No. 15 Women's Gymnastics Hits The Road To Face No. 5 Stanford

Feb. 6, 2001

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This Week --
Arizona State's 15th-ranked women's gymnastics squad (3-2) heads to the Bay Area to face red-hot No. 5 Stanford, Friday, Feb. 9, at 7:30 p.m. (PST) at Burnham Pavilion in Stanford, Calif.

Recent Results --
Arizona State never trailed and won all four events en route to a 195.575-193.075 victory over No. 12 Washington. Ironically, two of ASU's top contributers also experienced falls. Freshman Maggie Germaine matched her season bests on vault (9.8) and bars (9.875) before falling on beam. However, Germaine rallied to turn in a solid 9.85 on floor in the final rotation. Similarly, Laura Moon had a great night going with a 9.7 vault, 9.875 bars and an ASU season-high 9.9 on beam before a sore foot limited her to a 9.375 on floor. Other top performers included freshman Amber Giorgianni, who not only scored on vault with a 9.7, but answered Germaine's fall on beam (the second in that rotation) with a 9.875. Rhonda Robinette and Ashley Ellsberry worked two events apiece and contributed 9.8s across the board. The Husky attack was damaged when Stacy Wong suffered an Achilles injury and was unable to complete her floor routine and earn a score. Wong was then a scratch on the beam, cutting UW's lineup to five. With a 9.85 on vault and a 9.875 on bars, Wong had been off to a strong start before falling to injury. The Huskies' Lanna Apisukh walked away the all-around winner, with a 38.95 total.

Stanford (6-3) --
Clearly a program on the rise, Stanford is coming off the nation's second-best score of the season, a school record a 197.425 in its victory over No. 13 Minnesota (195.775) last Friday. All it took was 10 scores of 9.9 or better, including three from Lindsay Wing. On the way, the Cardinal established another school record with its beam total of 49.5. Stanford has the nation's second-best average on beam (49.0), third on bars (49.206), and is ranked first on vault (49.069). Wing is fourth in the all-around (39.3), 18th on beam (9.837) and tied for 10th on vault (9.856). Among those tied with with Wing on vault is her teammate Caroline Fluhrer, who is also ranked ninth on bars (9.894). Other Cardinal to make the top-25 lists are Lise Leveille (7th, 9.862) and Jen Exaltacion (t10th, 9.856) on beam, Becky Meldrum (t12th, 9.875) on bars and (14th, 9.844) on vault. Stanford is coached by Mark Cook in his fourth year.

Last Time vs. Stanford (1/14/00) --
In the 2000 home opener vs. Stanford (193.275), No. 19 Ohio State (192.5) and No. 6 Maryland (191.95), No. 5 Arizona State (194.7) picked up three wins to move to 5-0 on the season. The Sun Devils earned four scores of 9.9 or better, including Elizabeth McNabb's 9.925 on beam and 9.95 on floor, plus Kelly Christensen-Cowley's 9.9 on bars. Stanford was led by Sarah Harding's 9.9 on floor, plus respective all-around finishes of second and third for Jen Exaltacion (38.875) and Katy Herbert (38.55). In what was a sneak-preview for Sun Devil fans, Laura Moon won the all-around with a score of 39.025 competing for Maryland.

All-Time vs. Stanford --
The Sun Devils are 14-2 against Stanford all-time, but the Cardinal have won recently. In the last contest at Stanford (2/19/99) Stanford topped ASU 195.775-194.25.

Moon Rising --
After two MVP seasons at Maryland, Scottsdale native Laura Moon is back in the Valley and back being a team leader. The only Sun Devil to appear in the individual national rankings this week, Moon's 9.825 average on beam -- headlined by a 9.9 against Washington -- has her 21st on that list, while her 9.856 bars average is in a four-way tie for 25th. Moon's best bars effort -- and standing Sun Devil season best -- was a personal best 9.95 at the Maui Invitational, where she was limited to just one event due to an ankle injury. In the Sun Devils' four other meets, Moon has competed in the all-around, leading ASU on three occaisions including her ASU season-best 39.325 performance in the upset of No. 1 UCLA.

Fab Frosh --
It didn't take freshman Maggie Germaine long to make an impression at ASU. The only Sun Devil to compete in the all-around at the season-opening Maui Invitational, Germaine performed to a team meet-best 9.775 on beam, added another 9.775 on the floor, hit a 9.8 on bars and added a 9.425 on vault to finish with an all-around score of 38.775. Since that debut, she has been even more impressive, competing in the all-around at every ASU meet, including her personal-best 39.3 against UCLA. Germaine has ASU's second-best score on bars (two marks of 9.825), is tied for second on vault (two 9.8s) and is one of four to share the lead on floor with her best of 9.875.

Captain Cowley --
Kelly Cowley, a team co-captain and ASU's only returning All-American, has been the model of consistency for the Sun Devils in 2001. Competing in every event except beam at all four meets, Cowley's scores have counted toward the team total all but once. Against UCLA, she notched a 9.8 on vault (second highest ASU score of the year), and a 9.875 on floor (tied for highest ASU score of the year). Against Washington, she matched that 9.875 on floor.

Assignment Athletes --
Although appearing in all four meets, juniors Rhonda Robinette and Ashley Stewart have competed in no more than two events per. However, both are making their appearances count. Since stumbling out of the blocks at the Maui Invitational, Robinette has scored 9.8 or above in four of her five combined chances on bars and beam. Included in that run, was the 9.875 beam score against UCLA that led the way for the Sun Devils' team total of the season in that event: 49.075. Stewart, also turned in her best effort against UCLA, hitting an ASU season-best 9.85 on vault en route to the Sun Devils' second best total in that discipline (48.925) in two years.

Rule Change --
Unlike previous years in which gymnasts were allowed two attempts on the vault (with the higher score counting), this year athletes will only be allowed one attempt at the apparatus.

Up Next --
The Sun Devils road schedule doesn't get any easier as they head north to face No. 3 Utah in Salt Lake City, Friday, Feb. 16 at 7:00 p.m. (MST).

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