March 11, 2009
The No. 19 Arizona gymnastics squad (6-5) heads out to Maryland for its final regular season meet of the season when it faces off against Yale, No. 15 Penn State and Maryland at 4:00 p.m. Saturday.
Winning its fifth meet in a row, the No. 16 Arizona gymnastics team beat Denver in the team’s final home meet of the season 195.350 – 195.025.
Vault: Freshman Deanna Graham scored a 9.9 for the third time this season and senior Bree Workman followed close behind with a 9.875 to get the Wildcats a solid 48.975 to Denver’s 48.975.
Bars: The Wildcats scored another 48.975 to Denver’s 49.050. The team was led by senior Alexis Greene and junior Sarah Tomczyk, who both posted 9.85’s.
Beam: Senior Briana Bergeson paced the Wildcats with a 9.825 and led the team to a 48.8.
Floor: Arizona struggled on the floor with a 48.6, but Bree Workman posted her second 9.875 of the meet to lead the team.
All-Around: The Wildcats did not have a gymnasts compete in the all-aorund.
Scouting the Opposition:
No. 15 Penn State- This will be the fifth time the Wildcats have faced off against a ranked opponent in 2009. The Nittney Lions are coming off a win over West Virginia in which the team scored a 196.225, their second highest team score of the season. Penn State is led by four all-around gymnasts who provide a big portion of the team’s scoring.
Maryland- Maryland is coming off a 194.300 performance in last week’s meet with North Carolina. Terrapin’s head coach Bob Nelligan will be coaching in this final regular season meet of his career as he is due to retire after this season. He currently has 489 career wins.
Yale- Yale is coming off a 183.5 against Townsend last weekend. The Bulldogs highest meet score of the season has been a 195.200.
Rotation 1: Maryland, vault/ Yale, bars/ Arizona, beam/ Penn State, floor.
Rotation 2: Penn State, vault/ Maryland, bars/ Yale, beam/ Arizona, floor.
Rotation 3: Arizona vault/ Penn State, bars/ Maryland, beam/ Yale, floor.
Rotation 4: Yale, vault/ Arizona, bars/ Penn State, beam/ Maryland, floor.
Arizona will start on beam for the first time this season. The Wildcats only other multi-team meet came at home, so the team started on vault.
Saluting the Seniors:
During the Wildcats; annual Senior Night, Arizona’s four senior responded with some solid routines. The class held the team-high scores in each event except vault where they finished a close second. Bree Workman registered two 9.875’s, on each vault and floor. Briana Bergeson posted a 9.825 on beam to pace the team and Alexis Greene put up a 9.85 to lead the team on bars. Also Erica Anderson performed two exhibition routines, on bars and for the first time in her career on floor.
Arizona head coach Bill Ryden could pick up his 150th career win this weekend. The coach currently sits at 148 and if the Wildcats finish second or higher, Ryden will reach the mark.
On a Roll:
Arizona has won five straight meets that have accounted for six wins. In that stretched they have scored their three highest scores of the season and their top two road scores.
What’s Coming Up:
Arizona heads to Palo Alto, Calif. to compete in the yearly conference championship Saturday, March 21st at 4:00 p.m.
Arizona debuted five freshmen in its season-opening meet at Minnesota Rebecca Cardenas competed in bars (9.700) and floor (9.625). Talyn Curry and Deanna Graham competed in vault and scored 9.625 and 9.800 respectively. On the bars, Britnie Jones and Katie Matusik also made their debuts scoring 9.150 and 9.175 respectively.
The Wildcats finished the year 14-11 and competed in the postseason for the 22nd consecutive season. One of the season highlights came in Tempe, Ariz., where for the first time since 1987, Arizona beat rival ASU in a dual/away meet. Arizona had beat ASU in unbiased meets in the Pac-10s and Regionals, but in Tempe during the regular season since 1987.
Meet the newcomers:
The Arizona roster features six freshman including Rebecca Cardenas from Honolulu, HI, Talyn Curry from Westborough, Mass., Deanna Graham from Tucson, Ariz., Britnie Jones from Phoenix, Ariz., Katie Matusik from McKinney Tx., and Jillian O’Neal from Fountain Hills, Ariz.
The Wildcats opened the season with a No. 18 national ranking and are one of five Pac-10 teams in the preseason coaches’ poll. UCLA leads the way at No. 4, including gathering four firs t place votes. Stanford ended up right behind the Bruins at No. 5, Oregon State came in at No. 9, Arizona was No. 18 and Arizona State fell in at No. 24. Washington and Cal fell under the Other Teams Receiving Votes category.
Arizona will be faced with the challenge of playing some of the best teams in the country in 2009. The Wildcats compete against six teams in the preseason top-25, including opening the season with four straight weeks against top-25 opponents including No. 22 Minnesota, No. 4 UCLA, No. 9 Oregon State and No. 5 Stanford. The other two ranked opponents Arizona faces are No. 14 Denver and No. 13 Penn State.
Head coach Bill Ryden holds a career and school record of 148-142-3 in his ten years at Arizona. Ryden should get to his 150th career win in 2009.