on bars and No. 8 on beam. Sophomore Andi McCabe is ranked No. 5 nationally on vault, freshman Kristine Harper is No. 25 on beam, and freshman Katie Johnson is No. 16 on floor and No. 15 on beam. Freshman Monica Bisordi is ranked No. 22 nationally on vault and No. 8 on beam.
Ryden's Weekly Analysis - 'UCLA is a great team. We will be prepared for the challenge they present and I feel that we match up with them pretty well. Our team is not afraid of anyone. We have a tremendous amount of respect for the UCLA program, but we are still going to go out there and compete. We didn't have a perfect meet against Utah and there are many areas we need to improve upon. We are still working hard and growing as a team, and I am confident that we will give a great effort on Friday.
A Look Ahead - Arizona will next travel to Palo Alto, Calif. to battle the No. 14 Stanford Cardinal on Friday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m. PST.