Conference Contenders Square Off on Senior Day
Feb. 12, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. -
No. 4 Stanford vs. No. 10 Oregon State and UC Davis at Maples Pavilion, Sunday, 2 p.m.
A week after a season-best performance returned Stanford (9-0) to a No. 4 national ranking, the Cardinal puts its undefeated record up against a team it expects to battle for the Pacific-10 Conference title. No. 10 Oregon State (6-2) was runner-up to Stanford in last year's conference meet in Seattle and may be even better. UC Davis (3-4-1) completes the Maples Pavilion tri-meet while returning to Stanford for the second consecutive week.
On the Internet
The meet will be shown live through a free webcast that can be found on Stanford's Web site: gostanford.com. Click on the All-Access button on top of the home page, or the 'Watch' link next to the event listing on the Calendar of Events at the bottom of the page.
Also, live stats can be found on Oregon State's Web site: osubeavers.com. Click on the 'livestats' link on the women's gymnastics schedule page.
The Nation's Best One-Two Punch
Stanford's Nicole Ourada and Carly Janiga have risen into the top four in the national all-around rankings. No other school has two gymnasts among the top six. The All-America duo has been dazzling this season. Janiga (39.437 average) has competed in four all-arounds, scoring 39.275 or higher each time. Ourada (39.5) has completed two, averaging 39.5, which places her average at No. 2 in the country behind only 2004 Olympic silver medalist Courtney Kupets of Georgia.
Stanford's three seniors - Kelly Fee, Nicole Ourada, and Heather Purnell - will be honored during their final home regular-season meet. Fee and Purnell are co-captains, and Ourada is a five-time All-American. Each of the three has helped create an era of excellence during their years at Stanford. And their personalities, leadership, and talent will be not only be remembered, but treasured.
Gymnasts of the Week
Stanford senior Nicole Ourada is the reigning Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week after the collegiate-best 39.625 she registered Sunday against UC Davis in the all-around. Ourada won all four events and tied her career-best of 9.925 on the floor exercise. She also registered scores of 9.9 (vault), 9.925 (bars), 9.875 (beam) and 9.925 (floor). Her career-best scores are: all-around, 39.625; vault, 9.95; bars, 9.95; beam, 9.925; floor, 9.925.
Sunday's Opponent: Oregon State
Stanford competed against Oregon State already this season, at the season-opening Cancun Classic in Mexico on Jan. 2. Stanford won the four-team evening session by scoring 195.6, to beat Oregon State (194.575), Denver (193.825) and BYU (189.125).
No. 10 Oregon State (6-2) has averaged 196.491 over its past three meets, which is slightly better than Stanford's 196.483 during the same span. All-arounder Mandi Rodriguez ranks No. 3 in the country on the floor (9.892) and No. 12 on the vault (9.879). Jen Kesler is No. 6 on the bars (9.875), Mak Leslie is 11th on the bars (9.862) and Jami Lanz is No. 20 on the floor (9.85).
Lanz is the defending Pac-10 balance beam co-champ, along with Stanford's Carly Janiga, and is the top returning all-around finisher from last year's conference meet, where she placed second.
Sunday's Opponent: UC Davis
The Aggies graciously agreed to become a late replacement after UCLA's team was struck by a virus and was not allowed to compete in a Sunday dual meet at Stanford. UC Davis competed in Seattle on Friday night before traveling to Stanford, where the Aggies struggled during a 197.1-189.35 loss at Burnham Pavilion. This time, UC Davis (3-4-1) should be more rested. This is will be UC Davis' second meeting with Stanford in a four-week stretch. They face each in Davis on Feb. 27.
Stanford rolled to a season-best score of 197.1 against visiting UC Davis at Burnham Pavilion, setting season-best team scores in the vault (49.35) and floor (49.35) while every member of the team scored at least 9.75 in each event. Stanford became one of six teams in the country to score 197 or better this season.
Stanford's 9-0 start is considered to be a school record. Five of its victims were ranked among the nation's top 25 at the time of their meeting. Four of those are currently ranked: No. 10 Oregon State, No. 20 Arizona, No. 22 Denver, and No. 24 Arizona State. Stanford faces Oregon State again Sunday and No. 5 Alabama on the road March 6.
Team Scores in Rankings
In every event, Stanford is ranked among the national leaders in average score. Here is how the Cardinal ranks, and its season averages:
Overall: 4th, 196.3
Vault: 6th, 49.115
Bars: 3rd, 49.055
Beam: 3rd, 49.055
Floor: 9th, 48.985
Individual Scores in Rankings
Here is how Cardinal individuals rank, with their season averages:
All-around: 2nd, Nicole Ourada, 39.5; 4th, Carly Janiga, 39.437
Vault: 24th (t), Nicole Ourada, 9.85
Bars: 4th, Carly Janiga, 9.895
Beam: 4th, Nicole Ourada, 9.887; 11th (t), Carly Janiga, 9.855
Floor: 17th (t), Nicole Ourada, 9.85.
What the Rankings Mean
These are the final individual and team rankings that will be determined by average score. Beginning Feb. 16, teams and gymnasts will be ranked by a Regional Qualifying Score, which is based on each team's top six regular-season scores. At least three scores must come from away meets. The highest score is then dropped and the remaining five scores are averaged. The 36 teams with the highest RQS's earn NCAA regional berths. Stanford is shooting for an RQS among the top six, which would enable the Cardinal to earn a No. 1 seed.