No. 19 Gymcats host ASU Friday

Feb. 18, 2009

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This Week:The No. 19 Arizona gymnastics squad (3-5) hosts in-state rival Arizona State Friday at 7:00 p.m. in McKale Center after two meet victories over the weekend.

Meet Dedicated:The Gymcats will be dedicating this meet to friend and supporter Kim Bird, who founded Tumbleweeds Gymnastics here in Tucson. Bird passed away last year of Valley Fever. In honor of Bird, all club gymnasts who attend Friday's meet and wear their club competition jacket will receive $1 off their admission.

Last Week:Arizona won its first two meets of the season in a span of three days. The Gymcats beat Brown and Wisconsin-Stout Friday in McKale 195.700 - 189.575 - 183.825, then followed it up with a win on the road at Texas Women's University Sunday 195.450 - 193.350Sunday...Vault: Arizona scored a 48.400 on the vault led by senior Bree Workman with a 9.825Bars: With a brand new lineup, the Wildcats put together bars without a fall. Senior Alexis Greene put up a season-high 9.9 to pace Arizona and senior Erica Anderson put in her first score of her career.Beam: Arizona put up a 49+ for the third straight meet on beam with a 49.025 led by freshmen Katie Matusik and Britnie Jones and senior Briana Bergeson, who each posted 9.85's.Floor: The Gymcats scored a 48.8 as a team on the floor while senior Sarah Tomczyk put up another 9.9All-Around: Senior Alexis Greene scored her highest all-around score of the year with a 39.025.Friday...Vault: Arizona put up a season-high 49.275 behind five scores above 9.825 led by Tomczyk and freshman Deanna Graham, who both scored 9.875'sBars: Arizona struggled to a 48 on the bars led by Jones's 9.775Beam: For the second meet in a row, the Wildcats scored above a 49 on the beam lead by a pair of 9.9s by Jones and Bergeson.Floor: The Gymcats posted their highest event score of the season with a 49.350 on floor led by Tomczyk and freshman Rebecca Cardenas, who both scored 9.925's.All-Around: Sophomore Colleen Fisher was the only Wildcat to compete in the all-around and posted a season-low 37.65 because of a couple falls on the bars. He highest score of the meet came on the vault where she recorded a 9.85.

Scouting the Opposition:

Arizona State- The Sun Devils are coming off their first win of the season with a 193.724 win over California. ASU was led by senior Nicole Harris and sophomore Beate Jones, who both scored a 39.2.

New Name, Same Game:Junior Sarah Tomczyk (formally Spect) had a stellar weekend for the Wildcats. She competed in six events in the three days, tying a career-high in floor with a 9.925 and posted team-highs of 9.9 on floor and a team-high 9.875 on vault.

That's Fresh:Like much of the season, the freshman have played a huge role in the Wildcats success. On Friday, the Gymcats had a freshman hold the team-high in all four events. Deanna Graham set team-highs on vault with a 9.875. Britnie Jones held the team-high on bars with a 9.775 and beam with a 9.9 and Rebecca Cardenas had the high on floor with a 9.925. Sunday, two freshman Katie Matusik and Jones held the highs on beam with a 9.85.

Had the Best Week'end' Ever:In the span of 24 hours, the Wildcats set a season-high team score of 195.7 Friday and followed that up with their road-high team score of 195.450 Sunday.

Three-for-Four:The Gymcats recorded season-highs in three of four events in their wins over Wisconsi-Stout and Brown Friday in McKale.

Go Greene:Senior Alexis Greene posted a season-high 39.025 in all-around Sunday at Texas Women's University. This was the fourth time in her career she has broken the 39-point mark.

What's Coming Up:The Wildcats head back on the road to face Pac-10 foe California in Berekley March 1 at 2:00 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.

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 145-142-3 in his ten years at Arizona. Ryden should get to his 150th career win in 2009.

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