Feb. 22, 2004
What's on Tap: The No. 15 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team (6-2-1, 2-2-1 Pac-10) will travel to Denton, Texas to face Texas Woman's University (2-14) and No. 10 LSU (6-4) on Monday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. in the Kitty Magee Arena.
The Rankings: Arizona enters Monday's meet at the No. 15 spot in the national rankings. Arizona scored its season high (197.300) on Friday against the Washington Huskies. This is the last week that all collegiate gymnastic teams will be ranked by season average. Starting Feb. 23, all teams will be ranked by their Regional Qualifying Score (RQS). The Wildcats rank fourth in the nation on vault (49.225), No. 13 on bars (49.004), No. 17 on beam (48.846), and are No. 22 on floor (49.050). Individually for Arizona, senior Andi McCabe ranks 14th in the nation on vault (9.900), and sophomore Abby Pearson is No. 19 (9.887) on vault. Junior Monica Bisordi is ranked No. 21 on floor (9.900).
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 62-84-2. 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. 15 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team split Friday night's meet with No. 16 Washington, 197.300-197.300, before a McKale Center crowd of 846. Arizona's team score of 197.300 is the second-best mark in school history, and earned the Wildcats their first tie since 1999.
Arizona also split team-event titles with the Huskies, besting Washington on vault (49.425) and on floor (49.500). Arizona's vault score of 49.425 tied for fourth-best all-time in school history, and its 49.500 on floor tied for second-best all-time. The Wildcats also posted marks of 49.300 on bars, and 49.075 on beam.
Individually for the Arizona, junior Monica Bisordi earned the Wildcats' only individual title, tying for first on floor with 9.950, to earn her fourth floor title of the season. Bisordi also finished second in the all-around (39.625), tied for third place on vault (9.900), tied for second on bars (9.900), and finished fourth on beam (9.875).
Senior Andi McCabe finished in second place on vault (9.925), and tied for fourth-place honors on floor with a career-high tying 9.900. Sophomore Abby Pearson placed third on vault (9.900), and junior Jamie Duce finished fifth on bars (9.875) and beam (9.850).
Freshman Aubrey Taylor took home fifth-place honors in the all-around with a career-high 39.350, the eighth-best mark in school history.
In what turned out to be a tie-themed meet, Arizona was able to slightly jump ahead of Washington in the first rotation, posting a 49.425 on vault to Washington's 49.375 on bars. The Wildcats then extended their lead over the Huskies in the second rotation with a score of 49.300 on bars, while Washington finished with a 49.125 on vault.
Leading 98.725-98.500 at the half way point, Arizona fell behind the Huskies in the third rotation, posting a 49.075 on beam to Washington's 49.350 on floor. Arizona trailed Washington, 147.800-147.850, after three rotations, but caught up to Washington at 197.300 with a team score of 49.500 on floor, as the Huskies finished with a 49.450 on beam.
About the Pioneers: The Texas Woman's University Pioneers will host Monday's action with a 2-14 overall record and a season average 189.608. The Pioneers scored a season high of 192.200 in their last home meet on Jan. 24. TWU averages 47.729 on vault, 47.287 on bars, 46.712 on beam, and 47.879, and have not eclipsed the 49-point mark in any event so far this season. The Pioneers are looking to rebound from Friday's loss at Centenary (192.100-192.750). Head coach Frank Kudlac is in his 26th season at the helm of the Pioneer program and owns a career record of 384-392-1.
About the Tigers: The No. 10 LSU Tigers enter Monday's meet at 6-4, and with a season average of 196.250. LSU is fresh off its season-high performance of 197.375 on Friday versus Kentucky, and is 4-1 in its last three meets. The Tigers rank No. 8 in the nation on vault (49.204), No. 17 on bars (48.921), No. 19 on beam, and No. 7 on floor (49.300). Sophomore April Burkholder leads LSU's attack as the No. 7 all-around gymnast in the nation (39.521), and at No. 3 on floor (9.942). Head coach D-D Breaux is in her 27th season at the helm of the LSU program and owns a career record of 434-274-7.
