No. 20 Gym Devils Host No. 10 Oregon State in Rare Wednesday Meet

Jan. 29, 2008

This Week --
The Arizona State women's gymnastics team hosts No. 10 Oregon State in a rare Wednesday night meet Jan 30 at 7:00. The Sun Devils have already competed against the Beavers earlier this year at the Lady Luck Invitational. The Beavers placed second with a score of 193.875 while finished third with a score of 192.475. The Sun Devils, under 29th-year head coach John Spini, return five gymnasts to the squad. Although young, the Sun Devils look to compete in their 27th consecutive regional and make the NCAA Championships. Spini is currently ASU's longest-tenured head coach, and is second on the all-time Sun Devil head coaching list. Former Sun Devil women's tennis coaching legend Anne Pittman holds the distinction as the longest-tenured ASU head coach at 31 seasons. Spini's regular-season record is now 320-133-2. His won-loss record at home is 171-36-1.

Promotions for the Week --
Friday marks ASU's annual Club Night. Members of gymnastics clubs from across the valley will be in attendance. The first 1,000 fans will also get the Wells Fargo Poster featuring junior Tia Orlando. After the meet, fans can get autographs from their favorite Gym Devil.

Why Wednesday? --
Wednesday meet against Oregon State was originally scheduled for Saturday February 2nd, however due to limited hotel space due to the Valley hosting Super Bowl XLII and the FBR Open this weekend, the meet was switched to Wednesday.

Live Stats--
Live stats will be available on for fans unable to attend Wednesday's meet.

Scouting Oregon State --
The Beavers are currently ranked 10th with a season average of 195.258. Oregon State is led by returning All-Americans Jami Lanz, Mandi Rodriguez and Tasha Smith. The Beavers are ranked 15th on floor, 14th on beam, 10th on bars and ninth on vault. Smith is currently ranked 24th in the all-around.

ASU In The Rankings --
The Arizona State women's gymnastics team is currently ranked 20th nationally. The Gym Devils are ranked 20th on floor, seventh on beam and 25th on vault. Nicole Harris is currently ranked eighth in the all-around.

Fantastic Fans --
The Sun Devils home opener last Friday against Utah produced 1,911 fans, the third highest in Sun Devil gymnastics history.

ASU Faces Nation's Finest --
The Sun Devils will face nine of the top-ranked programs in the country, four of which are in the top ten and four in the Pac-10 Conference, according to the preseason coaches poll. The Sun Devils have already competed against No. 4 UCLA, No. 11 Oregon State and No. 7 Nebraska. The Sun Devils hosted No. 3 Utah in their home opener last Friday They host No. 11 Oregon State on Wednesday. The Sun Devils will also host No. 12 Arizona (Feb. 15), No. 5 Stanford (Feb 29), No. 13 Penn State (Mar. 7) and No. 20 Ohio State. The Sun Devils also travel to No. 16 Missouri (Mar. 21).

Harris Honored --
Nicole Harris earned her first Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week honor for the week of January 15-21. In her inaugural all-around performance of the season, junior All-American Nicole Harris hit every event to win the all-around with a team season-best score of 39.325. Competing on floor for the first time this season, Harris won the event tying Ashlee Hinkle's team-best score of 9.850. The All-Pac-10 selection from last season also had a season-best mark on bars with a 9.875 and tied for second on beam with a 9.825.

Atta-kid Atkinson! --
Freshman Mary Atkinson hit a solid vault last weekend to earn a 9.825. Her score gave her a second-place finish on vault. Atkinson's 9.825 is also the second-highest Sun Devil vault score this season.

All Around Tiana--
Junior Tiana Jean is competing in the all-around for the first time in her collegiate career. The Puyallup, Wash., native shined last season on bars, beam and floor and has added vault to her event list this season. She tied her career-best in the all-around against Cal with a 38.9. She scored a career-best 9.85 on beam last week against Utah.

Hinkle, Hinkle Little Star--
Junior Ashlee Hinkle's has proven to be arguably the Sun Devils most consistent gymnast this season. The Glendale, Ariz., native, who specializes on vault, beam and floor, has hit every routine this season producing solid scores. Hinkle earned a career-best 9.875 on vault in the Sun Devils first meet of the year. She also had her season-best floor score at the Lady Luck Invitational with a 9.85. On beam, Hinkle has had season-best 9.825s at California and against Utah.

Back in Action --
Tia Orlando, who was sidelined last season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament, competed in her first meet since the 2006 NCAA Championships. Orlando, who as an Elite won the floor exercise at the 2003 Pan-American Games, has been competing on bars and beam this season. Orlando tied her career-best on bars at Cal with a 9.825. In the Sun Devils home opener last Friday, Orlando recorded a career-best 9.85 on beam.

Do It All Freshmen --
Beaté Jones and Francesca Mercurio have both competed in the all-around this season. Jones participated in all four events in the first two meets of the season and has earned a career-best 38.6. Mercurio competed in her inaugural all-around competition at California and tallied a total score of 38.8 after hitting every event.

Stephanie Hangartner Signs Letter of Intent--
Stephanie Hangartner of Mesa, Ariz., has signed a letter of intent to study and compete at Arizona State starting in fall 2008. Hangartner will join the Sun Devils squad as a potential all-arounder. She was the 2005 State Champion in the all-around and was a Junior Olympic qualifier.

2008 Results --
Lady Luck Invitational (1/4): The Sun Devils finished third at the Lady Luck Invitational. Ashlee Hinkle and Tia Orlando tied for second on beam with scores of 9.800. Orlando's score was a career high. Hinkle tied for third on vault (9.875) and floor (9.850). Hinkle's vault score was a career-high while her floor score tied her personal-best. Beaté Jones earned a 9.800 on vault to place eighth overall. Nicole Harris and Tiana Jean tied for fourth on beam with scores of 9.775. Jean also tied for fourth on bars (9.775) and fifth on floor (9.800).

At Nebraska (1/13): The Sun Devils fell 195.550-193.075 to the No. 7 Huskers. Nicole Harris and Tiana Jean both had season-best scores of 9.800 on bars to place third. Ashlee Hinkle led the Sun Devils on vault with a score of 9.800. Competing on vault for the first time this season, Harris was the second highest scoring Devil with a 9.750. On floor, freshman Beaté Jones had a career-best 9.775 to lead the Sun Devils. Jean and Hinkle were the top scoring Sun Devils on beam with scores of 9.725 apiece. Jean scored a 38.900 in the all-around while Jones compiled a 38.600.

At California: The Sun Devils defeated No. 22 California with a season-best score of 195.175. In her first all-around competition of the season, Nicole Harris won the all-around with a score of 39.325. Harris also won floor with a 9.85. Ashlee Hinkle won vault with a 9.825 and tied for second on beam with Harris with a 9.825. Harris placed second on bars with a 9.875.

Vs. Utah: The Sun Devils posted a season-best 195.625 in their loss to No. 3 Utah. Nicole Harris placed second in the all-around with a season-best 39.35. Harris posted season-best scores of 9.875 on bars and beam. Mary Atkinson placed second on vault with a career-best 9.825. Brittany Schuett tallied a career-best 9.8 on floor to place fifth. Tiana Jean and Tia Orlando both had career-best scores of 9.85 on beam.

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