Gymcats travel to LA to meet No. 3 UCLA

Jan. 14, 2009

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This Week:The Arizona gymnastics squad (0-1) continues its 2009 schedule with a road meet against its second ranked opponent in as many weeks when it travels to Los Angeles to take on No.3 UCLA Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at Pauley Pavilion.

Last Week:Arizona is coming off a season-open 194.375-192.575 loss at No. 22 Minnesota in a meet that saw the Wildcats suffer six faults and debut five freshmen. Arizona beat the Gophers in two of the four events but could not over come lower scores on bars and beam. In the meet, the Wildcats debuted 18 of 24 new routines and suffered through that inexperience.On the vault: Bree Workman led Arizona on the vault with a 9.825 and freshman local-product Deanna Graham has a strong showing with a 9.800. As a team, the Wildcats scored a 48.700 to top Minnesota's 48.225.Bars: Freshman Rebecca Cardenas was the top scorer for the Wildcats with a 9.700. The bars were Arizona's lowest score of any event with a 47.425.Beam: Junior Miranda Russell led the way on the beam with a 9.775, followed closely by senior Briana Bergeson at 9.725, but as a team the Wildcats managed just a 47.700.Floor: Again Workman led the team on the floor with a 9.850, the team's highest in any event at the meet. Junior Sarah Tomczyk also posted a solid 9.800. The team scored a 48.750 compared to Minnesota's 48.725,All-Around: Competing for her first time in the all-around, sophomore Colleen Fisher finished second at the meet with a 38.650 with her highest score coming on vault with a 9.775. Russell was the only other Gymcat to compete in the all-around, and she scored a 37.475, but a 8.350 hurt her on the bars and kept her from competing for the all-around win.

Scouting the Opposition:

UCLA- No. 3 UCLA is coming off a lose, but it was to No. 2 Utah, falling 196.175 - 196.075 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Bruins got contributions form 11 different gymnast including two , Vanessa Zamarripa and Aisha Gerber, who competed in the all-around. Both Zamarripa and Gerber scored a 9.900 on vault and beam respectively. The Bruins are a young team, much like the Wildcats and 22 of the team's 24 routines were performed by underclassman and 16 of those were done by freshman.

The Workhorse:Competing in her first meet as a senior, Bree Workman led the way scoring a 9.825 on vault and a 9.850 on floor. Those were team-highs in both events and were the two highest scores in all 24 routines.

College Debuts:Arizona debuted five freshmen in its season-opening meet at Minnesota Rebecca Cardenas competed in bars (9.700) and floor (9.625). Talyn Curry and Deanna Graham competed in vault and scored 9.625 and 9.800 respectively. On the bars, Britnie Jones and Katie Matusik also made their debuts scoring 9.150 and 9.175 respectively.

Trying new things:Along with the Wildcats' youth, they also performed 18 brand new routines out of the 24. Sophomore Colleen Fisher also competed in her first all-around meet as a Gymcat. Fisher finished second in the meet scoring a 9.775 on vault, 9.575 on bars, 9.550 on beam and a 9.750 on floor for a 38.650.

What's Coming Up:The Wildcats host their first home meet of the 2009 season when the Oregon State Beavers come to Tucson to take on the Wildcats Friday, January 23 in McKale. This meet will be the Wildcats' first of five home meets in 2009.

2008 Review:The Wildcats finished the year 14-11 and competed in the postseason for the 22nd consecutive season. One of the season highlights came in Tempe, Ariz., where for the first time since 1987, Arizona beat rival ASU in a dual/away meet. Arizona had beat ASU in unbiases meets in the Pac-10s and Regionals, but in Tempe during the regular season since 1987.

Home Cookin':McKale continues to be a difficult place to compete for visiting teams. In 2008, the Wildcats were 6-1 in home meets including wins over Pac-10 foes Washington and Cal. Over the last two season, Arizona is 11-3 in home meets and 26-5 since the start of the 2005 season.

Meet the newcomers:The Arizona roster features six freshman including Rebecca Cardenas from Honolulu, HI, Talyn Curry from Westborough, Mass., Deanna Graham from Tucson, Ariz., Britnie Jones from Phoenix, Ariz., Katie Matusik from McKinney Tx., and Jillian O'Neal from Fountain Hills, Ariz.

Preseason Rankings:The Wildcats opened the season with a No. 18 national ranking and are one of five Pac-10 teams in the preseason coaches' poll. UCLA leads the way at No. 4, including gathering four firs t place votes. Stanford ended up right behind the Bruins at No. 5, Oregon State came in at No. 9, Arizona was No. 18 and Arizona State fell in at No. 24. Washington and Cal fell under the Other Teams Recieving Votes category.

Stacked schedule:Arizona will be faced with the challenge of playing some of the best teams in the country in 2009. The Wildcats compete against six teams in the preseason top-25, including opening the season with four straight weeks against top-25 opponents including No. 22 Minnesota, No. 4 UCLA, No. 9 Oregon State and No. 5 Stanford. The other two ranked opponents Arizona faces are No. 14 Denver and No. 13 Penn State.

Ryden's record:Head coach Bill Ryden holds a career and school record of 142-139-3 in his ten years at Arizona. Ryden should get to his 150th career win in 2009.

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