Feb. 24, 2004
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What's on Tap: The No. 11 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team (7-3-1, 2-2-1 Pac-10) will travel will travel up I-10 to face intra-state rival Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz., (6-4, 2-3 Pac-10) on Friday, Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. (MST) at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Rankings: Arizona jumped four spots this week to No. 11 in the nation rankings with a RQS of 196.425. Because the rankings were released before Arizona's Monday night competition in Denton, Texas, these numbers do no reflect Arizona's performance in that meet. Arizona scored its season high (197.300) last Friday against the Washington Huskies. This is the first week that all collegiate gymnastic teams will be ranked by their Regional Qualifying Score (RQS). The Wildcats rank fifth in the nation on vault (49.260), No. 12 on bars (49.070), No. 14 on beam (48.970), and are No. 15 on floor (49.200). Individually for Arizona, senior Andi McCabe ranks ninth in the nation on vault (9.905), and sophomore Abby Pearson is No. 19 (9.890) on vault. Juniors Monica Bisordi and Katie Johnson rank No. 21 on floor (9.895), and junior Jamie Duce ranks No. 25 on bars (9.860).
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. 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 63-85-2. 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: Two Arizona gymnasts scored perfect 10s, as the No. 11 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team posted a 197.050, the third-best mark in school history on Monday night, in Denton, Texas. Arizona was edged by No. 10 LSU, 197.050-197.100, but defeated Texas Woman's University (193.425) in the tri-meet at Kitty Magee Arena.
Senior Andi McCabe posted her first-career 10.000 on vault, becoming the fourth gymnast in Arizona history to do so, en route to a first-place finish in the all-around with a career-high 39.575, the fourth-best score in school history. McCabe also finished fourth on beam with a career-high 9.875, and tallied a career-high 9.900 on floor.
Junior Katie Johnson landed her first-career perfect 10 on floor, becoming the third Arizona gymnast to accomplish such a feat, and finished fifth on beam (9.850). Johnson had tallied four scores of 9.975 in her career before Monday night.
Junior Jamie Duce earned two event titles, tying for first place honors on bars (9.900), and on beam (9.900). Junior Monica Bisordi finished fourth on vault (9.925), and placed fifth on floor (9.925).
Arizona, which scored a season-high 197.300 versus Washington three days earlier, posted a score of 197 or better for the second-consecutive meet, something that has never been accomplished before in school history. The Wildcats have scored 196 points or better in five-consecutive meets, which is a program first.
Arizona posted a 49.425 on vault for the second-consecutive meet, and the third time this season, a score that ranks fourth all-time in school history. The Wildcats also finished with a 49.200 on beam, and a 49.400 on floor, both scores which rank No. 8 in school history, and managed a 49.025 on bars.
LSU was able to defeat Arizona by .050 points largely because three Tiger gymnasts scored perfect 10s. Sophomore April Buckholder scored a 10.000 on vault, and freshman Nikki Butler and sophomore Terin Martinjak scored 10s on floor. All told, Arizona and LSU combined for 18 scores of 9.900 or better, including five-perfect 10 scores, which is a Kitty Magee Arena record.
About the Sun Devils: The Arizona State University Sun Devils enter Friday's competition with a 6-4 overall record, including a 2-3 mark in the Pac-10 and against ranked opponents. The Sun Devils are currently one spot out of the top-25 this week with an RQS of 195.115, but have been ranked in the top-25 six of eight weeks this season. Arizona State's season-high 196.975 came against Oregon State on Feb. 6, which was the Sun Devils last home duel meet. ASU ranks No. 24 on bars (48.725), No. 25 on beam (48.740), and average 48.715 on vault and 48.860 on floor. Sophomore Ashley Kelly leads the Sun Devil attack with a No. 13 ranking in the all-around. Head coach John Spini is in his 24th year at the helm of the Sun Devil program and owns a career record of 295-107-2.
Rivalry Week: The Arizona-Arizona State rivalry always gets those competitive, hate-filled juices flowing no matter what sport the two schools compete in. When it comes to gymnastics, however, Arizona State owns the all-time series lead over Arizona 71-20-1, and is 12-1 in duel meets in Tempe. ASU is 30-5-1 in dual meets versus the Wildcats and has won four regular-season meetings in a row versus Arizona. Arizona has not won a regular-season duel meet in Tempe since March 14, 1987, in a 186.500-186.000 victory over the Sun Devils. The Wildcats did defeat ASU in Wells Fargo Arena during the 2002 South Central Regional Championships, 194.950-194.875, to advance to the 2002 NCAA Championships.
Hot at Home: If the Arizona State Sun Devils truly are devils of the sun, they must be comfortable competing on fire at home. So far this season, ASU is 3-1 in Wells Fargo Arena, and are a spotless 2-0 against Pac-10 opponents at home. The Sun Devils suffered their first home loss of the season in their last meet on Feb. 20 to Utah.
