This Week in Pac-10 Gymnastics
March 4, 2009
THIS WEEK IN THE PAC-10:
Two of the top collegiate gymnastics programs of all-time will battle it out in a dual meet on Sunday, Mar. 8, when sixth-ranked and five-time NCAA champion UCLA (10-2) hosts top-ranked and nine-time NCAA champion Georgia (10-0). The meet will be televised live on Fox Sports Prime Ticket. Sunday's meet will match the only two gymnasts in the nation who have posted multiple perfect 10s this season - UCLA's Vanessa Zamarripa and Georgia's Courtney Kupets. Zamarripa has totaled perfect marks on vault three times this season, including two in consecutive meets on Feb. 15 and Feb. 22. Kupets also has three perfect 10s on the season, but on three different apparatuses: bars, beam and, for the first time in her career, floor.
But the NCAA Championships preparation jump starts on Friday, Mar. 6, when No. 3 STANFORD visits fifth-ranked Alabama. The Crimson Tide jumped six places in the national rankings this week after posting its highest score of the season (197.35 against Auburn on Friday) and its highest road score of the year (196.625 at Penn State) during a three-day span. Alternately, a loss to unranked San Jose State on Friday was the first for Stanford (13-1) after opening the season at 12-0, and first to San Jose State (12-1) in their annual series since 2005. The score (193.95) was a season-low for Stanford after a streak of three consecutive meet scores that exceeded 197.
Also on Friday, Mar. 6, No. 22 WASHINGTON will meet No. 9 OREGON STATE for the 111th time in program history at the Salbasgeon Suites Invitational tri-meet with Seattle Pacific. Though the Beavers hold the all-time series advantage at 83-27, the Huskies snapped a six-year, 12-meet losing streak when the two teams last met two weeks ago. The CALIFORNIA Bears face three opponents this week during a trip to Michigan. On Friday they will compete in Kalamazoo against the Western Michigan Broncos, a squad that is 1-16 on the season but coming off of its strongest meet of the year where they posted a season-high team total of 192.875. The Broncos currently have an RQS of 188.665, below Cal's 189.755. The No. 16 ARIZONA Wildcats, currently on a four-meet win streak, return to McKale for their last home meet of the season, hosting Denver. The Pioneers will be facing their 10th ranked opponent this season behind senior Jessica Lopez who leads the team in all individual averages but floor exercise. No. 2 Utah hosts longtime rival ARIZONA STATE (2-5). The Utes, out with a bye last week, meets an ASU team coming off its best win of the season against Washington.
On Sunday, Mar. 8, the Golden Bears will compete in a tri-meet against Michigan State and Ball State. Michigan State fell out of the top-25 this week with an RQS of 194.525. Ball State posts a 191.760 average, ranking it No. 49.
PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIP TICKETS ON SALE:
Tickets are now on sale for the Pacific-10 Conference Women's Gymnastics Championships, which will be held at Stanford's Maples Pavilion on March 21 at 4 p.m. Prices are $8 for adults, $5 for students, youths, and seniors, and $3 each for groups of 10 or more that have pre-ordered. For additional information, call 800-STANFORD or visit gostanford.com.
COMPETITION SCHEDULE, MAR. 2 - 8:
*All times are Pacific
Friday, March 6
CALIFORNIA at Western Michigan, 4 p.m.
STANFORD at Alabama, 5:30 p.m.
Denver at ARIZONA, 6 p.m.
ARIZONA STATE at Utah, 6 p.m.
Seattle Pacific/WASHINGTON at OREGON STATE (Salbasgeon Suites Invitational), 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 8
Ball State/CALIFORNIA at Michigan State, 11 a.m.
Georgia at UCLA, 2 p.m.
ARIZONA - The Wildcats won their fourth straight meet, beating California 194.625-191.375. On the vault, the team put together it's highest score of the meet, posting a 48.875. Bree Workman who won the event with a 9.875. The senior continued her victory lap on floor courtesy of an event-high 9.8. On beam, freshman Katie Matusik contributed her own 9.8 to the `Cats, good enough for the top mark on that apparatus. With the win, Arizona captured its second straight over a Pac-10 opponent and fourth meet victory in the last three weeks.
ARIZONA STATE - The Gym Devils defeated Washington in their sixth consecutive Pac-10 match-up, 195.575-195.075. Beaté Jones shattered her career-high in the all-around (39.4) and captured the win; Nicole Harris took second (39.275). Harris tied her season high (9.875) and Kahoku Palafox tied a career-best 9.75 on bars, an event on which the Sun Devils narrowly missed the 49-point mark (48.95). On beam, ASU compiled a season-high 49.2 after Harris collected first place with a season-high 9.925 and every gymnast in the event lineup hit 9.8 or higher.
CALIFORNIA - The Bears posted their second highest team score of the season, - 191.375 - but fell to Arizona. The contest marked the sixth time this season the Bears have competed against a team ranked in the top 25. Arizona swept the events, posting the higher team total on all four apparatuses. But the Bears earned two individual wins: Bridgette Glass shined on her senior day with an event-high 9.8 on bars, and Sophia Hocini posted a career-high 38.950 in the all-around for the second consecutive week. The score gave Hocini her first all-around title of the season.
OREGON STATE - After two weeks away, the Beavers returned to Gill Coliseum to perform for a crowd of 4,000+ and surpassed the 49-point barrier on all four events in a 196.575-196.350 loss to UCLA. It is the fifth time this year that the team has scored over 196. Freshman Olivia Vivian tallied a career-best 9.75 on bars, her first performance after weeks of injury. Jami Lanz came through with one of her strongest beam routines of the season (9.875). The dynamic duo of Lanz and Mandi Rodriguez anchored the floor lineup to the tunes of 9.875 and 9.95.
STANFORD - Miscues on the opening two rotations put Stanford into a hole it could not climb out of in a loss to unranked San Jose State in a tri-meet at UC Davis. The Cardinal suffered a blow when Carly Janiga withdrew from the meet after the opening event, in which she scored a 9.875 to win the balance beam. In fact, Stanford won all four individual events. Nicole Ourada tied the top mark on floor with 9.9. Alyssa Brown and Shelley Alexander matched the event high of 9.85 on vault. And senior Kelly Fee captured the uneven bars with a 9.9, Stanford's only season-best score after 21 last week at Cal.
UCLA - Needing to score at least a 9.775 on balance beam for UCLA to clinch the victory, Aisha Gerber came through with a 9.875 to lead the Bruins to a 196.575-196.350 win over Oregon State. With the Bruins suffering a fall just one routine prior to Gerber's, there was little room for error, and Gerber had little error in her routine. Vanessa Zamarripa won the all-around with a 39.375, while Ariana Berlin placed third with a season-high tying 39.3. Berlin and Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs tied for first on bars (9.875), and Niki Tom, Zamarripa and Gerber tied for first on beam.
WASHINGTON - The Huskies went forth into the desert to face off with Pac-10 foe Arizona State and posted a season-best road score of 195.075, but fell a half-point short to the Sun Devils. As a team, the Huskies won the vault, 48.625-48.475, but did not register a single individual event title against Arizona State. Washington also managed a season-high road score of 49.000 on the beam. Several Huskies tied their season-high scores: Samantha Walior (9.775) and Kristen Linton (9.85) on bars, and Kelly Gilbert (9.8) and Linton (9.825) on beam.
~ Pac-10 ~