GymDawgs Host Arizona State In Saturday Showdown

Feb. 10, 2010

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This Week
Coming off their first two victories of the season, the No. 24 Washington gymnastics squad (2-5) returns home for the first of three consecutive home meets when they host No. 25 Arizona State (1-6) on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies will be looking for their first victory against a Pac-10 opponent this season and their first victory at home. The Sun Devils are the first team ranked outside the top 10 UW will have faced at home this season.

Live Coverage
A free live video feed will be available on GoHuskies.com along with live scoring. Inaddition, all 2010 home meets will be available for viewing On-Demand to all regionalComcast subscribers. Go to www.GoHuskies.com and visit the gymnastics schedulepage for links to stats and video.

Last Week
The Huskies redeemed themselves from a poor showing in their first road meet to finish strong in a quad meet at No. 8 Stanford last week, picking up their first two victories of the season against Sacramento State and San Jose State. The Huskies score of 194.075 was their third-best of the season and was leaps and bounds ahead of their first road score of 192.800. The Huskies hit 17 of their routines compared to just 11 at Oregon State and had their second-best score of the year on vault, an event that has caused the most problems in 2010. Kristen Linton had a big meet for the Dawgs, finishing third in the all around and also finishing third on bars with a 9.850, while Hatsune Akaogi finished tied for second on vault and Samantha Walior led UW on both bars and floor.

Huskies in the Rankings
The Huskies stayed at No. 24 for the third straight week after performing well against their fifth-straight top-10 team. UW has reached a high of No. 19 this season, which they garnered after a strong opening-week performance against No. 10 Nebraska. UW opened the season in the top-25 for the first time since 2006, coming in at No. 25.

The Huskies also appear in the top-25 in the event rankings, ranking 17th on floor and 18th on beam.

Challenging Schedule
The Huskies face one of the toughest schedules in the country, competing against seven teams currently in the nation's top-10 including four of the top five. UW opened with five straight meets against top-10 teams, including No. 10 Nebraska, No. 5 UCLA, No. 7 Oregon State, No. 4 Utah and No. 8 Stanford. After facing No. 25 ASU this week UW gets a one-week break from ranked opponents before competing against No. 3 Arkansas, No. 21 Arizona and current No. 1 Oklahoma over the following three weeks.

About the Huskies
UW came into the season ranked 25th, returning eight competitors from last year's squad that finished fourth at the Pac-10 Championships, the Huskies' best finish in six years. UW also advanced to the NCAA West Regionals for the third time in head coach Joanne Bowers' three-year tenure. UW has since moved up to No. 24, led by returning All-Pac-10 performer Hatsune Akaogi, who owns one all-around win this year when she tied then-No. 1 UCLA's All-American Anna Li. Juniors Samantha Walior, a First Team All-Pac-10 pick on floor last year, and Haley Bogart have also been solid for UW this year while five freshmen are contributing to a very young team that has no seniors.

Scouting Arizona State
The Sun Devils moved into the national rankings this week for the first time all season after achieving their highest score of the season last week against No. 4 Utah. ASU compiled a score of 195.70 almost a full point higher than its previous top score. The Sun Devils are 1-6 this season, finishing fourth in a quad-meet featuring three ranked teams to start the season then defeating Cal for their lone victory. ASU has since fallen to three-straight ranked teams in No. 21 Arizona, No. 5 UCLA and No. 4 Utah.

Individually, Stephanie Hangartner entered the all-around national rankings after scoring a 39.1 against Utah as did Madison Snowden on floor. Hangartner is currently 25th in the all-around and Snowden is 20th on floor. Mary Atkinson is ranked 15th on vault and 16th on bars.

About the Series
The Huskies and ASU have met 53 times, with the Sun Devils holding a 40-13 advantage, winning the last four meetings. Last year, ASU defeated the Huskies at Wells Fargo Arena,195.575-195.075.

Flooring the Competition
The Huskies best and most consistent event has been floor, where they are tied for 17th in the nation with an average of 48.755. The Huskies started the season with a bang on the event, with what is still a season-best 48.850. While they haven't been able to top that mark yet, they've been close, never dipping below 48.625.

Samantha Walior has been UW's top floor competitor, leading the team in three of five events and tying for the team lead a fourth time. She has at least a 9.800 in four of five meets, including a high of 9.850 in the opening meet against Nebraska.

Vaulting Back Into the Discussion
After a couple of down weeks on the vault due to some injuries, the Huskies bounced back last week with their second-best vault score of the season, 48.525. The Huskies were in desperate need of some high scores after faltering in their first road meet of the season, but their vault score led to a solid overall score of 194.650, their third-best of the year.

Bowers Beaming
Head coach Joanne Bowers has been thrilled with her team's start this season, particularly on the beam where UW ranks 18th in the nation and fourth in the Pac-10. The Huskies have been solid on the apparatus which is the most difficult in the sport. Against then-No. 1 UCLA, four of UW's six competitors scored 9.750 or higher, led by Samantha Walior's 9.800, while on opening night against Nebraska, UW had five of six competitors at 9.650 or higher with junior Haley Bogart leading the GymDawgs with a 9.750. Walior leads the team with an average score of 9.775, which ranks 40th in the nation and sixth in the Pac-10.

Bogart A Model of Consistency
Somewhat overshadowed by the big performances of Hatsune Akaogi and Samantha Walior has been junior Haley Bogart, who has been the most consistent on the team thus far. On the vault, Bogart has reached her top score of 9.755 in three of five meets this season while another time she scored a 9.750. Even more impressive is her consistency on beam, where Bogart has scored 9.750 in four of five meets, the other time reaching a 9.725. Bogart has also been solid on floor, score a 9.800 twice to go along with a 9.775, 9.700 and 9.650.

Linton Adds to Junior Success
With no seniors on this year's squad, the junior class has become the de facto leader of the GymDagws. And with three-year performers Haley Bogart and Samantha Walior already proving to be leaders, junior Kristen Linton is also making her case as one of the leaders of the squad. Taking part in her second all-around of the season last week, Linton finished third overall and just missed a career high with her 38.925. She set season highs on both vault (9.550) and floor (9.750) and equaled her season high on bars (9.850), a score which leads the team this year. She also fell just shy of equaling her season high on floor with a 9.775.

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