Jan. 21, 2011
TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona Women’s Gymnastics team fought hard to top Arizona State 193.625 to 192.050. The team earned a point for the State Farm Territorial Cup, tying the score 3-3 between the two teams.
“We’re excited to do our part for the territorial cup and win the meet – that was great. You know, we went through so much drama throughout the last two weeks, and I am so proud of Deanna and Aubree. Overall the team really fought. It’s been this way for a while, but I’m so proud that I have this team that never gives up,” head coach Bill Ryden said.
The win was not an easy one for the Cats, who began the meet on vault earning a score of 47.975. This put them behind the Devils 0.625 after the first event. Once again, junior Deanna Graham led the team with a score of 9.850. Other notable scores came from freshman Jordan Williams, with a score of 9.750 and Molly Quirk who began the lineup with a score of 9.625.
“Vault was uncharacteristically rough; I can’t even remember the last time we scored a 47 on vault. I don’t know if it was nerves, or excitement but this is something that won’t happen again,” Head Coach Bill Ryden said. “But, I think that this was our motivation to really kick it into gear for the rest of the meet.”
The Wildcats definitely did kick it into gear on the next event, earning a season high bar score of 48.850. First up for Arizona was junior Katie Matusik, who started the team off with a solid score of 9.775. Junior Britnie Jones continued the momentum with a score of 9.800. Quirk continued her streak from last meet, tying her career high of 9.775. The highlight of bars, however, was senior Miranda Russell. Russell performed a flawless routine to post a new career high score of 9.90, enabling the Cats to tie the score after event number two.
“I was very, very proud of the bar team. We’ve been working on Miranda’s bars for five years, and she finally put it down at the right time,” Ryden said. “Becca had a very pristine routine too, but missed a few handstands, and Deanna’s set was strong but also had some minor mistakes. In general though, I thought that bars went very smoothly.”
Beam was a strong event for the Wildcats as well, with the team posting a season high score of 48.800. All of the counted routines were stone cold solid, with sophomore Aubree Cristello earning a 9.750, Jordan Williams with a new career high of 9.725, Deanna Graham tying her career high of 9.850, Katie Matusik with a 9.800 and Molly Quirk rounding out the event with a 9.625. After the third rotation the Cats were ahead of the Sun Devils by 0.375.
“Although you don’t want to do it again, it’s kind of an adrenaline rush to miss the first beam set and then hit the last five as well as we did,” Ryden said. “As soon as the last of the five routines land, you’re like, ‘yes!’, and that’s what we did tonight. I was so impressed with our beam team tonight.”
There were a few hiccups on floor, but Arizona was able to total a 48.000. Aubree Cristello led the team with a score of 9.800, and sophomores Mykle Douglas and Molly Quirk were not far behind with twin scores of 9.700.
“From a purely gymnastics standpoint, we have a long way to go. This was by far our best beam and bars of the year but our traditionally strong events of vault and floor are giving us some trouble that we need to address,” Ryden said. “From here we just need to buckle down and perform the way we know how.”