No. 17 Women's Gymnastics Hosts The UNO's Classic, Friday At 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 5, 2002
This Week --
The 17th-ranked Sun Devils welcome Cal State Fullerton, Oregon State and Southern Utah for the UNO's Classic, Friday, February 8, at 7:00 p.m. in Wells Fargo Arena.
Cal State Fullerton (1-3) --
The Titans of Cal State Fullerton are coming off their first win of the season, 192.600-187.175 over UC Santa Barbara. They return 14 letterwinners from 2001 when they finished second at the Big West championships. Although unranked overall, Fullerton is 25th in the nation on bars. The Titans are led by fourth-year coach Julie Knight. ASU leads the all-time regular season dual series 15-12, including the last five straight.
Oregon State (1-3) --
The Beavers might only be 1-3, but they are coming off their best performance of the season in a 194.950-193.850 victory over Washington. OSU returned 10 letterwinners from last season including 2000 All-American Tanya Ricioli. The Beavers are coached by Tanya Chaplin in her 5th season. A preseason No. 10, OSU is currently not ranked in the top-25 overall, but is ranked 16th on bars and 18th on floor. OSU leads the all-time regular season dual series vs. ASU, 17-8, including nine of the last 13.
Southern Utah (0-2) --
Southern Utah has only two meets under its belt this season, losing both. The Thunderbirds return nine letterwinners from 2001 when they went 5-11. Unranked overall, SUU is ranked 25th in the country on floor. Head coach Scott Bauman is in his 10th year. ASU leads the all-time dual series 2-0.
ASU In The Rankings --
The February 4 rankings, the second to list teams based on their season-average, have ASU 17th in the nation with a score of 193.987. In the event-by-event rankings, ASU is 25th on vault (48.481 avg.), 15th on bars (48.675), unranked on beam and 23rd on floor (48.725). The Sun Devils' best team score of 2002 was scored in a losing effort against Stanford, 195.450. In the preseason coaches poll ASU was ninth, just behind Stanford (8th) and just ahead of Oregon State (10th). Throughout the season, GymInfo rankings are based on one of the following: high score (Jan. 14, 21), average score (Jan. 28, Feb. 4, 11, 18), regional qualifying score (Feb. 28 thru season's end). Current rankings are available on Page 2 of this release. For more info access www.gyminfo.com/troester.
Recent Results --
The Sun Devils' second-highest team total of the season, and their top away-score, earned ASU its first Pac-10 win of the year, 195.025-191.525 vs. California. The Sun Devils outscored the Golden Bears in all four events, led by Maggie Germaine who won vault with a 9.825, tied Rhonda Robinette for the win on bars with a 9.85, and finished second to Kari Muth on floor with a 9.85. Muth had a collegiate best 9.875 on floor, which she followed with a best of 9.8 on beam. Trisha Dixon also had a collegiate best on beam (9.8) and senior Rhonda Robinette had a season-high 9.85 to lead all competitors. Hitting five of six routines on beam, ASU avoided having to count a fall for the first time on that event this season, resulting in a season-best 48.975 point total.
Up Next --
Making its first stop in back-to-back road trips, ASU will challenge Pac-10 foe Washington, Fri., February 15, in Bank Of America Arena in Seattle, Wash., at 7:00 p.m. PST.
All-American Laura Moon (senior) --
One of two returning All-Americans on ASU's 2002 roster, the Sun Devils were hoping that senior all-arounder Laura Moon could lead them throughout the season. Unfortunately, injury struck first. Thus far unable to compete as she recovers from preseason knee surgery, Moon may make her 2002 debut at the UNO's Classic.Last year, her first as a Sun Devil after two team-MVP stints with the University of Maryland, Moon wasted no time working her way into the ASU record books. Against Auburn, in one of her 11 appearances in the all-around, Moon earned a school record total of 39.600. Helping her to that sum was Moon's second perfect 10.0 score on the uneven bars, causing her to join Danna Lister as the only Sun Devils ever to record a pair of perfect marks in the same season (Lister earned two 10.0s on beam in 1994).Moon also had season highs of 9.825 on vault, 9.925 on beam and 9.925 on floor. Out of a combined 49 routines, Moon scored 9.9 or better 11 times. At the NCAA Championships, Moon earned second-team All-America honors with her 17th-place finish in the all-around, scoring 39.100.
