What's Coming Up - The Arizona women's gymnastics team (4-13, 1-6 Pac-10) closes out a two-meet homestand this week, as the Wildcats prepare to battle the No. 9 Arizona State Sun Devils (6-4, 4-2 Pac-10) on Friday, March 2, at 7:30 p.m. MST, in McKale Center... Arizona will honor its three seniors - Kara Fry, Mary Reiss and Heather Straccia - in a ceremony prior to the start of Friday's meet... The Wildcats are looking for their first win since defeating both Oregon State and Denver at home on Feb. 2 in McKale Center... UA came within .100 of defeating fifth-ranked Stanford last Friday... Even though the Wildcats fell short of the win, Arizona tallied a season-high team total (196.200) and season-high marks on vault (49.025), bars (49.375) and beam (48.975)... Arizona's new season-high team total is the second-best team mark in school history... Senior Kara Fry, who was named Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week for Feb. 5-12, posted a career-high 39.525 in the all-around, and the score is the second-highest mark on the all-time top-10 performers' list... This week's meet marks the third of five dual meets that Arizona will compete in prior to the Pac-10 Championship meet on March 24... Arizona will face Minnesota on March 10 in Minneapolis, Minn., and the Cats close out the regular season against North Carolina State at home on March 14... On the opponent side, Arizona State is one of seven Pac-10 teams ranked in the national top-25 poll this week... The Sun Devils tallied three wins last weekend over California, Boise State, and UC Santa Barbara... Arizona State is the only Pac-10 team to defeat the top-ranked UCLA Bruins this season.
Arizona vs. Arizona State in 2000 - Last season, Arizona and Arizona State met three different times during the 2000 season... On March 10, Arizona State defeated Arizona, 195.800-195.200, in Tempe, Ariz... At the Pac-10 Championships on March 18, Arizona State finished in fourth place (195.875), while Arizona ended the meet in eighth (192.950)... In their final meeting at the NCAA Regional Championships on April 1 in Tucson, Ariz., the Sun Devils once again edged the Wildcats for third place with a score of 195.500, and Arizona finished the meet in fourth place with a score of 194.100.
Head Coach Bill Ryden's Weekly Analysis - "We are trying so hard to win a meet, and it is frustrating to not be able to hit a complete meet. We came really close against Stanford, and we are just going to keep working hard to improve week after week. Kara (Fry) is really one of the top all-arounders in the country, and she is having her best season. Overall, we had a great effort last week, and we hit three event season highs, so we have a lot to build upon in the next few weeks. ASU has a great gymnastics program, and Friday's meet is going to be another big challenge for our team."
Arizona's Last Time Out - The University of Arizona women's gymnastics team dropped a close Pac-10 meet to the fifth-ranked Stanford Cardinal, 196.200-196.300, in front of a crowd of 602, in McKale Center on Feb. 23. Although Arizona lost by only .100, the Wildcats posted a season-high team total of 196.200 that ranks as the second-best team mark in school history. Arizona dropped to 4-13 overall and 1-6 in the Pac-10 Conference, while Stanford improved to 9-3 on the season and 4-1 in the conference.
In addition to its season-high team total, UA also set three team event season-high marks on vault (49.025), bars, (49.375) and beam (48.975). Arizona's bars score tied the third-best total in school history, and the beam score is seventh on the all-time scoring list. UA's season-high 49.025 tied the eighth-best vault rotation score in school history. Eight Wildcat gymnasts - Nikki Beyschau, Lindsay Compitello, Nicci Filchner, Kara Fry, Randi Liljenquist, Andi McCabe, Mary Reiss and Heather Straccia - each set or tied season-high and career-high marks in the meet.
UA trailed Stanford, 49.025-49.225, following the first rotation, but the Wildcats cut the Cardinal lead to .100 after UA's season high on bars in the second rotation. Stanford increased its lead by .225 entering the fourth and final rotation. The Wildcats roared back on floor with career-high performances from seniors Kara Fry and Mary Reiss, but the Wildcats were unable to catch the Cardinal squad in the final stretch. Stanford senior Jen Exaltacion's 9.925 (first place) on beam in the final rotation helped seal the win for the Cardinal.
Arizona and Stanford split the four team events. The Wildcats won the bars and beam events, while Stanford edged the Wildcats on vault and floor.
