Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
No. 14 Gymnastics Falls at Stanford, 196.875-194.625
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 18, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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PALO ALTO, Calif. ?- The No. 14 Arizona women’s gymnastics team (194.625) fell to No. 10 Stanford (196.875) on Friday night in Burnham Pavilion.


The Wildcats, who had won three consecutive Pac-10 dual meets coming into the competition, could not have chosen a worse meet to have a bit of an off night. Arizona scored a season-low on floor and scored below its season average on bars, while Stanford was nearly flawless throughout the meet, capturing all four individual and team titles while setting a new season-best team total.


“We just were not sharp tonight,” head coach Bill Ryden said following the meet. “There are no excuses. Stanford was great tonight and we weren’t. Maybe it’s the fact that we’ve been on the road five out of the last seven weeks, but this is not what we expected.”


The Wildcats opened the meet on the uneven parallel bars, an event they were ranked fourth in the nation on entering the meet. However, Arizona would score below its season average as it totaled a 48.750. Aubrey Taylor led the way for the Wildcats as she scored her fourth 9.900 of the year, matching her career-high. Sophomores Danielle Hicks and Karin Wurm each chipped in 9.775 marks, while Alexis Green and Briana Bergeson tallied scores of 9.700 and 9.600, respectively.


Arizona then moved to the vault trailing the Cardinal, 49.150-48.750. Looking to make up ground, the Wildcats posted a team score of 48.675, the highest total in the event since Jan. 27, against California. Jamie Holton and Wurm led the way for Wildcats, each earning a 9.825. Holton’s performance was not only the first of the year for her on vault, but it also set a new career-high. Bree Workman received a 9.775, while Taylor added a 9.675 and Hicks scored a 9.575.


“It was a brand new vault and we put her out there and she landed it,” said Ryden of Holton’s season debut in the vault lineup. “She was very excited and I was very proud of her.”


Over on bars, the Stanford gymnasts stole the show led by Liz Tricase. Tricase earned a 10.0 to claim the individual title. Her teammate Tabitha Yim nearly matched the perfect score, but settled for a 9.950. Natalie Foley, Nicole Ourada and Glyn Sweets also turned in impressive performances, with each scoring a 9.825. As a team, Stanford scored a 49.425, matching the highest team score in the nation on bars to date.


Trailing 98.575-97.425 entering the third rotation, Arizona struggled to close the gap. On the floor, the Wildcats were led by Hicks who recorded an impressive 9.825. Jamie Holton and Greene each tallied marks of 9.775, while Muirhead posted a 9.750. Taylor (9.250) and Wurm (9.175) each turned in uncharacteristic performances as the Wildcats totaled a season-low 48.375 in the event.


Meanwhile, Stanford increased its lead scoring a season-high 49.050 on beam. Yim turned in her second mark of 9.950 on the night, claiming the individual title.


The Wildcats moved to the balance beam and showed some strong character, recording a solid 48.825 in the event. Hicks paced the Wildcats with a 9.800, while Bergeson, Taylor and Wurm each posted marks of 9.775. Muirhead also added a 9.700, while Holton scored a 9.675.


“Our beam team continues to do really well,” Ryden said. “We just didn’t perform the way we expected to on floor. I never would have thought Karin and Aubrey would both miss on floor.”


The Cardinal closed the meet strong, finishing with a 49.250 on floor. Ourada earned a 9.925 to capture the individual title.


Stanford gymnasts also swept the top three all-around spots. Yim captured the title with a 39.625, while Ourada and Foley totaled scores of 39.175 and 39.100, respectively. For the Wildcats, Hicks earned the top all-around score, posting a 38.975. Taylor tallied a 39.600, while Wurm totaled a 38.550.


The Wildcats will look to rebound next week as the team returns home for the first of three consecutive meets at McKale Center as they take on UCLA on Friday, Feb. 24.


“Thank goodness,” Ryden said of the upcoming home stand. “The first half of the season has been brutal. We are looking forward to being home for a month. We need the rest and we’re excited to get back and perform in front of our own fans.”

Bear Down Challenge Gymnastics