March 24, 2010
The University of Arizona GymCats head into the post season ranked No. 23 in the nation and fifth in the Pac-10. The Wildcats hope to improve this standing with their first post season meet -- the Pac-10 Championships -- this Saturday. The GymCats have a home team advantage, hosting the meet in the McKale Center on Saturday March 27, at 4 p.m. Tickets are available through the McKale Center Ticket Office, and will be $10 for general admission and $6 for Seniors and youth.
After a huge effort from the Wildcats throughout the meet, No. 20 Arizona beat California (192.450) but lost to No. 19 Denver 195.400 to 195.325 on the road.
Despite a rough start on the bars and beam, Arizona made a huge comeback in the second half of the meet, making up a deficit of over eight tenths to give the Pioneers a run for their money.
Highlights included senior Sarah Tomczyk and sophomore Britnie Jones on bars, earning same scores of 9.825 as well as second place on the event. Tomczyk was a star for the team on floor as well, earning a score of 9.90 to win the event.
Sophomore Deanna Graham earned a score of 9.90 as well, but on the vault rotation leading the team to a total score of 49.150 - the fifth score of 49 or better the Wildcats have earned this season.
“I was very excited about how we vaulted; it was one of our best vaulting efforts. The best thing about vault though was the emotion – the team was not going to give up no matter what, how can you not love that passion and fight?” Ryden said.
Despite a valiant run in the second half of the meet, the GymCats fell to Denver by only 0.75 but topped the Golden Bears by 2.875.
Emotion is the name of the game:
After several weeks of fighting to come from behind, one would think that the GymCats may be a little bit tired. Instead, however, these nail biter meets seem to feed the Wildcats, and add fire to their emotion.
In the meet against Denver, Head Coach Bill Ryden’s favorite thing about the meet was the fight he saw in his team.
“Throughout floor you could see the emotion in the team. They were willing to give it absolutely everything they had to try and bring up the score.” Ryden said, “This was the absolute best thing about the meet. You could tell that the girls were not going to give up no matter what - how can you not love that passion?”
What’s Coming Up:
The GymCats travel to compete in the 2010 NCAA Regional Competition - location TBA. This will be Arizona’s 24th straight NCAA Appearance.
The Wildcats completed the 2009 season with an overall record of 12-12 and were able to make their 23rd consecutive NCAA post-season appearance. Thanks to a pristine floor exercise performance, then Junior Sarah Tomcyzk was able to take it one step further and competed floor at the NCAA National Championships. In addition, three Gymcats earned All-Conference accolades, including freshman Deanna Graham (2nd Team Vault), freshman Rebecca Cardenas (2nd Team Floor), and redshirt junior Sarah Tomczyk (1st Team Floor).
Look Out for New Gymcats:
Arizona bolsters a fairly young team, including four fresh new faces. These include: Aubree Cristello from Glenville, NY, Mykle Douglas from Plano, TX, Ellen Pitluck from Chicago, IL, and Molly Quirk from Glenmont, NY.
The Arizona Gymcats head into the season ranked No. 20 in the 2010 Women’s Pre-Season Coaches poll. They are one of only five Pac-10 schools to be rated. The others include No. 4 UCLA, No. 7 Stanford, No 10 Oregon State, and No. 25 Washington. Arizona State was listed as another team receiving votes for consideration.
Arizona faces an extremely stacked schedule this season, competing against nine schools ranked in the pre-season poll. This includes some tough meets early on, including opening the season against No. 8 Arkansas, then No. 7 Stanford immediately after. The Gymcats must also take on No. 5 UCLA, No. 10 Oregon State, No. 3 Alabama, No. 15 Nebraska, No. 21 West Virginia, No. 22 Minnesota, and No. 25 Washington.
Pac-10 Championships in the Desert:
Arizona will have the honor of hosting the Pac-10 Championships on March 27 at 4 p.m. The last time the Wildcats hosted the championships was in 2004. Tickets are available for purchase through the McKale Center Ticket Office.