March 8, 2004
What's on Tap: The No. 11 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team (7-5-1, 2-3-1 Pac-10) finishes the regular season at home against No. 21 Arkansas (8-5) on Friday, March 12, at 7:30 p.m. (MST) in McKale Center.
The Rankings: Arizona dropped two spots this week to No. 11 in the nation rankings, but increased its RQS to 196.775, the Wildcats' highest average of the year. Arizona scored its season high 197.300 on Friday, Feb. 20 against the Washington Huskies, and has been ranked No. 11 three times this season. The Wildcats rank fifth in the nation on vault (49.335), No. 15 on bars (49.150), No. 10 on beam (49.180), and are No. 14 on floor (49.375). Individually for Arizona, senior Andi McCabe ranks seventh in the nation on vault (9.935), and sophomore Abby Pearson is No. 22 (9.900) on vault. Junior Katie Johnson is No. 14 on floor (9.930), and junior Jamie Duce ranks No. 25 on bars (9.890). Junior Monica Bisordi ranks No. 11 in the all-around (39.505), and No. 18 on floor (9.925).
About the Rankings: Unlike other collegiate athletic rankings, collegiate gymnastic rankings are not based on wins, losses, or votes. Gymnastics teams are ranked by their meet scores alone. Since Feb. 23, teams and gymnasts are 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 63-87-2. 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: The No. 9 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team dropped its non-conference meet at No. 7 Florida, 196.650-198.025, Friday night before a crowd of 1536 at Florida's O'Connell Center. Arizona's 196.650 is the third-best road mark of the season, and extends the Wildcats' record streak to seven-consecutive meets scoring 196 points or better.
Arizona was swept in team event competition, managing scores of 49.200 on bars, 49.150 on beam and 49.350 on floor. After posting a season-low 48.825 on vault last week at Arizona State, Arizona, the fifth-best team in the nation on vault, escaped matching that season low with a 48.950 on vault against the Gators. Florida's team score of 198.025 is a school record, and the fifth-best team mark in the nation this season.
Individually for the Wildcats, junior Monica Bisordi tied for second on beam (9.925), fourth on floor (9.900), and finished fourth in the all-around (39.425). Junior Katie Johnson tied with Bisordi in fourth place on floor (9.900).
Senior Andi McCabe competed in the all-around for the third-straight meet, finishing fifth with a 39.400. McCabe also placed fourth on vault (9.850) and floor (9.900), and fifth on beam (9.875).
About the Lady Razorbacks: The No. 21 University of Arkansas Lady Razorbacks enter their final regular season meet with a 8-5 record and a RQS of 196.235. Arkansas is coming off its school-record and season-high performance of 196.625 at home on March 5. The Lady Razorbacks are ranked No. 18 on bars (49.075), No. 11 on beam (49.170), No. 20 on floor (49.275), and average 48.930 points on vault. Arkansas owns a 2-5 record versus ranked opponents, including a 0-4 record against ranked teams on the road. Co-head coaches Mark and Rene Cook enter their second season at the helm of the Lady Razorback program and own a 13-19-1 record. The Arkansas women's gymnastics program is in only its second year of existence.
Against Arkansas: Friday's competition will mark the first meeting between Arizona and Arkansas. This season, Arizona is 1-2 versus SEC opponents, registering a win and a loss against LSU, and a loss at Florida. Arizona has not hosted a SEC team for a regular-season home meet since March 20, 1992, when the Wildcats defeated LSU (195.050-188.450).
We compete in Tucson?: Arizona might have forgotten that it does compete at home in McKale Center, as the Wildcats compete at home on Friday for the first time in three weeks. Of the Wildcats' first 10 meets, only three of those meets have been in Tucson. Arizona owns a 2-0-1 home record.
Road Warriors: Arizona ended its regular-season road schedule last Friday at Florida. The Wildcats finished the regular season road schedule with a 5-5 mark, and a 1-4 road dual meet record. Arizona is 1-3 in its last three road meets, but posted scores of 197.050, 196.255, and 196.650 respectively. The Wildcats end the regular season with five-consecutive road scores of 196 or better, a school best.