Road Warriors: Arizona will be traveling to Tempe with fire extinguishers, as the Wildcats are no strangers to success on the road this season. Five of Arizona's eight meets this season have been road contests, with the Wildcats owning a 5-3 record on the road. Arizona is 0-2 in true Pac-10 road meets this season, losing previously to Stanford and Oregon State. The Wildcats have posted three-consecutive road scores of 196 or better, a school best.
What's Rest?: The Wildcats seem to be more like Energizer Bunnies, rather than gymnasts. Friday's meet at ASU will mark the Wildcats' third meet in a week, including their second-straight road contest. It hasn't been too shabby of a week so far, as Arizona has posted two scores over 197 points.
Lucky No. 7: Wins and loses in gymnastics mean very little, but it is nice to see Arizona on the positive side of the column in eight meets so far this season, owning a 7-3-1 (2-2-1 Pac-10) record. Arizona's seven total victories and two Pac-10 triumphs have already matched last year's win output. The Wildcats finished 7-19 and 2-12 in the Pac-10 in 2003, and did not earn their sixth and seventh victories of the season until April 12 at the South Central Regional Championships. Arizona's best record came in 1996, when the Wildcats finished 36-10, and earned a Super Six appearance.
Hottest in History: Arizona is on a current streak that has never been accomplished before in school history. First off, Arizona has posted scores of 196 or better in five-consecutive meets, a program first. Arizona's six scores of 196 is season (and counting), is a school record for the number of times 196 has been scored in a season. Second, the Wildcats scored a 197.050 Monday night, the program's first score above 197 in a regular-season road meet. Arizona, which scored a season-high 197.300 versus Washington three days earlier, posted a score of 197 or better for the second-consecutive meet, something that has never been accomplished before in school history.
Best Ever?: Some might argue differently, but on paper, the 2004 Arizona Wildcats are looking like the best team in school history. So far this season, Arizona has posted six scores in the last seven meets that ranked on the school's top-10 all-time list. The Wildcats have already posted two scores of 197 or better this season, as Arizona only had two scores of 197 or better in the program's entire history before this year. The Wildcats have also posted 12 team-event scores that ranked on the top-10 all-time list. Here's a look at how Arizona has demolished its record books so far this season:
All-Time Meet Totals:
2. 197.300 Feb. 20 vs. Washington
3. 197.050 Feb. 23 at Texas Woman's & LSU
7. 196.750 Feb. 6 vs. California
8. 196.725 Jan. 16 vs. UCLA
9. 196.700 Feb. 13 at Oregon State
11. 196.525 Jan. 31 at Illinois-Chicago
The Number 49: The number 49 might not mean much in any sport, unless you are a San Francisco 49ers fan, but for the Arizona gymnastics team, 49 equals success. In eight meets, Arizona has scored 49 points or better in team events 23 times in 32 attempts. That number has already equaled last year's total, as Arizona managed 49 points or better 23 times in 13 meets. Arizona has also scored 49 points or better in each team event three times this season, a feat only accomplished twice before this year.
Perfect Cats: Arizona received two perfect scores Monday night, as senior Andi McCabe and junior Katie Johnson became the seventh and eighth Wildcat gymnasts in school history to record perfect 10s. McCabe posted her first-career 10.000 on vault, becoming the fourth gymnast in Arizona history to do so in the event. Johnson landed her first-career perfect 10 on floor, becoming the third Arizona gymnast to accomplish such a feat on floor.
Senior Performance: Senior Andi McCabe might have recorded the best performance of her career on Monday in Denton, Texas. In addition to her perfect 10 on vault, McCabe finished in the all-around with a career-high 39.575, the fourth-best score in school history. She also finished fourth on beam with a career-high 9.875, and tallied a career-high 9.900 on floor. Monday night's performance was McCabe's first all-around competition since her freshman year at Arizona.
Titlist: Junior Jamie Duce didn't score any perfect 10s Monday night. All she did was rack up two individual-event titles against LSU and Texas Woman's University. Duce tied for first place honors on bars (9.900), her fourth of the season, and on beam (9.900). At least one Arizona gymnast has claimed an individual-event title in each meet this season.
Against Opponents: Arizona's 7-3-1, 2-2-1 Pac-10 record possesses some trend-setting details. So far this season, the Wildcats are 2-3-1 versus ranked competition, 3-2-1 in dual-meet competition, and are 5-3 on the road. Arizona is also 4-2-1 when scoring 196 or better in a meet, and is 5-0 versus unranked opponents.
Stacked Pac: The Pacific-10 Conference is becoming one of the most competitive and dominant conferences in collegiate gymnastics. This week, five of the seven Pac-10 schools are ranked in the top-25 with UCLA at No. 1, No. 9 Stanford, No. 11 Arizona, No. 15 Washington, and No. 16 Oregon State.
Up Next: Arizona will remain on the road and travels to Gainesville, Fla., to take on the Florida Gators on Friday, March 5 at 7 p.m. (EST).