Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcats Fall to the Cardinal
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 18, 2011
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Feb. 18, 2011


TUCSON, Ariz. - The McKale Center hosted a season high crowd of 1,490 to watch the Pac-10 duel between Arizona and Stanford. After a tough competition, the Wildcat Gymnastics team fell to the Cardinal 194.675 to 195.300.

"We just weren't sharp enough. It wasn't about our gymnastics by any stretch - we just weren't sharp on the fine details and we kept letting little tenths get to us that we haven't had to deal with in the last few weeks," head coach Bill Ryden said. "It was a little bit frustrating."

The Wildcats started the night out on vault, led by sophomore Aubree Cristello who posted the team high score of 9.825 to tie for second place. Behind her was junior Deanna Graham with a score of 9.800, tying for third place. Also in third with another score of 9.800 and tying her career high was sophomore Mykle Douglas. Senior Miranda Russell and sophomore Molly Quirk posted scores of 9.775 and 9.700 respectively to round out the team total 48.900.

"I thought our vault was actually pretty good - especially considering I changed the lineup immediately after warm-up. All things considered I was happy with the start, and was proud of the girls' ability to make adjustments and go with the flow," Ryden said.

Vault also served as a career debut for freshman Barbara Donaldson, who competed second in the lineup and posted a score of 9.675.

"I think Babs did a great job. In a way she's a typical freshman; she's still learning the game and I walked up to her and told her she was in and she just agreed and got in line," Ryden said. "It's important to put your best team out there at that moment, and she was it and it worked out."

Heading into bars, the Wildcats trailed the Cardinal by 0.200.

On bars, Arizona totaled a score of 48.750. Leaders of the team were Quirk and Russell, with twin scores of 9.800 to tie for third place. Directly behind them were junior Katie Matusik and Graham, both posting a score of 9.725. Yet another team tie occurred between junior Britnie Jones and Cristello with a 9.700.

"Bars was solid, not great. We were getting used to those 49 scores but we didn't stick some landings and weren't able to hit some of those finer details tonight," Ryden said.

At the halfway point, Stanford led by 0.65 after posting a vault total of 49.200.

The Cats had some difficulties on beam, posting a 48.025. Matusik led the team with a 9.775 to take third place. Other leaders of the beam squad were Cristello and Quirk, both earning scores of 9.725.

"We counted a fall, and we counted some uncharacteristic wobbles. You add all that up, and you get a 48.025," Ryden said. "This was one of Molly's better routines, and even the score wasn't anything to write home about, I think she made a lot of positive progress with the set. I was very happy with her beam tonight."

Despite a deficit of 1.00 going into the third event, Arizona fought hard on floor, posting a team total of 49.000 and closing the gap to only 0.625. Russell had the team high score of 9.850, taking second place overall. Tying for third place was Cristello and Graham with a score of 9.825. Junior Rebecca Cardenas and Matusik also made an impact, both posting scored of 9.750.

"Considering everything, it's always positive to have your last score be the highest of the meet. It just shows that as a team we are not willing to give up or give in," Ryden said.

The Cats had three all-around competitors this evening; Cristello, Graham, and Quirk. Cristello took the silver, posting a 39.075 behind Stanford's Shelley Alexander with a score of 39.150. Graham took fourth Quirk took fourth with a 38.850, and Graham placed fifth overall with a 38.575.

 "I'm glad that we looked good and did pretty well, but we nickeled and dimed ourselves this meet. Next week will be better," Ryden said.


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