Cat Scratch Fever: Arizona and LSU will meet up in a gymnastics version of a catfight on Monday for the second time this season. The Wildcats and the Tigers faced off in their 2004 season opener on Jan. 9 in East Lansing, Mich., where the first-place Wildcats clawed the second-place Tigers for the victory (195.425-194.875). All-time, Arizona is 8-9 versus the Bayou Bengals. Arizona has not faced Texas Woman's University since 1995, when the Wildcats handed the Pioneers a 191.250-185.500 defeat in Denton, Texas.
Tie This: Nothing is better than winning, nothing is worse than losing, but tying is like being stuck in the purgatory of winning and losing. In Friday's meet, Arizona and Washington competed to a draw, marking Arizona's first tie in a competition since sharing fourth-place with Stanford (195.150) at the 1999 Pac-10 Conference Championships in Corvallis, Ore.
197 Special: Arizona was able to accomplish something special on Friday by posting a season-high score of 197.300, a mark that ranks second in the all-time school record books. It was the third time in school history an Arizona team has scored 197 points or better in a meet. Arizona scored a school-record 197.375 at home last season against Oklahoma on March 14, and a 197.050 on March 23, 2002, at the Pac-10 Championships in Stanford, Calif.
49 Is Key: A key to Arizona's success so far this season is the team's ability to put up 49 points or better in each event. Against Washington, Arizona's vault score of 49.425 tied for fourth-best all-time in school history, and its 49.500 on floor tied for second-best all-time. The Wildcats also posted marks of 49.300 on bars, and 49.075 on beam, allowing Arizona to score 49 points or better in each team event for the fourth time in school history, and the second time this season.
Constantly 49: In seven meets, Arizona has scored 49 points or better in team events 19 times in 28 attempts. That number is far ahead of last year's pace, when Arizona managed 49 points or better 23 times in 13 meets. So far this season, Arizona has nine scores of 49 points or better that rank in the school's all-time top-10 list.
4-in-a-row: Arizona is on a pace no other Wildcat squad has ever been able to accomplish, as the Wildcats have record scores of 196 or better in four-consecutive meets. With Arizona's team score of 197.300 against Washington, the Wildcats posted a score of 196 or better in four-consecutive meets for the first time in school history. No Arizona team had ever scored 196 points or better in three-consecutive meets before Arizona accomplished that feat against Oregon State on Feb. 13 (196.700). The Wildcats have also scored 196 points or better in five of seven meets this season, setting a new school record for the number of times 196 has been scored in a season. All five scores of 196 or better rank in the all-time top-10.
Close Call: Arizona was almost blanked in the individual-event title competition against Washington, as junior Monica Bisordi's floor title (9.950) was Arizona's only event title. At least one Arizona gymnast has claimed an individual-event title in each meet this season.
Against Opponents: Arizona's 6-2-1, 2-2-1 Pac-10 record possesses some trend-setting details. So far this season, the Wildcats are 2-2-1 versus ranked competition, 3-2-1 in dual-meet competition, and are 4-2 on the road. Arizona is also 3-1-1 when scoring 196 or better in a meet.
Road Warriors: Monday's meet will see Arizona back on a road for what begins a three-meet road swing. Arizona will compete at Texas Women's University (Feb. 23), then at Arizona State (Feb. 27), and finish at Florida (March 5). In a streak that started Friday versus Washington and that will end March 5 at Florida, Arizona will compete in four meets in a two-week span.
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. 3, No. 7 Stanford, No. 15 Arizona, No. 16 Washington, No. 18 Oregon State, and No. 24 Arizona State.
Up Next: Arizona will travel up I-10 to face intra-state rival Arizona State on Friday, Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. (MST) in Wells Fargo Arena.