This Week in Pac-10 Gymnastics
Jan. 28, 2009
THIS WEEK IN THE PAC-10:
Just one week after OREGON STATE's Mandi Rodriguez received a 10.0 from one judge on a floor routine that gave the Beavers an upset over then-No. 5 Arkansas, Bruin freshman Vanessa Zamarripa recorded the Conference's first official perfect 10 of the 2009 campaign, on vault. Scores across the Pac-10 are peaking early this season. After only four weeks of competition, the infamous 10.0 has been hit, three all-around athletes have met or surpassed the 39.5 mark, and No. 3 UCLA has eclipsed the 197 team tally.
Three top 25 duals take place this weekend. No. 4 STANFORD travels to the desert for a Conference contest against No. 24 ARIZONA. The Cardinal, riding an undefeated 7-0 record, are off to their best start in more than a decade and jumped three spots in the national rankings last week. Though the Wildcats are 0-3 against top 25 teams, their season-best 195.25 last week marked an improvement of nearly two full points since its opener.
In other Pac-10 action, No. 16 ARIZONA STATE plays host to the Bruins. UCLA holds a 43-23 regular season record against ASU with eight consecutive wins, but both squads are coming off season-high team totals. The battle on beam, in particular, is anticipated to be heated: the Bruins rank fifth nationally (49.056 average) while the Sun Devils sit at ninth (48.875).
No. 11 Oregon State welcomes No. 2 Utah to legendary Gill Coliseum. With UCLA and WASHINGTON having already fallen to the Utes this season, the Beavs are the last Pac-10 chance for an upset until the Sun Devils fly to Salt Lake City on March 6. Both regulars at the NCAA Championships, the Utes are the only program to qualify for all 27 NCAA Championships, while Oregon State has made the NCAAs 19 times, including the last three championships. All six Oregon State series wins over Utah were on its home floor, most recently in 2003.
To round out the weekend, CALIFORNIA hosts Washington and Illinois State in a tri-meet. All five Golden Bear all-arounders scored career-high marks in Sunday's meet at UCLA. The Huskies bring a strong vault squad to Haas Pavilion, ranked 19th in the country (49.000 high) and led by senior Ashley Houghting.
COMPETITION SCHEDULE, JAN. 27-FEB. 2:
*All times are Pacific
Friday, January 30
STANFORD at ARIZONA ('Flipping for the Fight' breast cancer awareness meet), 6 p.m.
UCLA at ARIZONA STATE, 6:30 p.m.
Utah at OREGON STATE, 7 p.m. (Streamed live at osubeavers.com via Beaver Nation Online)
Sunday, February 1
Illinois State/WASHINGTON at CALIFORNIA, Noon
ARIZONA - The Wildcats set season-highs for team score (195.250) and three apparatuses in a loss to Oregon State. Briana Bergeson tied a career-best 9.875 on bars, propelling the GymCats to a 2009 record (on any apparatus) 49.0. Freshman Katie Matusik set a career-high 9.8 on beam. For the third consecutive meet, Colleen Fisher finished as the Wildcats' top all-arounder (39.050), exceeding the 39-point barrier for the first time ever.
ARIZONA STATE - Nicole Harris placed third in the all-around (39.250) as the Sun Devils set a new season standard (194.6) in a loss to Stanford. Team totals on floor and beam tallied 48.9, showcasing great improvement from the Devils' opening weeks. Harris led the way with a 9.825 (FX) and season-best 9.875 (BB). Beaté Jones matched the top mark on floor before drastically upping her personal best on beam by 0.150 (9.8).
CALIFORNIA - The Golden Bears are coming off a pair of tough road trips in which they faced three top 25 opponents. The team posted season-best team scores in every event in Sunday's loss at UCLA. Sophia Hocini, Joanna Bennett, and Avery Gee each scored 9.8 on beam, the highest score on any apparatus for a Bear gymnast this season. In all, California had six performances that equalled or set new career highs in individual events.
OREGON STATE - Mandi Rodriguez (39.425) and Jami Lanz (39.375) each set season-highs in the all-around in a team victory in Tucson. OSU broke the 196-point barrier and scored 49+ points on all four events, both 2009 firsts. Freshman Leslie Mak tied her career-high (9.85) on bars to set up top event scorer Jen Kesler (9.875). On vault and beam, nine of the Beavs' 10 scorers tied or broke season bests. Every Beaver beam routine exceeded 9.8.
STANFORD - In its home opener, the Cardinal's beam and floor lineups produced 2009 highs of 49.375 and 49.150, respectively. The beam tally marked the Cardinal's best score on any apparatus this season and moved Stanford into third-best among the nation's leaders (49.225 average score). All-around All-Americans Carly Janiga (39.475) and Nicole Ourada (39.375) dazzled, as did Tenaya West on floor (9.85, T-1st).
UCLA - The Bruins used season-bests on bars (49.5) and floor (49.35) to beat California at the end of a double dual-meet weekend. A trio of Bruin freshmen swept the all-around standings, with Aisha Gerber nabbing the title (39.55) and UCLA's highest AA mark this year. Behind a perfect 10 on vault by Vanessa Zamarripa and career-best performances on all four events from Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs (39.525, 1st), UCLA also bested CS Fullerton.
WASHINGTON - Washington fell from the top 25 after a tough meet against then-No. 3 Utah last Friday. The 29th-ranked Huskies notched a season-high score of 49.000 on the vault, led by senior Ashley Houghting's 9.900 performance, good for second place in the event. Freshman Hatsune Akaogi was another bright spot for the Dawgs as the rookie took fourth on beam and in the all-around and fifth on the bars with a career-high 9.800.
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