Cats to take on Crimson Tide

Feb. 17, 2010

What’s Up:

This week No. 21 Arizona travels to Tuscaloosa to compete against No.1 Alabama. This will be the first in over ten years that the two teams have competed in a dual meet during the regular season.

Last Week:

The Arizona Gymcats spent another week on the road competing against then No. 7 Oregon State. Though the Gymcats lost to the Beavers 196.725 to 194.675, they improved their overall team score from the previous meet by eight tenths.

According to Head Coach Bill Ryden, this meet was, “A step in the right direction. As a team the intensity and effort was impressive this week. We definitely improved on our overall performance from the UCLA meet.”

Despite intense competition from the Beavers, Arizona was able to place on several events, including Freshman Molly Quirk who earned second on beam with a 9.825 and Senior Sarah Tomczyk who had the third highest floor score of the meet with a 9.875, and placed 3rd all-around with a 39.125.

Steppin’ Up:

Though she is new to the team this year, Freshman Molly Quirk seems to be getting used to consistent appearances as the team’s top beam scorer. Beginning with the State Farm Territorial Cup against Arizona State University, Quirk has stepped out of the role of freshman and stepped into the role of finisher, earning her top scores on the event the last four meets. In those meets she has scored 9.85 (1st place), 9.825 (tied for 1st), 9.75, and 9.825 (2nd place).

Back in Action:

Last week Sophomore Katie Matusik made her season debut with two exhibition routines against OSU. Matusik earned a 9.45 on bars and a 9.725 on the beam. This was her first time ever competing bars as a NCAA athlete, and her beam score guaranteed her a spot in this week’s lineup.

Scouting the Opposition:

No.1 Alabama will definitely be a challenge for the Gymcats. The Crimson tide is not only ranked first overall, but also currently hold the number 1 spots for vault and beam as well. Alabama holds a record of 5-1, with their first loss against No. 11 LSU last week.

What’s Coming Up:

The Gymcats stay on the road for yet another meet, traveling to Lincoln, Neb. to compete in their first quad meet of the season. The team will be facing No. 10 Nebraska, No.18 Denver, and No.26 West Virginia.

2009 Review:

The Wildcats completed the 2009 season with an overall record of 12-12 and were able to make their 23rd consecutive NCAA post-season appearance. Thanks to a pristine floor exercise performance, then Junior Sarah Tomcyzk was able to take it one step further and competed floor at the NCAA National Championships. In addition, three Gymcats earned All-Conference accolades, including freshman Deanna Graham (2nd Team Vault), freshman Rebecca Cardenas (2nd Team Floor), and redshirt junior Sarah Tomczyk (1st Team Floor).

Look Out for New Gymcats:

Arizona bolsters a fairly young team, including four fresh new faces. These include: Aubree Cristello from Glenville, NY, Mykle Douglas from Plano, TX, Ellen Pitluck from Chicago, IL, and Molly Quirk from Glenmont, NY.

Pre-season Rankings:

The Arizona Gymcats head into the season ranked No. 20 in the 2010 Women’s Pre-Season Coaches poll. They are one of only five Pac-10 schools to be rated. The others include No. 4 UCLA, No. 7 Stanford, No 10 Oregon State, and No. 25 Washington. Arizona State was listed as another team receiving votes for consideration.

Stacked Schedule:

Arizona faces an extremely stacked schedule this season, competing against nine schools ranked in the pre-season poll. This includes some tough meets early on, including opening the season against No. 8 Arkansas, then No. 7 Stanford immediately after. The Gymcats must also take on No. 5 UCLA, No. 10 Oregon State, No. 3 Alabama, No. 15 Nebraska, No. 21 West Virginia, No. 22 Minnesota, and No. 25 Washington.

Ryden’s Record:

Head Coach Bill Ryden earned his 150th win last season, totaling his career and school record to become 152-155-3 after Friday’s meet against OSU.

Pac-10 Championships in the Desert:

Arizona will have the honor of hosting the Pac-10 Championships on March 27 at 4 p.m. The last time the Wildcats hosted the championships was in 2004. Tickets are available for purchase through the McKale Center Ticket Office.



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