TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The No. 10 Arizona women’s gymnastics team (195.325) picked up its second-consecutive victory as it knocked off Washington (193.000) Friday night in front of 1,004 fans in McKale Center.
Led by Danielle Hicks’ first all-around title of the season, the Wildcats turned in four solid rotations to post their third total of 195.150 or better in as many weeks.
“This was a total team victory,” said Ryden following the meet. “We were not on tonight, but I feel good we were still able to score the way we did. Aubrey [Taylor] and Danielle really carried us tonight and are the reason we were able to do what we did. But the entire team got us this victory tonight. Every time we have a fall, the rest of the team steps up and hits. I am very proud of this team”
The Wildcats opened the meet on the vault posting a team total of 48.625. Bree Workman earned a third-place finish to lead the Wildcats with a mark of 9.775. Karin Wurm added a 9.750, while Hicks and Taylor chipped in scores of 9.725 and 9.700, respectively. Ashley Houghting (9.900) and Chelsea Bakken (9.800) earned the top two spots in the event. Freshman Suzanne Alvey made her official Arizona debut, earning a score of 9.675.
Leading 48.625-47.000 heading to the bars, an event the team ranked No. 3 nationally coming into the meet, Arizona extended its lead behind 9.825 marks from Taylor and Hicks. Briana Bergeson added a 9.775, while Alexis Greene and Sarah Parsons earned scores of 9.750 and 9.725, respectively. Washington’s Kelly McDonald (9.900) placed ahead of the Wildcat’s top two scorers to claim the individual title.
Arizona moved to the balance beam for the third rotation and set a new season-high, 48.850. However, the Wildcats, who have improved their beam score each of the last three weks, would have to hit four-straight routines to set the new high following a fall by Erin Muirhead. Jamie Holton started the scoring off with a 9.650, and then Wurm got the Wildcats back on track with a 9.650. Taylor then earned a new season-best with a 9.800 score, while Bergeson set a new personal-best score and captured her second-straight beam title with a mark of 9.900. Hicks set a new season-high, earning a second-place mark of 9.825.
The Wildcats wrapped up the meet on floor, led by Greene’s second-straight floor title with a mark of 9.875, which equaled her career-high. Hicks (9.800) claimed second-place with Washington’s Kristen Omori, while Holton matched her season-best score of 9.775 to place fourth. Muirhead bounced back from her beam performance to add a 9.750 to share fifth-place with Taylor.
Hicks claimed the third all-around title of her career with a season-high 39.175. Taylor, the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week last week, scored a 39.075 to take second overall. Washington’s Haughting took third place with a 38.700, while Wurm finished fourth, totaling a 37.975.
“Danielle had a great, great meet,” Ryden said of Hicks who has competed in 11 straight all-around competitions dating back to her freshman year. “I am very proud of her. She comes through every time we need her to. She loves to rise to the occasion.”
Gymnasts, coaches and support staff members of both teams, wore pink ribbons to raise support for breast cancer awareness, a campaign sponsored by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches for Women, which Arizona is a member of.
The Wildcats (2-7) will be in action again Friday, Feb. 10, in Corvallis, Ore., as they take on the Oregon State Beavers.
“We need to get better before next weekend,” Ryden said. “Oregon State will be ready for us, no doubt.”