March 3, 2010
The GymCats finally come back to McKale for the first of two home meets in a row. No. 21 Arizona will be hosting the Washington GymDawgs on Friday, March 5 at 7 p.m. When the Cats and Dawgs battled last season, Washington won by only half of a point. Arizona hopes to clinch a victory this season with the help of the home fans.
Arizona spent another week on the road, traveling to Lincoln, Neb. to compete in the Huskers’ annual Master’s Classic. The GymCats clinched a second place victory with a score of 194.750, beating out No. 18 Denver with a 194.175 and No. 25 West Virginia with a 192.975. No. 11 Nebraska won the meet with a 196.425.
Despite a rough start on floor, Arizona turned up the heat on vault and bars, earning team totals of 48.925 and 48.875 respectively. Senior Sarah Tomczyk led the team on both, earning a score of 9.850 and first place on the vault as well as a 9.850 and yet another first place on bars. Other accolades go to sophomore Britnie Jones took third on the bars with a score of 9.825.
Sophomore Katie Matusik returned to form this meet, earning third place on the beam as well as leading the team with a score of 9.80.
“I think we competed very well in this meet overall. We had a great effort on vault and bars, and overcame some tight – but fair – judging. At this point we just need to learn to finish our meets strong.” Ryden said.
Packed House Hospitality
The Arizona gymnastics team experienced a bit of a culture shock this past weekend, staying in a loud and crazy hotel. According to Coach Ryden, the hotel hosted the team as well as two high school reunions and “some type of farmers’ convention.” Though the hotel was bustling and busy, the team experienced some Midwest hospitality.
“Everywhere we went people were incredibly nice. I especially loved the airport – the people were very friendly.” Ryden said, “Plus, it was interesting how many people knew who we were and who Arizona was.”
Scouting the Opposition:
Last week Washington earned a second place victory in their last home meet. With a score of 194.1 the Dawgs defeated Seattle Pacific but fell to No. 8 Arkansas. Highlights included junior Samantha Waller’s season high score of 9.9 on the bars, as well as Kristen Linton who took second with a 9.875. Haley Bogart finished third on vault and fourth on floor with twin scores of 9.825.
What's Coming Up:
The GymCats spend another week at home, playing host to No. 22 Minnesota. The meet will be held Friday, Mar. 12 at 7 p.m.
The Wildcats completed the 2009 season with an overall record of 12-12 and were able to make their 23rd consecutive NCAA post-season appearance. Thanks to a pristine floor exercise performance, then Junior Sarah Tomcyzk was able to take it one step further and competed floor at the NCAA National Championships. In addition, three Gymcats earned All-Conference accolades, including freshman Deanna Graham (2nd Team Vault), freshman Rebecca Cardenas (2nd Team Floor), and redshirt junior Sarah Tomczyk (1st Team Floor).
Look Out for New Gymcats:
Arizona bolsters a fairly young team, including four fresh new faces. These include: Aubree Cristello from Glenville, NY, Mykle Douglas from Plano, TX, Ellen Pitluck from Chicago, IL, and Molly Quirk from Glenmont, NY.
The Arizona Gymcats head into the season ranked No. 20 in the 2010 Women's Pre-Season Coaches poll. They are one of only five Pac-10 schools to be rated. The others include No. 4 UCLA, No. 7 Stanford, No 10 Oregon State, and No. 25 Washington. Arizona State was listed as another team receiving votes for consideration.
Arizona faces an extremely stacked schedule this season, competing against nine schools ranked in the pre-season poll. This includes some tough meets early on, including opening the season against No. 8 Arkansas, then No. 7 Stanford immediately after. The Gymcats must also take on No. 5 UCLA, No. 10 Oregon State, No. 3 Alabama, No. 15 Nebraska, No. 21 West Virginia, No. 22 Minnesota, and No. 25 Washington.
Pac-10 Championships in the Desert:
Arizona will have the honor of hosting the Pac-10 Championships on March 27 at 4 p.m. The last time the Wildcats hosted the championships was in 2004. Tickets are available for purchase through the McKale Center Ticket Office.