No. 7 Women's Gymnastics Defeats Auburn

March 9, 2001

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TEMPE, Ariz. - After watching freshman Amber Giorgianni go down with a knee injury in the team's final warm-up, Arizona State's seventh-ranked women's gymnastics team (8-4) rebounded to defeat Auburn (2-8) 196.15-194.25 in front of 907 in attendance at Wells Fargo Arena Friday.

Led by junior Laura Moon's second career 10.0 score -- the 15th all-time at ASU -- the Sun Devils shook off a handful of falls to record the ninth-best score in school history. ASU also increased its home winning streak to 25 meets, in which it has defeated 39 opponents.

Auburn freshman Erin Gettle scored a 39.2 in the all-around to lead the Tigers, however her four-event score trailed both Moon (39.6) and freshman Maggie Germaine (39.3).

'I was really pleased with the girls' mental toughness,' ASU head coach John Spini said. 'Losing Amber really hurts, but they stayed tough and came together.'

Giorgianni's injury occurred just minutes before ASU was set to begin the meet on vault. Suddenly an ASU lineup that had been thinned midweek when junior vault specialist Ashley Stewart tore her ACL in practice was even thinner.

Thus an unprepared Kim Skinner, who hadn't competed on vault since the season opener, was quickly inserted into a lineup that already included the competitive debut of freshman walk-on Jada Cox.

Shaken, but not stirred, the Sun Devils responded by hitting all six vaults. Moon led off with a personal season best of 9.825, Skinner came through with a 9.775 and Germaine matched her team season-best of 9.9.

Despite missing two of its regulars, ASU finished with its second-best vault total of the season and completed the first rotation with a 49.075-48.75 advantage.

'We teach the girls to respond (to adversity) like that, but their effort on vault was fantastic,' Spini said. 'Kim Skinner gets my award tonight for the way she stepped in there at the last second.'

However, heartbreak was just around the corner on the uneven bars. Senior Kristin Fanning led off with not one, but two falls. Sophomore Rhonda Robinette followed with a fall of her own and ASU's back was pressed against the wall.

As quickly as the falls had come, senior Kelly Cowley and sophomore Margaret Wojciak boosted a turnaround with respective marks of 9.925 and 9.875, respectively, before Moon turned on the afterburners with her perfect-10. ASU managed only 48.8 on bars collectively, but Auburn's 48.55 on vault left ASU ahead after the second rotation 97.85-97.3.

Although they would struggle on balance beam with a pair of falls, a 9.925 from Moon and a career-high 9.95 from sophomore Ashley Ellsberry kept the Sun Devils afloat.

Finishing the evening on the floor exercise, the Sun Devils looked as strong as ever, scoring no lower than a 9.85 en route to a 49.45 event total.

'We were a little rough out there in places, but we did some things really well,' Moon said. 'It definitely hurts to lose Amber (Giorgianni) and a team-leader like Ashley (Stewart), but we hung together as a team and that was the most important thing.'

The Sun Devils return home next Friday to battle current No. 5 Nebraska, No. 10 Iowa and Kentucky in the final meet of the regular season.

Complete results/box score available above in PDF format.

ASU 196.15, Auburn 194.25

Vault - ASU 49.075, UA 48.550
Bars - ASU 48.800, UA 48.750
Beam - ASU 48.825, UA 48.250
Floor - ASU 49.450, UA 48.700

Individual Top-Three/Other Sun Devil Scores

Vault -
1. Germaine (ASU) 9.9, 2. Moon (ASU) 9.825, 3t. Boyte (Auburn) 9.8, 3t. Gettle (Auburn) 9.8, 3t. Vreeke (ASU) 9.8
Cowley 9.775, Skinner 9.775, Cox 9.7

Bars -
1. Moon (ASU) 10.0, 2. Cowley (ASU) 9.925, 3. Wojciak (ASU) 9.875.
Germaine 9.7, Robinette 9.3, Fanning 8.5

Beam -
1. Ellsberry (ASU) 9.95, 2. Moon (ASU) 9.925, 3. Rhobinette (ASU) 9.85
Germaine 9.775, Vreeke 9.325, Wojciak 9.2.

Floor -
1t. Vreeke (ASU) 9.925, 1t. Germaine (ASU) 9.925, 3. Cowley (ASU) 9.9.
Fanning 9.85, Ellsbery 9.85, Moon 9.85

All-Around -
1. Moon (ASU) 39.6, 2. Germaine (ASU) 39.3, 3. Gettle (Auburn) 39.2

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