No. 9 Cardinal Opens 2003 Home Season This Weekend

Jan. 27, 2003

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This Week's ActionFri., Jan. 31 ....... vs. Oregon State, San Jose State & Seattle Pacific ....... 7:30 p.m.

Cardinal Update
After spending the last three weeks on the road, the Stanford women's gymnastics team returns to the friendly confines of Burnham Pavilion on Friday, January 31. The Cardinal will host 12th-ranked Oregon State, San Jose State and Seattle Pacific in a four-team event that will begin at 7:30 p.m. Stanford, ranked No. 9 in the GymInfo National Rankings, stands at 4-1 overall and 2-0 against Pac-10 foes.

Stanford in the National Rankings
The Cardinal enters this week as the No. 9 team in the nation according to the GymInfo National Team Rankings. Utah, Alabama, Georgia, Nebraska and UCLA are tabbed as the top-five programs in the nation, respectively. In addition to Stanford and UCLA, four other Pac-10 schools are ranked in the top-25: No. 6 Arizona State, No. 10 Washington, No. 12 Oregon State and No. 13 Arizona.

Scouting the Opponents
Oregon State avenged a season-opening loss to UCLA with a 195.750 - 195.475 victory in its first home meet of the season last Friday night in front of 4,289 fans at Gill Coliseum. The Beavers hold a 3-2 overall mark entering their competition at Stanford, with wins against Michigan State and Auburn. Tanya Ricioli placed third in the all-around against the Bruins with a 39.250, her 10th 39-plus performance of her career.

San Jose State is coming off a win at Seattle Pacific on Saturday night to stand at 2-5 overall. The Spartans swept all four events, including the all-around. Dani Albright won vault and floor, while Jennifer Greene took the all-around. On Friday at Washington Shirla Choy broke her won school record on bars with a 9.925, also winning the event for San Jose State. The Spartans other win came in their home opener against Sacramento State.

Seattle Pacific has only competed in one meet, losing to San Jose last Saturday night. Kristen Strid picked up the lone win for the Falcons, tying for first on bars with a 9.675. Seattle Pacific returns eight letterwinners, including two All-Americans on their 2003 squad.

Recapping Last Week's Meet
Stanford won three events plus the all-round en route to a 195.250 - 192.950 victory over rival California Friday evening at Haas Pavilion in front of 1,007 fans. The Cardinal took a slim lead after the first rotation and never looked back, outscoring Cal on three of the four events. Freshman Natalie Foley led the charge on vault, capturing the event with a 9.875 and again took top honors on bars with her season-best 9.925 performance. The Cardinal dominated the balance beam scoring an impressive 48.975 and captured four of the top-five scores. Lindsay Wing notched a career-high 9.975 to take first-place honors on beam. In the all-around competition, Stanford took the top two spots with Lise L�veill� finishing with a 39.125 and Foley collecting a 38.975.

Balancing Act
In their first meet of the season, the Cardinal recorded a 49.525 team score on the balance beam at the Maui Invitational. The score goes down as the second-highest in school history. Stanford set the high mark with a 49.575 at the 2001 Pac-10 Championships. As a team on the beam, the Cardinal are ranked seventh in the nation with an average score of 49.075.

Freshmen Stepping Up
This year's freshmen class have contributed tremendously in their first season on The Farm. Natalie Foley (Englewood, CO) has competed in the all-around all three meets for the Cardinal. Foley's season-best score of 39.375 occurred at Denver and most recently picked up wins on vault (9.875) and bars (9.925) at California. Glyn Sweets (Reston, VA) has been a solid performer on vault for Stanford, recording a 9.875 at the Maui Invitational and a 9.800 at Denver and Cal. Jessica Louie (Loomis, CA) recorded her first collegiate action last weekend in Berkeley, posting a 9.600 on vault for the Cardinal.

Leading the Charge
Juniors Kendall Beck, Lise L�veill� and Lindsay Wing wrapped up the 2002 season for the Cardinal by garnering All-America honors at the NCAA Championships last April. Beck registered a 9.900 on vault for a second-place finish in the evening session to advance to the finals and was awarded First Team All-American honors for the first time in her collegiate career. L�veill� recorded a 9.838 on the balance beam to take sixth place and earn First Team All-America honors and was also named to the Second Team on floor as a result of her 9.875 showing at the NCAA Championships. Wing netted a 9.750 on beam for a 12th place finish overall and picked up First Team All-America honors.

The Smyth File
Kristen Smyth begins her second year at the helm of the Stanford women's gymnastics program after guiding the Cardinal to their most successful season in history. Smyth came to The Farm in June of 2001 and in her first season as head coach, led Stanford to its first-ever NCAA Super Six appearance. Previously, Smyth served as the associate head coach at Arizona State. Smyth came to Tempe as an assistant coach prior to the 1997 season, and was promoted to associate head coach in 2000. She was named the 1998 Regional Assistant Coach of the Year after helping the Sun Devils to a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. During her tenure, Arizona State advanced to the NCAA Super Six in three of her five seasons.

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