Gymcats host first meet of '09

Jan. 21, 2009

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This Week:The Arizona gymnastics squad (0-2) heads home for their first home meet of the season when they welcome No. 10 Oregon State to McKale Center looking for their first win Friday night at 7:00 p.m.

Last Week:Arizona is coming off a 196.375-193.675 loss at No. 3 UCLA Sunday in Los Angeles. The Wildcats improved on their overall score by more than a whole point and improved their team scores in three of the four events, but dropped all four events to the host Bruins.On the vault: Arizona scored a team 48.650 to UCLA's 49.200 in the vault. Senior Bree Workman scored a season-high 9.900 to lead the Wildcats and the meet, followed closely by freshman Deanna Graham with a 9.825. Vault was the only event that the Wildcats did not improve on as a team from meet one to two. UCLA's Mizuki Sato and Vanessa Zamarripa tied Workman with a 9.9 to lead the meet.Bars: Sophomore Colleen Fisher paced Arizona with a 9.725 on the team's way to a 48.325 compared to the Bruins 48.625, which was the closest event score for the meet. The Bruin's Anna Li had the meet's best bars score with a 9.875Beam: Arizona scored a meet-low 47.825 on the beam, while e UCLA scored a 49.275. Junior Miranda Russell led the way with a 9.750. UCLA's Aisha Gerber led every one with a 9.925.Floor: The Wildcats scored a meet-high 48.875 on the floor, lead by junior Sarah Tomczyk and Graham, who both scored a 9.825. The Bruins bested Arizona with a 49.275. The Bruin's Sato had the top floor score with a 9.900.All-Around: Competing for her first time in the all-around, junior Sarah Tomczyk finished with a 38.525, but for the second time in as many meets Fisher led Arizona in all-around with a 38.775, better her previous season-high. Russell also competed in the all-around and scored a 38.475. UCLA's Zamarripa won the meet's all-around with a 39.400.

Scouting the Opposition:

Oregon State- No. 10 Oregon State comes to Tucson for its fourth meet of the 2009 season. The Beavers are coming off a first place finish in a three-team meet at home last weekend, where they beat then No. 5 Arkansas and Pac-10 foe Cal. Led by freshman Mandi Rodriguez, who scored the conferences first 10.00 of the season on the floor and recorded a 9.9 vault to win Pac-10 Special Performance of the Week, the Beavers surged back to defeat the Razorbacks. Oregon State also finished second in the Cancun Classic earlier in the season and defeated BYU on the road with a 194.500.

The Work Horse:Senior Bree Workman has been the most consistent of any Gymcat this season. Workman scored a season-high 9.9 on the vault in the team's loss to UCLA and recorded a 9.750 on the floor to round out her meet. Competing in her first meet as a senior, Workman led the way scoring a 9.825 on vault and a 9.850 on floor against Minnesota in the season opening meet.

New Name, New Game:Junior Sarah Tomczyk, who was married over the summer, competed in her first meet all-around last week in Los Angles. Tomczyk, formally Spect, scored a 38.525, with her high score coming on floor at a 9.825. The junior scored a 9.65 on vault, a 9.65 on bars and a 9.4 on beam.

Fisher's All-Around:Sophomore Colleen Fisher competed for the second time in her collegiate career in the all-around and for the second time was the Wildcats' top scorer. Fisher improved her first meet all-around score to a 38.775 against the Bruins. Fisher meet-high came on bars with a 9.725. She scored a 9.700 on floor and a 9.675 on both vault and beam.

The Local Girl:Tucson product Deanna Graham was impressive in just her second collegiate meet. Graham scored a team-high 9.825 on her floor routine and added a 9.825 in the vault to round out her best performance of the season so far. Graham went to Desert Christian High School here in Tucson and is one of two Tucson natives on the squad. The other is sophomore Kristen Schmieder, who went to Sabino High School.

Powerful Pac-10:The Pac-10 has six teams ranked in the nation's top-27. UCLA leads the way at No. 2, followed by No. 7 Stanford, No. 10 Oregon State, No. 16 Arizona State, No. 25 Washington and No. 27 Arizona.

What's Coming Up:The Wildcats stay at home for another week as they welcome No. 7 Stanford to McKale next Friday, January 30th at 7:00 p.m.

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.

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 unbiased 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 seasons, 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 Receiving 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 142-140-3 in his ten years at Arizona. Ryden should get to his 150th career win in 2009.

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