All-American Maggie Germaine (sophomore) --
Two weeks ago vs. Stanford, Maggie Germaine set or tied her season bests on vault (9.85), bars (9.875) and floor (9.9), and in the all-around (38.925). Last week vs. Cal she went for 9.825 on vault and 9.85s on bars and floor. She is the only Sun Devil currently ranked in the top-25 in any event, tied for 22nd on floor with a 9.881 average that's boosted by a pair of 9.9s this season. She has struggled on beam however, suffering a fall in each of ASU's four meets. Last season, Germaine fell in only two of 13 beam routines, finishing the season with a high of 9.875 and an average of 9.623.Also in 2001, Germaine was named ASU's co-MVP with Laura Moon after becoming the first Sun Devil freshman to earn All-America honors since Elizabeth Reid in 1997 (second-team, vault). The only Sun Devil to compete in the all-around at all 13 meets, Germaine hit an impressive 46-of-52 routines, including 41 of her last 44. Her season-best all-around total of 39.550, scored against Arizona, tied her with Amy Shelton (1997) for third all-time at ASU. Her event-by-event highs were 9.925 on vault, 9.9 on bars, 9.875 on beam and 9.925 on floor. Seven of Germaine's final 28 routines were scored at 9.9 or better.
Ashley Ellsberry (junior) --
Who is the Sun Devils' next All-America candidate? Look no further than Ashley Ellsberry, ASU's most consistent beam and floor artist over the past two seasons. Two weeks ago vs. Stanford, Ellsberry tied her career high on floor with a 9.9 and was ranked 22nd nationally. A season-low 9.325 (her first 'fall' on floor since the 2001 season opener) at Cal dropped her from the rankings. Also at Cal, Ellsberry competed on bars for only the second time in her career and earned a best of 9.775. On beam, Ellsberry suffered the only fall of her last 16 routines at UCLA, but has top scores of 9.85 and 9.9 this season. Last year, after suffering falls on beam and floor in the season opener, Ellsberry responded by hitting her final 24 routines of the season, scoring at 9.8 or better 17 times. She has career best of 9.95 on beam and 9.9 on floor.
Rhonda Robinette (senior) --
A team co-captain, Robinette is coming off her best meet of the season at California. Robinette tied her career best with a 9.85 on bars and set a season best with a 9.85 on beam. Last season, Robinette appeared on beam in all 13 meets, and competed on bars seven times. One of her two season-high 9.8s on bars was turned in at the NCAA Central Regional. On beam, Robinette suffered only three falls, with the rest of her 10 routines all going for 9.8 or better. Among them was a 9.9 vs. Arizona and a career best 9.925 vs. Utah.
Cassidy Vreeke (junior) --
After a slow start in 2001 that saw her hit only three of her first eight routines through four meets, Cassidy Vreeke had a breakthrough performance in ASU's fifth meet vs. Stanford (9.7 v, 9.825 bb, 9.825 fx). This season, it was more of the same. Although she'd hit only two of five routines with a high of 9.675 (fx), Vreeke snapped out of her funk vs. Stanford by hitting all three of her routines en route to season highs of 9.725 (v), 9.8 (bb) and 9.875 (fx). Most recently vs. Cal, Vreeke earned a 9.775 on beam, 9.6 on vault and 9.55 on floor. Last year, Vreeke went on to score 9.8 or higher on vault four times (9.875 high), hit seven of her last 10 beam routines (9.85 high) and hit for 9.9-or-better on floor in three of ASU's last four meets including a career-best 9.95 at the Pac-10 Championships.
Margaret Wojciak (junior) --
Magaret Wojciak had arguably the best meet of her career two weeks ago vs. Stanford, when she scored a 9.8 vault, a career-best tying 9.9 on bars and a career-best 9.775 on floor. Wojciak had hit only three of her first six routines going into the Stanford meet. Most recently vs. Cal, Wojciak was strongest on bars where she earned a 9.825. Last year, Wojciak posted eight scores at 9.8 or better on bars with three 9.9s and scored a pair of career-high 9.8s on beam at the NCAA Regional and NCAA Championships (semifinal). Her other 2001 highs were 9.65 (v) and 9.75 (fx), in a combined five routines away from bars and beam.