Individually for the Wildcats, senior Kara Fry set a career-high 39.525 in the all-around and won her third all-around title this season. Fry's 39.525 tied the second-highest score on the UA's all-time top-10 performers' list. Fry also set a career-high 9.950 on bars and tied for first-place honors. Fry's 9.950 on bars tied the third-best all-time individual score. She finished second on beam with a 9.875 and tied a career-high 9.900 on floor and tied for second place.
Junior All-American Randi Liljenquist posted a career-high 9.875 on vault and finished in second place. Liljenquist's new vault score is the No. 8 score on the all-time top-10 list. Liljenquist won the floor title with a 9.925 and tied for third on bars with a season-high 9.900. She ended the meet in second place in the all-around with a season-high 39.475.
Sophomore Nikki Beyschau tied for first-place honors on bars and scored a career-high 9.950, which tied the third-highest individual bars score in school history. She also tied a season-high 9.850 on vault and tied for third in the event. Senior Mary Reiss helped pace the Arizona lineup on floor, as she tied a career-high 9.900 and tied for second in the event. In her only event of the meet, senior Nicci Filchner tied a career-high 9.825 on bars. Senior Heather Straccia scored a season-high 9.725 on vault and set a career-high 9.750 on bars.
Freshman Andi McCabe made her collegiate debut in the all-around, finishing in seventh overall with a career-high 38.575. McCabe scored a career-high 9.675 in her first collegiate performance on bars. She posted a career-high 9.850 on beam and finished third in the event. Sophomore Lindsay Compitello tied a career-high 9.775 on beam and finished in sixth place.
Scouting Arizona State - The No. 9 Arizona State Sun Devils (6-4, 4-2 Pac-10) enter this weekend's competition after defeating California, Boise State and UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 23... Arizona State's team total of 197.125 tied a school record in last Friday's meet... ASU was led by junior Laura Moon who scored her first perfect 10.000 on bars... Moon also earned a career-high all-around total of 39.525... ASU is the only Pac-10 team to defeat the top-ranked UCLA Bruins this season... The Sun Devils rank second in the South Central Region - three spots ahead of the Wildcats - and the team's season-high total for the year is a 197.125... Arizona State ranks sixth on beam, 13th on bars, 14th on vault and 17th on floor in the national poll... At the regional level, the Sun Devils check in at No. 1 on beam, No. 2 on vault and bars and No. 5 on floor... Freshman Maggie Germaine is ranked No. 24 in the national all-around rankings... Junior Laura Moon is tied for ninth on bars and tied for 23rd on beam in the national rankings... The Sun Devils opened the season with a third-place finish behind UCLA and Nebraska at the Maui Invitational... Arizona State head coach John Spini (Arizona State, '76) is in his 21st year at the helm of the Sun Devil program and holds a 258-91-1 overall school and career record.
Wildcats in the Rankings - Arizona broke into the top 25 this week for the first time since the squad began the 2001 season ranked No. 20 in the preseason coaches' poll... Arizona moved up seven spots in the rankings after checking in at No. 29 last week... This week, 11 of Arizona's 2001 opponents - UCLA, Utah, Stanford, Arizona State, Oregon State, California, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Washington, Denver and Cal State Fullerton - are ranked in the Feb. 26 national gymnastics poll... UA is ranked No. 19 on vault, No. 17 on beam and No. 12 on floor in the national poll... Junior Randi Liljenquist is No. 11 in the all-around, No. 13 on floor and No. 15 on beam... Senior Kara Fry checks in this week at No. 20 in the national all-around rankings... Arizona is currently No. 5 in the South Central Regional rankings... The Cats are third on floor, fourth on vault and beam and seventh on bars... In the individual regional rankings, Liljenquist is first on floor, second in the all-around, second on beam, ninth on vault and tied for 25th on bars... Fry is fifth in the all-around, tied for third on beam, 11th on floor, ninth on bars and 19th on vault... Sophomore Nikki Beyschau is 12th on vault and 20th on bars... Senior Mary Reiss is tied for sixth on floor... Senior Heather Straccia checks in at No. 20 on floor... In terms of schedule strength, 10 of Arizona's 2001 opponents were ranked in the preseason coaches' poll... Six Pac-10 teams - UCLA (1), Stanford (7), Arizona State (11), Oregon State (12), Washington (16) and Arizona (20) - were ranked in the preseason poll... Women's gymnastics rankings are posted every Monday at: www.troester.com/gym/WRankings.
