Arizona Welcomes Gophers to McKale

March 10, 2010

What’s Up:

No. 19 Arizona hosts another home meet this Friday March 12 at 7 p.m. The GymCats hope to continue their winning streak for a third week against guest No. 24 Minnesota. This will be the last home meet hosted by the Wildcats this year in the regular season.

The Wildcats will also be honoring senior Sarah Tomczyk as she competes in her last regular home meet of her college career.

Last Week:

After trailing behind the University of Washington Huskies for three events, the Arizona Wildcats came back from a deficit to earn a win with a team high score of 195.75 to 195.675.

“This meet was close. Very close - but that is what is fun about competition.” Head Coach Bill Ryden said, “Washington is a very good team. They’re young like us, and you can tell that when they’re on they’re hot.”

Despite a solid vault performance - including a first place win and a career high score of 9.825 for freshman Aubree Cristello - the GymCats trailed the Huskies by 0.125 after the first event.

The team then travled to bars, where sophomore Britnie Jones led the team with a first place score of 9.85 to a total score of 48.875. Junior Miranda Russell was close behind with a score of 9.800. After the bar rotation, the Cats had closed the gap to only one tenth of a point.

From there however, they lost their grip on the beam. Despite a valiant effort by the team, and freshman Molly Quirk’s first place score of 9.825, the team totaled a score of 48.650, putting them almost four tenths behind the Huskies.

On floor, however, the meet turned around and thanks to an all-out effort of each and every floor worker the team earned a season high event score of 49.300, putting them 0.075 above the Huskies after the last rotation. Highlights from floor included freshman Aubree Cristello posting a score of 9.875, sophomore Deanna Graham scoring a 9.925, and senior Sarah Tomczyk finishing with a score of 9.90.

Building to the top:

When coaches create a lineup for an event they generally want an order that will help each score get higher and higher. Head Coach Bill Ryden did just that last week, creating a lineup that not only allowed the scores to build upon one another but inevitably helped the GymCats earn a number of highs. These included sophomore Katie Matusik’s career floor high score of 9.800, freshman Aubree Cristello’s career high 9.875, and sophomore Deanna Graham’s career high 9.925. These scores combined led to the team’s season high floor total of 49.300.

Career Debut:

The GymCats welcomed sophomore Katie Matusik into the floor lineup this week for the first time in her college career. Matusik had not been able to compete on floor in the past due to injury, however she came out with a bang earning an excellent score of 9.800 on the event.

Scouting the Opposition:

No. 24 Minnesota comes to Arizona off of a loss against No. 7 Arkansas, but bolsters a number of high scores and top performers. Last week Alexis Russell earned a career high of 9.875 on the vault, and led the team to a season high total with a floor score of 9.925. On the beam, Kristin Furukawa earned her fourth score of 9.90 of her career. The Gophers are also ranked 14th in the nation on bars, with high scores of over 49.000. Overall Minnesota should be an exciting match up for the GymCats.

What’s Coming Up:

The GymCats travel to the University of Denver to compete in their last meet of the regular season. The Wildcats have already matched up against DU this season, beating them 194.75 to 194.175 in the Master’s Classic.

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 155-157-3 after Friday’s win over the Huskies.

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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