TUCSON, Ariz. (Mar. 2, 2001) -- The University of Arizona women's gymnastics team dropped another close meet to the ninth-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils, 196.900-197.450, in front of a crowd of 542, in McKale Center Friday, March 2. Arizona, who lost by only .550, set two new team records. Arizona set a school record with its season-high team total of 196.900, and the Wildcats tallied a season-high 49.475 on floor to set a school record in its last event of the meet. Arizona dropped to 4-14 overall and 1-7 in the Pac-10 Conference, while Arizona State improved to 7-4 on the season and 5-2 in the conference.
Arizona also posted a season-high 49.100 on vault, and the score is the fifth-best mark in school history. UA's season-high totals on bars (49.325) and beam (49.00) each tied the No. 5 bars and beam scores, respectively, on the all-time top-10 list. Eight Wildcat gymnasts - Nikki Beyschau, Nicci Filchner, Kara Fry, Amanda Goins, Sheehan Lemley, Randi Liljenquist, Mary Reiss and Heather Straccia - each set or tied season-high and career-high marks in tonight's meet.
UA trailed Arizona State for the entire meet, and the Sun Devils edged the Wildcats in each of the four team events. The Wildcats fell behind following the first rotation, but Arizona battled back, continuing to chip away at ASU's lead after every rotation. Arizona trailed the Sun Devils by .325 after the first rotation, but UA's strong performance on bars in the second rotation pulled the Wildcats to within .125. Arizona State, however, used an impressive 49.625 on floor to increase its lead by .750 following the third event. In the fourth and final rotation, Arizona roared back on floor with top performances from seniors Kara Fry and Mary Reiss and junior Randi Liljenquist. Even though the Wildcats shattered the previous school record of 49.375, Arizona State was able to capture the victory with a 49.275 on beam in the team's final event. Arizona State also set a new school record with its team total of 197.450.
Individually for the Wildcats, junior All-American Randi Liljenquist won the all-around title, and she set a career-high 39.650, making her score the second-best individual mark on the all-time top-10 performers' list. Liljenquist also tied for first-place honors on vault with a career-high 9.900. She tied for first on beam, as she matched her season-high 9.900 in the event. Liljenquist landed in second on bars and tied a career-high 9.925, and she tied for third on floor with a 9.925.
Senior Kara Fry finished in fourth place overall in the all-around with a 39.300. Fry tied a career-high 9.900 on floor and tied for sixth place in the event. Fry also ended the meet in sixth on vault (9.800) and beam (9.825). Sophomore Nikki Beyschau tied for first place on vault with a career-high 9.900.
Senior Mary Reiss set a career-high 9.800 on beam. Reiss also scored a career-high 9.925 on floor and tied for third place. Reiss' 9.925 on floor tied Arizona's third-best all-time individual mark. Senior Heather Straccia set a season-high 9.750 on vault, and she scored a career-high 9.800 on bars. Straccia also tied a career-high 9.875 on floor. Senior Nicci Filchner posted a career-high 9.900 on bars and tied for third place in her only event of the meet.
Freshman Amanda Goins, who competed in only her second meet of the season, posted a career-high 9.625 on vault. In her first floor performance as a collegiate gymnast, freshman Sheehan Lemley delivered a career-high 9.800 in the event. Freshman Andi McCabe finished fifth overall in the all-around with a 38.450.
"Tonight's meet was a very close competition overall. It came down to ASU hitting their last event to beat us. Like ASU, I definitely think that we are becoming one of the better teams in the nation. We are competing with more confidence, and we just need to keep doing what we are doing to help us get to the postseason. Randi (Liljenquist) and Kara (Fry) were outstanding, and I am just very proud of the way that the entire team competed tonight," said Arizona head coach Bill Ryden.
Arizona takes to the road next weekend, as the Wildcats travel to Minneapolis, Minn., to battle the No. 16 Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday, March 10, at 6 p.m. MST.
Arizona vs. Arizona State McKale Center, Tucson Ariz. March 2, 2001 Team Scores Vault Bars Beam Floor Totals 1. Arizona State 49.125 49.425 49.275 49.625 197.450 2. Arizona 49.100 49.325 49.000 49.475 196.900 Individual Scores Vault 1. Randi Liljenquist Arizona 9.900 1. Nikki Beyschau Arizona 9.900 1. Maggie Germaine ASU 9.900 4. Ashley Stewart ASU 9.825 4. Cassidy Vreeke ASU 9.825 Uneven Bars 1. Laura Moon ASU 9.975 2. Randi Liljenquist Arizona 9.925 3. Nicci Filchner Arizona 9.900 3. Kelly Cowley ASU 9.900 3. Margaret Wojciak ASU 9.900 Balance Beam 1. Randi Liljenquist Arizona 9.900 1. Rhonda Robinette ASU 9.900 3. Maggie Germaine ASU 9.875 3. Laura Moon ASU 9.875 5. Cassidy Vreeke ASU 9.850 Floor Exercise 1. Kelly Cowley ASU 9.975 2. Kristin Fanning ASU 9.950 3. Mary Reiss Arizona 9.925 3. Randi Liljenquist Arizona 9.925 3. Maggie Germaine ASU 9.925 All-Around 1. Randi Liljenquist Arizona 39.650 2. Maggie Germaine ASU 39.550 3. Laura Moon ASU 39.500 4. Kara Fry Arizona 39.300 5. Andrea McCabe Arizona 38.450