Arizona in the Record Books - Arizona's season-high team total of 196.200, which was set in the Stanford meet on Feb. 23, now ranks as the second-highest team total in school history... Arizona's 196.200 mark was only .100 from breaking the current team record of 196.300 that was set on March 26, 1999, against Arizona State... Against Stanford, the Wildcats also tallied two season-high scores on vault (49.025) and bars (49.375)... Arizona's bars score tied the third-best total in school history, and the vault mark tied the eighth-best vault rotation score in UA history... UA's season-high beam score of 48.975, which the team scored in the Stanford meet on Feb. 23, is seventh on the all-time scoring list... The score was a stark improvement from the 47.575 mark that the Wildcats posted in the first meet of the season against North Carolina State, New Hampshire and James Madison... Arizona posted a season-high 49.300 floor score on Feb. 11 against UCLA, Washington and Cal State Fullerton at the UCLA Invitational... The score tied the second-highest floor rotation mark in school history and was only .075 from matching Arizona's school record of 49.375, which Arizona set last year against Minnesota.
UA's Top-10 Performers - Junior All-American Randi Liljenquist posted a career-high 9.875 on vault in the Stanford meet, and the score is the No. 8 mark on the all-time top-10 list... Senior Kara Fry and sophomore Nikki Beyschau each scored career-high marks of 9.950 on bars in the Stanford meet, and they are tied for the third-best individual bars score in school history... In the Stanford meet, Fry also posted a career-high 39.525 in the all-around, which tied the second-highest score on the UA's all-time top-10 performers' list... Fry and freshman Andi McCabe each posted career-high marks of 9.850 on vault against Washington on Feb. 18... Both Fry and McCabe vaulted into the Arizona record books by matching UA's No. 9 all-time individual vault score... Fry has broken into all five of the individual event categories thus far in her stellar gymnastics career... Fry is tied for No. 6 on beam (9.900) and tied for No. 5 on floor (9.900)... Fry tied her career-high 9.900 on beam in the UCLA Invitational on Feb. 11, as she defeated three U.S. Olympians en route to the beam event title... McCabe posted her career-high 9.850 in only her third collegiate vault competition... Previously, McCabe scored a 9.000 in her collegiate vault debut against Denver and Oregon State on Feb. 2, and she posted a 9.700 at the UCLA Invitational.
Cat Scratches - Arizona head coach Bill Ryden is in his third year at the helm of the program (11th overall at Arizona) and holds a 25-42-1 career and school record... Arizona notched two victories over North Carolina State and James Madison on the road in the first meet of the 2001 season... UA is 1-7 in neutral contests, 1-4 in away meets and 2-2 at home this season... Six of Arizona's eight freshman have competed this season... So far this year, 13 Wildcat gymnasts have set or tied season-high and career-high marks... Junior Randi Liljenquist leads the team with nine individual event titles, including two all-around titles... Liljenquist also has 27 top-five finishes... Senior Kara Fry has eight individual event titles, including three all-around championships, and 22 top-five finishes... Freshman Aimee Estella has a vault title and two top-five finishes... Senior Mary Reiss has posted five top-five finishes... Sophomore Nikki Beyschau has six top-five performances and one bars title... Freshman Andi McCabe has three top-five performances... Senior Heather Straccia has two top-five finishes... Freshmen Cori Messina and Sheehan Lemley and senior Nicci Filchner each have one top-five finish entering this weekend's meet.
Injury Update - Freshmen Aimee Estella and Meagan Killpack will sit out the remainder of the season after suffering ACL injuries... Estella, who won a vault title in the first meet of the season at North Carolina State, tore her ACL on the landing of her bar dismount during practice on Feb. 8... Killpack, a walk-on, suffered the same injury on the first tumbling pass in a floor exercise exhibition at the UCLA Invitational on Feb. 11... Estella competed in five meets in her first season, and Killpack competed in three meets... Estella posted career-high marks on vault (9.800), bars (9.175) and beam (9.750), and Killpack set career-high marks on bars (9.100), beam (9.325) and floor (9.650).
A Look Ahead - Next week, Arizona travels to Minneapolis, Minn., to face the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday, March 10, at 6 p.m. MST... The Wildcats then return to McKale Center to close out the regular season against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on Wednesday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m.