Jan. 27, 2003
What's on Tap: The No. 13 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team (3-1, 1-1) will take on intrastate rival No. 6 Arizona State (4-1, 1-1) on Friday, Jan. 31 in McKale Center. The meet is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. (MST).
The Rankings: Entering its fourth meet of the season, Arizona is now the 13th ranked team in the nation. After three meets, Arizona is averaging a score of 195.383 per meet, with its highest mark coming against Oregon State on Jan. 17 (195.775). As a team, the Wildcats are ranked No. 18 in the nation on vault (48.750), 13th on bars (48.758), eighth on beam (49.050) and No. 18 in the nation on floor. Sophomore Monica Bisordi is currently ranked No. 20 in the nation in the all-around (39.217) and No. 18 on bars (9.850). Sophomore Jamie Schell is ranked 12th in the all-around (39.325) and No. 19 on beam (9.875). Junior Andi McCabe holds a national rank of 20th on vault (9.850).
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. From Jan. 27 to Feb. 17, teams and individuals will be ranked by total season average. Starting Feb. 24, 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 fifth season at the helm of the Arizona gymnastics program and holds a school and career record of 52-65-1. Ryden leads Arizona into 2003 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. 15 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team (3-1, 1-1) finished in second place with a score of 194.650 behind first-place Washington (197.00) in a triangular meet on Friday, Jan. 24, at Washington's Bank of America Arena. Arizona picked up a road victory by finishing ahead of third-place San Jose State (193.275).
Arizona placed second in each team category behind Pac-10 rival Washington (2-1). The Wildcats posted team marks of 48.300 on vault, 48.850 on bars, 48.750 on beam and 48.750 on floor. The Huskies team total of 197.000 is Washington's second-best mark in team history.
Individually for the Wildcats, sophomore Monica Bisordi finished fifth in the all-around (38.875), placed fourth on bars with a career-high 9.875 and tied for fourth place on floor (9.875). Sophomore Katie Johnson tied with Bisordi on floor with a mark of 9.875. Freshman Abby Pearson led the way for the Wildcats on vault, tying for fifth place with a score of 9.825.
Sophomore Jamie Duce made her all-around debut for the Wildcats, finishing with an all-around score of 38.525. Duce, Johnson and sophomore Stevie Fanning each tied for sixth place on beam with marks of 9.750.
About the Sun Devils: The Arizona State University Sun Devils enter Friday's meet as the No. 6 ranked team in the nation, owning a meet average of 196.317 and a 4-1,1-1 overall record. ASU is coming off a pair of record-setting performances, heading into Friday's meet with Arizona. On Jan. 17, the Sun Devils posted a 197.300 in a home win over the Washington Huskies and scored a 197.450 against currently No. 1 ranked Utah in a road victory last Friday (Jan. 24). ASU is also ranked No. 10 in the nation on vault (48.933), No. 6 on bars (49.100), fifth on beam (49.142) and No. 9 on floor (49.142). For the Sun Devils, junior All-American Maggie Germaine is ranked fifth in the nation in the all-around (39.600), No. 12 on vault (9.887), No. 18 on bars (9.858) and No. 12 on floor (9.908).
The Sun Devils return 10 gymnasts from their 2002 roster. Head Coach John Spini (Arizona State, 1976) enters his 23rd season at the helm of the ASU program and owns a career record of 283-101-2.
Last Season: Arizona and Arizona State met up three times in 2002, with the Wildcats winning the season series 2-1. The Cats and Devils met for the first time last season in Tempe, Ariz., when Arizona State defeated Arizona with a record score of, 197.850-196.000. ASU and Arizona hooked up for a second time in Palo Alto, Calif., for the Pac-10 Championships, where Arizona placed second with a record score of 197.050 and ASU finished sixth (194.125). Arizona and ASU met for a second time in Tempe for the South Central Regional Championships. The Cats edged Arizona State, 194.950-194.875, to finish second in the meet and earn a berth to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 1996. Arizona's win over the Sun Devils was its first at Arizona State since 1987.
The Rivalry: It is no surprise that the Arizona vs. Arizona State intrastate rivalry brings out the best in both gymnastics programs. When these two teams match up, record scores seem to be the norm in each meet. For Arizona, its first (197.050), second (196.900), third (196.700) and fourth (196.300) highest team scores in school history have come against Arizona State. For ASU, its team record score of 197.850 and its second highest team score in program history (197.450) were set against Arizona.
The last time these two teams met up in Tucson, Arizona State beat Arizona, 197.450-196.900, on March 2, 2001. The scores of 197.450 and 196.900 were at the time records for each team.
A Matter of Miles: Although Arizona has only beaten ASU twice since 1987 in Tempe, the Wildcats have enjoyed much success against the Sun Devils in Tucson. Arizona has won three of the last five meets versus Arizona State in Tucson and has won two of the last three meeting versus the Sun Devils overall. Head Coach Bill Ryden is 3-7 overall against his alma mater, but is 1-1 versus Arizona State in McKale Center.
ASU Ties: Although the Arizona vs. Arizona State rivalry is fueled by hatred, many members of the Arizona gymnastics program have ties to ASU. Head Coach Bill Ryden earned a B.S.E. in aerospace engineering from ASU in 1983 and competed for the Sun Devils in gymnastics from 1978 to 1983. Three UA gymnasts, senior Nikki Beyschau (Glendale, Ariz.), junior Amanda Goins (Fountain Hills, Ariz.) and sophomore Stevie Fanning (Scottsdale, Ariz.) all hail from the Phoenix area.
Against Ranked Opponents: In three meets thus far, Arizona holds a 2-0 record versus ranked opponents. The Wildcats defeated No. 11 Minnesota and No. 10 Oregon State in consecutive weeks. Arizona's only defeat came last week against unranked Washington. Arizona is also 2-0 in dual meets heading into Friday's match up with Arizona State.
Vaulting to the Top: Freshman Abby Pearson has made solid contributions in the Wildcat vault lineup. The Canada native has led the team on vault the last two meets with scores of 9.850 against Oregon State and 9.825 against Washington and San Jose State.
A first for Duce: Sophomore Jamie Duce competed for the first time as an all-arounder for Arizona against Washington and San Jose State, posting an all-around mark of 38.525 and a career-first vault score of 9.475.
Cats on the Radio: The Arizona Gymnastics team will make a series of guest appearances to two Tucson radio stations throughout the season. On every Thursday before a home meet, the Wildcats can be heard on KiiM-FM Tucson's Country Leader's early morning show. On each Wednesday, the Cats will join Rich Herrera on Fox Sports Radio 1290 AM.
Up Next: Arizona will travel to Columbia, Mo., for the 2003 Cat Classic on Friday, Feb. 7 and Saturday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. (CST). The Wildcats will face Missouri, BYU and New Hampshire.