Jan. 26, 2004
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What's on Tap: The No. 15 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team (4-1, 1-1 Pac-10) will hit the road again to face Illinois-Chicago (0-7) on Saturday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. (CST).
The Rankings: After earning a No. 6 spot in the rankings last week, Arizona fell in the polls to No. 15 (195.592) this week. From this week until Feb. 16, all collegiate gymnastic teams will be ranked by season average. The Wildcats rank fourth in the nation on vault (49.208), and No. 20 on bars (48.817) and beam (48.742). Individually for Arizona, senior Andi McCabe ranks 11th in the nation on vault (9.900), and sophomore Abby Pearson owns a No. 17 ranking (9.883) on vault. Junior Katie Johnson holds down the No. 23 spot on floor (9.892).
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 alone. From Jan. 26-Feb. 16, teams will be ranked by their season average. Starting Feb. 23, 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 sixth season at the helm of the Arizona gymnastics program and holds a school and career record of 60-83-1. Ryden leads Arizona into 2004 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. 6 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team dropped its first meet of the season at No. 14 Stanford, 194.625-197.300, Friday night in Stanford's Burnham Pavilion.
After winning six of eight team event titles entering Friday's meet, Arizona was swept by Stanford in all four team events. The Wildcats posted team marks of 49.050 on vault, 48.625 on bars, 48.975 on floor, and only managed a season-low 47.975 on beam.
Individually for the Wildcats, junior Katie Johnson tied for first-place honors on floor with a 9.950. On vault, senior Andi McCabe, junior Jamie Schell and sophomore Abby Pearson tied for third place in the event with scores of 9.850. Schell also landed a fourth-place score on beam with a team-high 9.850.
On floor, junior Monica Bisordi placed fifth with a 9.900, but only managed an all-around score of 38.450 on the night. Senior Sheehan Lemley led the way for the Cats on bars with a team-high 9.775.
About the Flames: The Illinois-Chicago Flames (0-7) enter Friday's meet eager to earn the team's first victory of the season. The Flames dropped their meet last week in Gainesville, Fla., finishing fourth in the quadrangular meet behind Florida, NC State and Michigan State with a mark of 192.675, which is above their season average of 191.658. So far this season, Illinois-Chicago averages scores of 48.075 on vault, 47.708 on bars, 47.767 on beam, and 48.108 on floor. Head coach Peter Jansson enters his 14th year at the helm of the Flames program and owns a career record of 165-136-1.
Against the Illinois-Chicago: Arizona and Illinois-Chicago are no strangers to one another, both being competitors in the South Central Region. Under head coach Bill Ryden, Arizona is 4-0 against the Flames, and are 7-0 against the Flames since 1996.
Common Opponents: At season's end, Illinois-Chicago and Arizona will have shared five common opponents in Arkansas, Michigan State, Florida, Western Michigan and Washington. So far, the Flames are winless against Arkansas and Michigan State, while Arizona is perfect against Michigan State and Western Michigan.
49 is the Key Number: For Arizona to remain unbeaten against Illinois-Chicago in eight-consecutive meets, the Wildcats should be shooting for a score of 49.000 or better in each team event. So far in this early season of 2004, the Wildcats have posted a team mark of 49.000 or better six times, including three scores worthy of the all-time top-10 in school history. Illinois-Chicago has not reached the 49.000-team event plateau in three meets this season.
Road Warriors?: So what, Arizona will not go undefeated on the road this season, but a 3-1 road start isn't a bad way to start things off. Out of the 11 scheduled regular season meets for Arizona, seven of those meets are on the road. This week's meet at Illinois-Chicago will mark back-to-back weeks Arizona is on the road, the Wildcats second-longest road span. The Wildcats are scheduled to travel three-consecutive weeks in a row later in the season beginning Feb. 27 at Texas Women's University, and concluding March 5 at Florida.
Iron Woman: Junior Monica Bisordi is best described not as a gymnast, but as an all-arounder. In 31 career meets, Bisordi has competed as an all-arounder for Arizona 27 times, all 27 of those appearances being consecutive. In those 27 appearances, Bisordi has scored over 39 points in the all-around 17 times, and ranks second all time with a career-high 39.750. Bisordi is only .025 points away from the record held by former Gymcat Randi Liljenquist (39.775). Bisordi also ranks ninth all time on vault (9.925), third on bars (9.950), second on beam (9.975), and fourth on floor (9.950).
Queen of Floor: Junior Katie Johnson is one of Arizona's top floor performers, and it shows, being ranked No. 23 in the nation this week on floor (9.892). Against Stanford, Johnson tied for first-place honors on floor with a 9.950, earning her second floor title in three meets. In her career, Johnson has earned nine career floor titles, including 12 scores of 9.900 or better. On that note, Johnson has scored 9.975 on floor four times in her career, a score that ranks third on the all-time top 10.
Floor Slump?: Although the Wildcats has only shown glimpses of their talent on floor at times this season, floor is actually one of Arizona's strongest team events. This week, the Wildcats rank No. 27 in the nation on floor (48.825), but don't expect that to last too long, as Arizona is bound to perform its way up among the country's top floor teams. On Arizona's floor roster are three gymnasts who are among the top-10 in school history. Those gymnasts are: Katie Johnson at No. 3 (9.975), Monica Bisordi at No. 4 (9.950) and Jamie Duce at No. 9 (9.900).
Against Ranked Opponents: So far this season, Arizona is 2-1 against ranked opponents and 2-0 against unranked opponents. The Wildcats have defeated No. 10 LSU and No. 5 UCLA, and registered their only loss of the season to then No. 14 Stanford.
Stacked Pac: The Pacific-10 Conference is becoming one of the most competitive and dominant conferences in collegiate gymnastics. This week, six of the seven Pac-10 schools are ranked in the top-25 with UCLA at No. 6, No. 7 Stanford, No. 10 Washington, No. 15 Arizona, No. 19 Arizona State and No. 20 Oregon State.
For our Online Fans: If you follow the Wildcats regularly online, you might notice that after each meet individual scores are posted in a top-5 format. The reason for this is that individual events can range from 12-36 gymnasts, which is sometimes time consuming to retype, and usually the top-5 scores in each event regard outstanding performances by a gymnast. However, due to popular demand all of the Arizona gymnast scores will be posted on our website. Apologizes for all and any inconveniences this may have caused.
Up Next: Arizona will return home to good old Tucson and host Pac-10 rival California on Friday, Feb. 6 in McKale Center. Start time is at its usual 7:30 p.m. (MST).