UW Gymnasts Host Arizona and San Jose State
The Meet: The Washington women's gymnastics team (0-1) opens it's home 2003 season against Pac-10 rival Arizona and San Jose State on Friday, Jan. 24 at Bank of America Arena at 7 p.m. Washington is undefeated against San Jose State in the nine meetings between the two schools. Arizona leads the series against Washington 16-13, winning the last four meets against the Huskies. Last season, the Huskies lost at dual meet at Arizona 195.550-193.225 and finished third in a four-way meet in Tucson.
Last Week: Washington opened the 2003 season with a loss to 16th-ranked Arizona State, 197.300-194.150. Washington's score was the best season-opening score in the program's 29-year history. Freshman KellyMcDonald captured the vault competition in her first collegiate gymnastics meet with a score of 9.925. McDonald went on to place sixth in the all-around with a 37.650. Junior Emily Pritchard scored a three-way first place tie on the bars with a 9.900. Pritchard finished fourth in the all-around with a 38.925. Husky head coach Bob Levesque summed up the meet saying, 'It was nice to get the season started with a solid score, but we had a chance to do much better. We had too many falls tonight and need to correct that before next week.'
Levesque on This Week: 'This will be a tough home opener for us. Arizona is tough and San Jose State is an up-and-coming program. We were able to score 194 last week and I think we can correct some of the mistakes we made in that meet and we can get better. It would not surprise me to score in the 196 or 197 range. I really like the ability of what this team is capable of doing.'
Bouncing Back: Washington enters the 2003 season hoping to bounce back from last year's disappointing 7-13 campaign. The Huskies were slowed by injuries that forced veterans Stacy Wong (knee injury) and Molly Seaman (knee injury) out of the lineup. Tacia LaBatte, a transfer from Utah, was also unable to compete due to a broken right foot. The Huskies return 10 letterwinners from last year's team and lost only one senior (Allison Bruce). Joining this year's team is a six-person freshman class that head coach Bob Levesque feels is the most talented in his 13-year tenture at Washington. 'Stacy was awesome in the Arizona State meet,' Levesque says. 'We put her in the beam lineup at the last minute and she was great. Experience is everthing at this level and she proved it by just going out and getting it done. It is nice to have someone you can turn to and they can perform in the clutch. I'm starting to see that in Tanya (Powers) and Emily (Pritchard) and that will help to make us a better team.'
Noting the Huskies
Huskies Post Top Mark for Opener: Washington's score of 194.150 in the season opener at Arizona State was the top score ever posted by a Husky team in a season opener. Washington's previous best season-opening score was a 193.375 for the Huskies season-opening victory against California in 2000.
Pritchard Picks Up Another Victory: Husky junior Emily Pritchard picked up her first victory of the season by finishing tied for first on bars with a score of 9.900 in the opener at Arizona State. Last year Pritchard led the Huskies with 11 event titles. Pritchard also placed second on the vault with a score of 9.900 against the Sun Devils. Pritchard suffered a fall on the beam, finishing 11th with a score of 9.425. Her all-around score of 38.925 allowed her to finish third at the meet. Pritchard is expected to be one of the team leaders this season. Last season she captured first place in the all-around in four meets, including a career best of 39.675 against Arizona State. Pritchard also took first place on the vault at the 2002 Pac-10 Championships at Stanford, with a career best of 9.975. Pritchard was named to the 2002 Pac-10's All-Conference Team. A native of Buckley, Wash., she was named all-conference performer on bars, vault and in the all-around. She was the only memeber of the 2002 All-Pac-10 squad to be named to three events.
Stacy Wong, Senior: Stacy Wong returned to the lineup against Arizona State after missing the entire 2002 season after suffering a knee injury during training. Wong finished second on the vault with a 9.900 and was eighth on the beam with a 9.750. Wong, one of UW's top performer, missed most of the 1999 season due to injuries and had to sit out the 2000 season due to an ACL injury in her right knee. Wong holds the highest all-around score in Washington history with a 39.725, earning her second place at the 2001 Pac-10 Championships.
Tanya Powers, Junior: Tanya Powers finished fifth in the all-around at Arizona State with a score of 38.625. Powers tied her career best score of 9.900 on the beam with a second-place tie. Last season, she picked up her first event championship with first-place honors on vault against Cal with a career-best score of 9.900. Powers set a career high on the beam against Arizona State with a 9.900. Powers tied for 19th on the floor at the 2002 Pac-10 Championships with a career best of 9.825. She also scored a career best in the all-around with a 39.250, earning her a seventh place finish.
Carly Dockendorf, Sophomore: Cartly Dockendorf had one of the most successful freshman seasons ever for a Husky in 2002. Dockendorf competed in the all-around in seven of 11 meets last season. She tied for fourth in th all-around against Arizona State with a career high score of 39.550. She scored career highs on the bars and beam in the same meet, scoring 9.925 and 9.900 respectively. Against top-ranked Utah, Dockendorf set a record score for a freshman with a 9.975 on the floor, capturing first place. She placed second on the vault at the 2002 NCAA West Regional at Oregon State.
Returning to the Rotation: After mising last season with a broken foot, Sophomore Tacia LaBatte competed for the only the second time for the Huskies against Arizona State. LaBatte tied for a ninth place finish on the vault with a career best score of 9.800. LaBatte tied for eighth place on the beam with teammate Stacy Wong with a career best score of 9.750. Junior Molly Seaman also returned to action against Arizona State from a knee injury suffered last season. Seaman finished 12th on the bars with a score of 9.100.
McDonald Shines in Opener: Husky freshman Kelly McDonald won the vault competition in her first outing as a Husky. The Seattle native score a 9.925 to win the event at the dual-meet at Arizona State. 'I don't know if I've ever had a freshman win an event in their first meet,' says Husky coach Bob Levesque. 'Overall, Kelly was not happy with her performances and she told me afterwards, 'This will never happen again.' You really have to like having a competitior like that on your team. I think she will have a real impact on our season.'
Head Coach Bob Levesque: Washington head coach Bob Levesque is in his 13th season coaching the Huskies in 2003. Levesque owns a career record of 134-114-1. He came to Washington in 1991 after a career as a highly-successful club coach. He has taken the Huskies to the NCAA Championships three times (1994, 1997, 1998) and guided the team to one NCAA Regional championship (1998). Levesque was honored as the Pac-10 coach of the year in both 1997 and 1998. As a club-level coach, he tutored six future Olympians. He also coached Tanya Chaplin, the current head coach at Oregon State. Levesque is a 1972 graduate of Fresno State.