Feb. 17, 2003
What's on Tap: The No. 16 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team (4-5, 1-2) travels to Los Angeles to take on No. 1 UCLA (9-1-1, 4-1-1) on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. (PST).
The Rankings: Arizona heads to the 'City of Angels' as the 16th ranked team in the nation, averaging 195.233 points per meet. Arizona's highest team mark (196.175) came in its last Pac-10 meet against Arizona State on Jan. 31. As a team, the Wildcats are ranked No. 11 in the nation on beam (48.783), No. 15 on bars (48.787), No. 19 on vault (48.779) and No. 23 (48.883) on floor. Individually for Arizona, sophomore Jamie Schell is ranked No. 14 in the all-around (39.325) and No. 17 on beam (9.875), and junior Andi McCabe is ranked No. 24 in the nation on vault (9.850).
About the Rankings: Unlike other collegiate athletic rankings, collegiate gymnastic rankings are not based on wins and losses or votes. Gymnastic teams are ranked by their meet scores. From Jan. 27 to Feb. 17, teams and individuals will be ranked by total season average. Starting Feb. 24, teams and gymnasts will be ranked by Regional Qualifying Score (RQS). A Regional Qualifying Score is based on a team's top-six regular-season scores, with three scores coming from away meets. To obtain the regional qualifying score, the team's or gymnast's highest score is dropped and the remaining five scores are averaged. Complete rankings can be viewed at www.troester.com.
Arizona Head Coach Bill Ryden... is in his fifth season at the helm of the Arizona gymnastics program and holds a school and career record of 53-69-1. Ryden leads Arizona into 2003 after making his first appearance as a head coach at a NCAA Championship (2002), the program's first appearance since 1996. In 2002, Ryden earned Pac-10 Conference Coach of the Year honors as well as South Central Regional Coach of the Year honors, becoming the first head coach in Arizona history to have earned Regional Coach of the year honors.
Last Time Out: The No. 13 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team fell to No. 2 Utah, 194.500-196.900, on Friday, Feb. 14 before a crowd of 440 in McKale Center.
Arizona was able to claim the team floor title with a season-high mark of 49.425, a score that now stands as the fourth-best score in team history. Five Arizona gymnasts tied or set career-high marks in the meet.
Individually for the Wildcats, sophomore Monica Bisordi had arguable her best meet as an Arizona gymnast. Bisordi won her fourth all-around title of the season with a career-high mark of 39.600, which is the third-best all-around score in team history. The San Mateo, Calif. native also tied for second place on bars with a career-high 9.875, second on beam with a career-high tying score of 9.925, second on floor (9.925) and finished third on vault with a season-high 9.875.
Sophomore Jamie Duce chipped in for the Cats by tying for second on bars with a career-high 9.875 and tying for fifth place on floor with a career-high 9.875. Freshman Abby Pearson posted a career-high 9.875 on vault for the third-consecutive meet to tie for third- place honors in the event and freshman Jessamyn Salter tied for fifth place on floor with a career-high 9.875. Sophomore Katie Johnson tied for second-place on floor with a 9.925 and senior Nikki Beyschau placed fifth on bars with a season-high 9.800.
Utah snagged a slim lead over Arizona in the first rotation, posting a 49.125 on bars that edged the Cats' 48.925 on vault. Utah was able to stretch its lead over Arizona to, 97.250-98.275, at the halfway point with a 49.150 on vault, while Arizona posted a score of 48.325 on bars in the second rotation.
Arizona was unable to keep pace with the Utes after counting two falls on beam (47.825) in the third rotation. Utah posted a floor mark of 49.250 in the third rotation and entered the final rotation leading, 145.075-147.525.
