Feb. 2, 2004
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What's on Tap: The No. 15 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team (5-1, 1-1 Pac-10) will host Pac-10 rival California (6-1, 2-1 Pac-10) on Friday, Feb. 6, at 7:30 p.m. (MST) in McKale Center.
The Rankings: Arizona remains at the No. 15 spot in the rankings for the second-consecutive week, but increased its meet average to 195.825. Until Feb. 16, all collegiate gymnastic teams will be ranked by season average. The Wildcats rank seventh in the nation on vault (49.169), No. 16 on beam (48.887), No. 17 on bars (48.881), and average 48.887 points on floor. Individually for Arizona, senior Andi McCabe ranks 17th in the nation on vault (9.887), and sophomore Abby Pearson sneaks in at No. 25 (9.875) in the vault rankings. Junior Katie Johnson owns a No. 20 ranking on floor (9.894).
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 61-83-1. 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. 15 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team rebounded from its loss at Stanford with a road victory over Illinois-Chicago (0-8), 196.525-194.450, Saturday night. Arizona's team score of 196.525 is the second-best road-dual meet mark in school history.
The Wildcats dominated the evening's competition, sweeping the Flames in each event with scores of 49.050 on vault, 49.075 on bars, 49.325 on beam and 49.075 on floor. Saturday's meet marked the first time an Arizona team has ever scored 49 points or better in each event on the road, leading the Wildcats to the seventh-best team score (196.525) in school history. Arizona's 49.325 on beam is the second-highest score in school history.
Individually for the Wildcats, junior Katie Johnson earned her third floor title in four meets with a 9.900, and placed second on beam (9.900). In only the second beam performance of her career, freshman Aubrey Taylor earned her first beam title with a score of 9.925, the fifth-best mark in school history.
Junior Monica Bisordi grabbed her first bars title of the season with a mark of 9.875, but did not compete in the all-around for the first time in 27 meets. Junior Jamie Schell picked up the slack in the all-around, earning second-place honors (39.250), and finished second on bars with a career-high 9.850, fourth on vault (9.825) and fifth on beam (9.825).
Junior Jamie Duce tied for third-place honors on beam (9.850), finished fourth on bars (9.800) and fifth on floor (9.800). On vault, senior Andi McCabe and sophomore Abby Pearson tied for second place (9.850). On floor, sophomore Jessamyn Salter tied for third place (9.825), and junior Stevie Fanning finished fifth (9.800). Senior Sheehan Lemley placed fifth on beam (9.825).
About the Golden Bears: The University of California Golden Bears enter Friday's meet with an impressive 6-1 overall record, and a 2-1 mark in the Pac-10 Conference. Cal is fresh off its upset victory at home over No. 20 Oregon State, 195.675-195.550, on Friday, Jan. 30. Entering the week, Cal is at the doorstep of the top-25 rankings, holding down the No. 27 spot with a meet average of 194.587. The Golden Bears' season high of 195.950 came in a home win against then-No. 17 Arizona State. Cal is ranked No. 14 in the nation on bars (48.931), and owns season averages of 48.725 on vault, 48.337 on beam, and 48.594 on floor. Junior My-Lan Dodd leads the Golden Bears with a 39.137 average in the all-around. Head coach Cari DuBois (Ball State, '92) enters her second season at the helm of the California program and owns a career record of 18-6.
Against California: Arizona has enjoyed much success against California, owning a 15-4 series advantage over the Golden Bears since 1994. Ironically enough, the last time California beat Arizona in McKale Center was 10 years ago with a 190.450-188.350 victory over the Wildcats on Feb. 11, 1994. Under head coach Bill Ryden, Arizona is 7-3 against Cal, with a perfect 2-0 home mark.
A Home Theme: The Arizona-California series over the past four seasons has shared a common theme: the home team usually wins. During that four-year span, Arizona is 2-0 in McKale Center and 0-2 at California's Haas Pavilion. The last time a road team won in this series was Feb. 6, 1999, in an Arizona victory (192.050-190.200) at Cal.
Pac This: Both Arizona (1-1 Pac-10) and California (2-1 Pac-10) enter this week's competition with w's and l's on both sides of the Conference win-loss column. Arizona's Conference win came at home against UCLA, with its only loss of the season coming on the road to Stanford. California has earned victories over Arizona State and Oregon State at home, while falling to Washington on the road. It seems as if performing at home can have its advantages in the Pac-10.
A First for 49's: Arizona pulled a first against Illinois-Chicago on Saturday. By posting scores of 49.050 on vault, 49.075 on bars, 49.325 on beam and 49.075 on floor, Saturday's meet marked the first time an Arizona team has ever scored 49 points or better in each event in a road dual meet. The Wildcats have only posted 49 points or better in each event during a meet two other times: last season at home versus Oklahoma (197.375), and in 2002 at the Pac-10 Championships at Stanford (197.050). Both scores rank first and second on the school's all-time top-10 list respectively.
Raising Hell away from McKale: The Wildcats seem to have gained a sense of comfort on the road, as they should, since seven of the 11-scheduled regular season meets for Arizona are on the road. So far this season, Arizona is 4-1 on the road in three meets. In those three meets, Arizona has won six of 12 team event categories. Adding to that, Arizona's 196.525 against Illinois-Chicago is the second-best road dual-meet mark in school history, and the seventh-best team score in school history.
Breaking Records: So far this season, Arizona has posted six team scores that rank in the all-time top-10. Against Illinois-Chicago, contributing to Arizona's seventh-best team score in school history was a 49.325 on beam, the second-highest score in school history.
No more Streak: Junior Monica Bisordi's streak of consecutive all-around appearances ended at 27 meets on Saturday against the Flames. Although Bisordi, a San Mateo, Calif. native, didn't compete in the all-around, she went ahead and grabbed her first bars title of the season with a mark of 9.875.
Flooring Folks: Junior Katie Johnson has been flooring the competition on floor, literally. On Saturday, Johnson earned her third floor title in four meets with a score of 9.900. In her career, Johnson, a Moorhead, Minn. native, has 10 career floor titles, including 13 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. She also ranks No. 20 (9.894) in the floor exercise this week.
Looking Fresh: Freshman Aubrey Taylor didn't take long to earn her first-career event title. In only the second beam performance of her career, Taylor, a Burlington, Ontario, Canada native, earned her first beam title with a score of 9.925, the fifth-best mark in school history. Taylor's 9.925 is a vast improvement from her first-career beam score of 8.850 the week before against Stanford.
Five on It: Against the Flames, 10 of the 11 Arizona gymnasts to compete combined for 15 top-five finishes, including three event titles.
Against Opponents: So far this season, Arizona is 2-1 against ranked opponents and 3-0 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. 3, No. 7 Stanford, No. 11 Washington, No. 15 Arizona, No. 18 Arizona State and No. 20 Oregon State.
Up Next: Arizona heads back on the road and travels to Corvallis, Ore., to take on the Oregon State Beavers on Friday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. (PST).