Hottest in History: Arizona is on a current streak that has never been accomplished before in school history. Arizona has posted scores of 196 or better in seven-consecutive meets, a program first. Arizona's eight scores of 196 is season (and counting), is a school record for the number of times 196 has been scored in a season. Arizona has also posted two scores of 197 or better this season, which has never been done before in school history.
Vault Slump?: Arizona is soon to jump of its mini-vault skid, as the Wildcats have posted their two lowest vault marks of the season in the last two meets. The Wildcats posted a season-low 48.825 at Arizona State, and a 48.950 last week at Florida, after posting scores of 49.425 on vault in three of the previous four meets. Arizona is ranked fifth in the nation on vault, and has failed to score above 49 points on vault only twice this season.
The Number 49: For the Arizona gymnastics team, 49 equals success. In 10 meets, Arizona has scored 49 points or better in team events 28 times in 40 attempts. The Wildcats have already tied the school record of 28 team event scores of 49 or better in a season, which was set in 2002. Arizona has also scored 49 points or better in every team event in a meet three times this season, a feat only accomplished twice before this year.
Good, but not good enough: Wins and losses don't mean much in collegiate gymnastics, but it is always nice to get the W in each meet. So far this season, Arizona has posted eight scores of 196 or better this season, with five of those scores ranking on the school top-10 list, but are 4-4-1 when scoring over 196 points. Arizona is 3-2-1 this season when posting a score that ranks among the top-10 in school history.
History Lesson: It is always to a good thing when Arizona posts a score that ranks among the top-10 marks in school history, but that doesn't always translate into wins for the Wildcats. Of Arizona's top-10 performances in school history, the Wildcats own a record of 8-7-1 in those meets. The Wildcats are 2-5-1 in dual meets that rank on the top-10 list. Arizona's school record 197.375 came in a home loss against Oklahoma last season, as the Sooners posted a school record 197.725 over the Wildcats. Arizona has posted five of its 10 best scores in school history this season, and all 10 scores in the last three years.
She's on Fire: Senior Andi McCabe has been on fire for the Wildcats as of late. Friday against Florida, McCabe competed in the all-around for the third-straight meet, finishing fifth with a 39.400. McCabe also placed fourth on vault (9.850) and floor (9.900), and fifth on beam (9.875). McCabe has not competed in the all-around since her freshman season. On the year, McCabe has registered four vault titles, and 22 top-five finishes.
The Streak is over: Although Arizona was able to keep its streak of seven-consecutive meets scoring 196 points or better alive at Florida, the Wildcats failed to keep another notable streak alive. Arizona's streak of having at least one gymnast claim an individual-event title in each meet this season ended last Friday, as the Gators swept the individual titles. Wildcat gymnasts have combined for 26 individual titles so far this season.
The Beginning and the End: Arizona will end its regular season on Friday against Arkansas. You might remember that Arizona began the regular season undefeated, posting three wins at Michigan State to open 2004. Under head coach Bill Ryden, Arizona is 12-2 in season openers, including a 7-0 mark over the last three seasons, but is 4-4 under Ryden, and 3-3 over the last three seasons in final regular season meets.
Against Opponents: Arizona's 7-5-1, 2-3-1 Pac-10 record possesses some trend-setting details. So far this season, the Wildcats are 2-4-1 versus ranked opponents, 3-4-1 in dual-meet competition, and are 2-0-1 at home. Arizona is also 4-4-1 when scoring 196 or better in a meet, and is 5-1 versus unranked opponents.
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. 1, No. 3 Stanford, No. 8 Washington, No. 11 Arizona, No. 14 Oregon State, and No. 22 Arizona State.
Up Next: Arizona will next host the 2004 Pac-10 Championships on Saturday, March 20 at 6 p.m. (MST) in McKale Center.