About the Bruins: The UCLA Bruins (9-1-1, 4-1-1) enter Sunday's meet as the No. 1 ranked team in the nation, owning a meet average of 197.253. UCLA is also the top-ranked team in the nation on vault (49.419) and beam (49.358), ranked No. 2 in the nation on bars (49.297) and No. 8 on floor (49.178). The Bruins are lead by junior Jamie Dantzscher, the nation's top-ranked gymnast in the all-around (39.775), on vault (9.965), on bars (9.968) and on floor (9.985). Senior Onnie Willis (39.625) and freshman Kate Richardson (39.547) are ranked in the top-10 for UCLA in the all-around. Head Coach Valorie Kondos Field enters her 13th year at the helm of the UCLA program, owning a career record of 256-53-1 and three national championships ('97, '00, '01).
Last Season: Arizona and UCLA faced off a total of four times last season, with UCLA winning the season series 3-1. The Cats and Bruins met on Jan. 25, 2002 in Tucson, as Arizona defeated UCLA, 195.175-195.000. The victory marked Arizona's first over the Bruins since 1996. Arizona met up with UCLA at the 2002 Pac-10 Championships on March 23, as the Pac-10 champion Bruins edged the runner-up Wildcats, 197.625-197.050. Arizona's finish at the 2002 Pac-10 Championships was its best since 1992 and its team mark of 197.050 stands as a school record. For the third time in the 2002 season, Arizona faced UCLA at the South Central Regional Championships in Tempe, Ariz. on April 6. Although UCLA finished first (197.425), Arizona (194.950) placed second behind the Bruins to earn its first berth to the NCAA Championships since 1996. At the NCAA Championships, the Bruins took third place (197.150) as Arizona finished 11th (194.975) respectively.
Last Time in LA: The Wildcats have not competed in Los Angeles since Feb. 11, 2001, when the Cats finished fourth (194.400) at the UCLA Invitational behind the first-place Bruins (196.850).
Back in the Pac: Arizona will face a Pac-10 opponent for the first time in more then two weeks. In its last Pac-10 action against Arizona State (Jan. 31), Arizona posted a season-best team score of 196.175.
Flooring It: The Cats revved up against the Utah Utes on floor last Friday, posting a season-high 49.425 in the event, the fourth-best floor mark in team history. Arizona's floor performance in the final rotation was fueled with career-highs by freshman Jessamyn Salter (9.875) and sophomores Kristine Harper (9.825) and Jamie Duce (9.875), and with season-highs by sophomores Katie Johnson and Monica Bisordi (9.925).
Stepping Up: With a depleted floor lineup against Utah, freshman Jessamyn Salter made the most of her opportunity to step in and perform for the Cats. In only her third collegiate floor performance, Salter posted a career-high 9.875 to tie for fifth-place in the event.
Hat Trick: For three vault routines in a row, freshman Abby Pearson has posted career-high marks of 9.875. At the Cat Classic, Pearson tallied two scores of 9.875 to win her first-two career vault titles and posted another 9.875 against No. 2 Utah to take third place in the event.
Doing it All-Around: On Friday against No. 2 Utah, sophomore Monica Bisordi had arguable the best meet of her Arizona career. Bisordi won her fourth all-around title of the season with a career-high mark of 39.600, which is the third-best all-around score in team history. The San Mateo, Calif. native also tied for second place on bars with a career-high 9.875, second on beam with a career-high tying score of 9.925, second on floor (9.925) and finished third on vault with a season-high 9.875.
Against Ranked Opponents: With its loss to the Utes, Arizona dropped to 3-3 against ranked opponents on the season. The Wildcats are 2-1 versus ranked opponents on the road and 1-1 against ranked Pac-10 opponents.
Stacked Pac: The Pacific-10 Conference is well represented in the national rankings with six of its seven teams ranked in the top-25. UCLA leads the way at the No. 1 spot followed by No. 7 Arizona State, No. 8 Stanford, No. 9 Oregon State, No. 12 Washington and 16th ranked Arizona.
Cats on the Radio: The Arizona Gymnastics team will make a series of guest appearances to two Tucson radio stations throughout the season. On every Thursday before a home meet, the Wildcats can be heard on KiiM-FM Tucson's Country Leader's early morning show. On each Wednesday, the Cats will join Rich Herrera on Fox Sports Radio 1290 AM.
Up Next: Arizona returns home to face Pac-10 rival Stanford on Friday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. (MST) in McKale Center.