Sun Devils Travel South to Compete Against In-State Rival No. 13 Arizona.

Feb. 21, 2007

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This Week --
The Arizona State women's gymnastics team travels south this week to take on in-state rival the No. 13 Arizona Wildcats on Friday February 23rd, at 7:30 p.m. MT. The Sun Devils, under 27th-year head coach John Spini, return 12 gymnasts to the squad. After finishing ninth at last year's Championships and taking first in the North Central Regional, Spini and the Sun Devils look to compete in the NCAA Championships again this season. Spini is currently ASU's longest-tenured head coach, and is second on the all-time Sun Devil head coaching list. Former Sun Devil women's tennis coaching legend Anne Pittman holds the distinction as the longest-tenured ASU head coach at 31 seasons. Spini's regular-season record is now 317-121-2. His won-loss record at home is 169-29-1.

ASU In The Rankings --
The Arizona State women's gymnastics team was ranked 11th in the Preseason Coaches' Poll released by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches. The Sun Devils are not ranked this week due to the fact they have not competed in enough meets yet this season to have a Regional Qualifying Score. During their bye week; however, they were ranked 17th. The Sun Devils were also ranked 15th on vault, 21st on bars, 13th on beam and 21st on floor.

ASU Faces Nation's Finest --
The Sun Devils look to face seven of the top-ranked programs in the country, four of which are in the Pacific-10 Conference, according to the preseason coaches poll. The Sun Devils began their season at No. 8 Stanford on Jan. 19, hosted No. 5 UCLA on Jan. 26, competed at No. 12 Oregon State on Feb. 2, and hosted No. 10 Oklahoma in the annual UNO's Classic on Feb. 9. The week the Sun Devils also take on No. 16 Arizona (Feb. 23). No. 15 Arkansas (March 16), and No. 2 Utah (March 23) round out the ranked opponents.

ASU Versus Arizona --
Arizona State leads the all-time series with Arizona, 74-23-2. The Sun Devils lead in regular-season meets (32-6-2) and in postseason competition (42-17-0). ASU is 14-1 at home versus UA in Wells Fargo Arena, 13-5-1 in Tucson and 7-0-1 at neutral sites. Last season the Sun Devils defeated the Wildcats three times, the first time at Wells Fargo 195.300-195.150. The Sun Devils also finished above the Wildcats at the Pacific-10 Championships and North Central Regionals.

Scouting Arizona --
Arizona is currently ranked 13th in the nation. The Wildcats are also No. 9 on floor, No. 14 on beam, No. 18 on bars, and No. 11 on vault. Individually junior Danielle Hicks is ranked eighth on beam and fellow junior Karin Wurm is ranked 20th on bars.

ASU to Host Pacific-10 Conference Championships --
Tickets for the 2007 Pacific-10 Gymnastics Championships held on March 31 at 5:00 p.m. PT at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Ariz., are now on sale. Five of the seven teams in the Pac-10 were ranked in the preseason poll, including the No. 11 Sun Devils.

Tickets are $20 for reserved tickets. General admission tickets for adults are $12. Students, persons age 18 and under and seniors can purchase tickets for $7. Groups of 25- plus can buy tickets for $5 each. To purchase tickets, call the Sun Devil Ticket Office at (480) 727-0000. Ticket order forms are also available online at www.thesundevils.com.

Returning All-American -
Sophomore Nicole Harris comes back to the Sun Devil squad as the lone returning All-American. Last season Harris capped her stellar season by gathering second team All-American status on beam after scoring a 9.875 at the NCAA Championships in Corvallis, Ore. Harris shined at Oregon State when she won the all-around competition with a score of 39.400. Along with winning the all-around, Harris also vaulted her way to tie for first on the vault with a career-best 9.900. The sophomore also scored season-high scores on bars (9.850) and beam (9.875) to take first in both events. At UNO's Classic, Harris recorded her career-high on beam, a 9.950.



April Boone captured first place at UNO's Classic with a career-high 9.950


Best of the Best -
Although not currently ranked, senior April Boone and sophomore Nicole Harris have recorded two of the best individual scores of the season on floor and in beam respectively. Boone posted a career-high 9.950 on floor at UNO's Classic which is the second-highest individual score on floor this season. Harris posted a 9.950 on beam and is now one of nine with the second-highest beam score recorded this season.

Consistent Cassandra --
Prior to the Regional Qualifying Score rankings, senior Cassandra Jusino was the lone Sun Devil ranked invidually. After scoring a career-high 9.925 on beam at the UNO's Classic, Jusino was ranked 17th on beam. She carries a season average of 9.825.

Sun Devils Have Second-Highest Crowd Ever Against UCLA --
The Sun Devils hosted the second-largest regular season crowd for a dual meet at Wells Fargo Arena Friday, January 26. The attendance of 1,834 is second only to January 26, 2001, when the Sun Devils hosted UCLA and 2,108 fans.

Injury Update --
The Sun Devils have been plagued with injuries this season. Sophomore Tia Orlando will not compete this season due to rehabilitating a torn ACL. Junior Josie Hancock is also retiring from gymnastics due chronic injuries. Sophomore Ashley Toner, who began as a starter on three events this season, is currently nursing a sprained ankle and will likely be limited to bars and beam.

The Sun Devils suffered a devastating loss this week when senior all-arounder Lauren Powell tore her anterior cruciate ligament while practicing beam. The senior has been the most consistent on the all-around this season and has also posted one of the season-high scores on bars this year as well.

'We are very devastated as a team for Lauren,' head coach John Spini said, 'The team is going to need to step up.'

2007 Results --2/9: UNO's Classic: The 21st ranked Sun Devils placed second at the UNO's Classic with a season-high score of 196.275. April Boone won vault with a season-high 9.850 and also took first on floor with a career-best 9.950. Nicocle Harris won beam with a career-high 9.950. Senior Cassandra Jusino was close behind Harris, with a career-high 9.950. Jusino also placed second in the all-around with 39.400. Harris took third with a 39.350, Boone fourth (39.250), and Powell fifth (39.125). Powell tied for second on bars, tying her season-high 9.850. Powell also scored a season-high on beam (9.850) and floor (9.825). Ashlee Hinkle also scored a season-high 9.850 on beam.

2/2: at Oregon State -- No. 17 Arizona State fell to No. 16 Oregon State 195.825-193.300. Nicole Harris had a stellar meet, placing first in the all-around with a 39.400. The returning All-American also took first on bars (9.850) and beam (9.875), posting season-best scores on both events. She also tied for first on vault with a career-best 9.900. Lauren Powell scored a season-best 9.875 on vault to place third. She also recorded a season-high on the floor with a 9.800. April Boone continued to show her consistency on beam with a 9.850. Boone also scored 9.775 on vault and bars. Cassndra Jusino scored another 9.775 on the beam.

1/26: vs. UCLA -- The Sun Devils posted a season-high 195.275 in their loss against No. 6 UCLA. April Boone placed first on floor with a season-high 9.9 and placed second in the all-around (39.350). She also tied for second on vault (9.825) and beam (9.825). Lauren Powell took first on vault (9.85). Ashlee Hinkle tied with Boone for second on beam with a 9.825. Nicole Harris also tied for second on floor with a season-high 9.85 and tied with teammates Boone and Cassandra Jusino for second on vault (9.825). Jusino took third in the all-around (39.200).

1/19: at Stanford -- ASU scored a 193.075 in its season opening loss against the Cardinal. Lauren Powell placed third (39.050) in her first all-around competition since the 2005 season. April Boone posted a 9.850 on both beam and floor placing third in both those events. Cassandra Jusino scored a 9.850 on vault to tie for second place.

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