Youth Movement --
In its quest to return to the NCAA Championships, ASU is relying heavily on the performances of its three freshman, Trisha Dixon (Fair Oaks, Calif.), Nicole Gause (College Station, Texas) and Kari Muth (Mesa, Ariz.). In four meets this season, ASU has had at least two freshman in every rotation but three (13-of-16). Dixon has been the most consistent, with only one fall in 12 routines, however, she has scored a 9.7 or better only twice with season highs of 9.675 (v), 9.675 (ub), 9.8 (bb), 9.525 (fx) and 38.500 (aa). Gause, who has been held back by a sprained ankle, has competed only three times on vault, earning two 9.8s and one 9.725. She made her floor debut vs. Cal for a 9.5. Muth, who scored collegiate-bests of 9.875 on floor at UCLA and at Cal, scored another best vs. Cal on beam with a 9.8. Her best on bars was a 9.875 vs. Stanford.
Important Imports --
ASU welcomed a pair of transfers in the off-season, and both sophomore Carla DeMartini and junior Melissa Lewis have made an impact in 2002. DeMartini, who spent her freshman season at the University of Oklahoma, sat out the first meet of the season but has been an important part of ASU's floor lineup since, with one 9.775 and two 9.8s. She's also competed three times on bars, with her season best 9.7 coming at California. Lewis comes to ASU from Cal State Fullerton and has added depth to ASU's vault lineup. In her only competitive performance, Lewis suffered a fall (9.375). However, her exhibition in the Stanford meet earned a 9.6.
New & Improved --
Now a sophomore, walk-on Jada Cox is having a breakthrough sophomore season after competing sparingly as a freshman. In 2001, Cox didn't compete until the ninth meet, but filled in admirably down the stretch completing three vaults for 9.7-or-better over ASU's final five meets. In the 2002 season debut, Cox improved her then-best to a 9.775, before placing third overall at UCLA with a 9.65 effort. Two weeks ago vs. Stanford, Cox made another giant leap forward, launching her career high up to a 9.9. At California she went for 9.775.
Comeback Trail --
Senior All-American Laura Moon isn't the only Sun Devil rehabbing a knee. Last year, Amber Giorgianni had a strong first half of her freshman season, posting highs of 9.825 (v) and 9.875 (bb) through eight meets. However, in ASU's final warm-up on vault before the ninth meet of the year (vs. Auburn), Giorgianni suffered a torn ACL and was lost for the season. Still rehabilitating the injury, Giorgianni has appeared only appeared in exhibition conditions this season.
Tough At Home --
For 25 straight regular season meets -- including four in 2001 -- no one could overcome ASU at Wells Fargo Arena. Not even No. 1 UCLA. In that span, the Sun Devils defeated 39 consecutive opponents dating back to 1996. However, in the 2001 season finale, ASU beat Iowa and Kentucky, but could not top No. 7 Nebraska, which shot to No. 4 in the rankings after turning back ASU for only the third time in the last 44 meets at Wells Fargo Arena. Then, in ASU's second home meet of 2002, No. 14 Stanford defeated the Sun Devils 195.775-195.450, marking Stanford's first-ever regular-season win in Tempe. While home losses are irregular, ASU has now lost two of its last three home meets dating back to last season. That's its worst home stretch since the beginning of the 1992 season when the Sun Devils lost twice to start the season. What followed was a stretch that through the Stanford loss has seen ASU defeat 64 of its last 68 regular season opponents at home. The dates of ASU's last five home losses are as follows: Stanford (1/25/02), Nebraska (3/16/01), Utah (2/2/96), Utah (2/11/94), Oregon State (2/7/92).
The Fans --
While ASU's attendance report may not have rivaled Georgia's (last season's national leader in average attendance), the 2001 Sun Devils drew some of their largest crowds in recent history. Highlighted by a turnout of 2,108 that saw the Sun Devils upset No. 1 UCLA, ASU drew a total of 6,671 fans to Wells Fargo Arena for an average of 1,334 per meet. That was good enough for ASU to finish 16th in the national attendance rankings, its highest finish since GymInfo began tabulating national figures in 1998. This season, ASU's home attendance is off to a strong start, after crowds of 1,102 (Utah State) and 1,320 vs. Stanford. The crowd that witnessed the Stanford meet was ASU's seventh-largest regular season home attendance since 1996.
Beam Blues --
Traditionally one of ASU's strongest events, the 2002 Sun Devils have outscored only one opponent on beam this year, after a season-best 48.975 total at Cal. Going into the meet completing only 9-of-18 routines without a fall, the Sun Devils went 5-for-6 vs. the Golden Bears.