March 1, 2004
What's on Tap: The No. 9 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team (7-4-1, 2-3-1 Pac-10) will travel to Gainesville, Fla., for its third-consecutive road meet to take on the No. 7 Florida Gators (12-5) on Friday, March 5, at 7 p.m. (EST).
The Rankings: Arizona leaped two spots this week to No. 9 in the nation rankings with a RQS of 196.750, the Wildcats' highest average of the year. Arizona scored its season high 197.300 on Friday, Feb. 20 against the Washington Huskies. The Wildcats rank fifth in the nation on vault (49.335), No. 13 on bars (49.095), No. 9 on beam (49.155), and are No. 12 on floor (49.345). Individually for Arizona, senior Andi McCabe ranks seventh in the nation on vault (9.935), and sophomore Abby Pearson is No. 15 (9.900) on vault. Junior Katie Johnson and junior Monica Bisordi rank No. 11 (9.930) and No. 12 (9.925) on floor, and junior Jamie Duce ranks No. 19 on bars (9.890). Bisordi also ranks No. 8 in the all-around (39.480).
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 alone. Starting Feb. 23, 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 sixth season at the helm of the Arizona gymnastics program and holds a school and career record of 63-86-2. 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. 11 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team dropped its Pac-10 road meet at Arizona State, 196.225-197.700, Friday night before a crowd of 1151 in Wells Fargo Arena. Arizona was able to post a score of 196 or better for a school-record sixth consecutive meet.
Arizona took home the team-beam title, posting a 49.250 in the event, the fifth-best mark in school history. Arizona also scored 49.375 on floor, the 10th-best mark in school history, and managed a 48.775 on bars and a season-low 48.825 on vault. Arizona State's 197.700 is the fifth-best mark in school history.
Individually for Arizona, junior Jamie Duce earned the Wildcats' only individual-event title, tying for first place on bars with a career-high 9.925. Junior Monica Bisordi placed fourth on vault (9.900), bars (9.900), and floor (9.950), and finished fifth on beam (9.850).
Senior Andi McCabe placed third on vault (9.950) and second on beam with a career-high 9.900. Senior Sheehan Lemley shared second-place honors with McCabe on beam with a career-high 9.900, and junior Katie Johnson finished third on floor (9.975). Sophomore Abby Pearson placed fourth on vault (9.900).
Arizona surrendered an early lead to Arizona State, after the Sun Devils posted a school-record 49.650 on vault to open the meet, to the Wildcats' 48.775 on bars. In the second rotation, Arizona was unable to keep pace with Arizona State's 49.500 on bars, managing a season-low 48.825 on vault. The Wildcats trailed the Sun Devils, 97.600-99.150, at the middle mark.
Arizona cut into the Sun Devils' lead in the third rotation, posting a 49.375 on floor to Arizona State's 48.725 on beam, and trailed, 146.975-147.875, heading into the final rotation. Arizona State pulled away in the final rotation, posting a school-record 49.825 on floor, while Arizona managed a 49.250 on beam.
The Arizona State Sun Devils combined for two school records (vault and floor), four perfect 10s, and 17 individual scores that either tied or set career-highs.
About the Gators: The No. 7 University of Florida Gators enter Friday's action with a 12-5 record, and a RQS of 196.965. The Gators are 4-1 in their last three meets, and their season-high score of 197.375 came in their last home meet against Arkansas on Feb. 20. Florida looks to rebound from Sunday's loss at Nebraska, where the Gators were able to defeat Arizona State and Illinois. The Gators rank No. 13 in the nation on vault (49.190), fourth on bars (49.325), second on beam (49.365), and No. 20 on floor (49.240). Junior Erinn Dooley leads Florida with a No. 12 ranking in the all-around (39.425). Head coach Rhonda Faehn (UCLA '94) is in her second season at the helm of the Gator program and owns a career record of 39-10.
Against Florida: Arizona has not faced Florida during the regular season since Feb. 20, 1999, when the Wildcats defeated the Gators (192.575-190.475) in Los Angeles. Arizona and Florida were both competitors at the 2002 NCAA Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where the Gators finished tenth, ahead of No. 11 Arizona.
Road Warriors: Arizona is finally at the end of a three-meet road trip. Six of Arizona's nine meets this season have been road contests, with the Wildcats owning a 5-4 record on the road, and a 1-3 road dual meet record. Arizona is 1-2 in its last two road meets, but posted scores of 197.050 and 196.255 respectively. The Wildcats have posted four-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 six-consecutive meets, a program first. Arizona's seven 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.
How good are they?: How many teams in the nation can score a 196.225 on the road and consider it a bad meet? Arizona can, as the Wildcats were forced to count two falls on Friday at Arizona State, but posted a 49.250 on beam, the fifth-best mark in school history, and a 49.375 on floor, the tenth-best mark in school history.
Rebounding on vault: Look for Arizona to rebound against Florida from its season-low vault performance at Arizona State. The Wildcats finished Friday's meet with a 48.825, after posting scores of 49.425 on vault in three of the previous four meets, and scores of 49 points or better on vault in every meet this season except Friday.
Best Ever: Some might argue differently, but on paper, the 2004 Arizona Wildcats are looking like the best team in school history. So far this season, Arizona has posted six scores in the last eight meets that ranked on the school's top-10 all-time list. The Wildcats have already posted two scores of 197 or better this season, as Arizona only had two scores of 197 or better in the program's entire history before this year. The Wildcats have also posted 14 team-event scores that ranked on the top-10 all-time list. Here's a look at how Arizona has demolished its record books so far this season:
All-Time Meet Totals:
2. 197.300 Feb. 20 vs. Washington
3. 197.050 Feb. 23 at Texas Woman's & LSU
7. 196.750 Feb. 6 vs. California
8. 196.725 Jan. 16 vs. UCLA
9. 196.700 Feb. 13 at Oregon State
11. 196.525 Jan. 31 at Illinois-Chicago
13. 196.255 Feb. 27 at Arizona State
The Number 49: For the Arizona gymnastics team, 49 equals success. In nine meets, Arizona has scored 49 points or better in team events 25 times in 36 attempts. That number has already passed last year's total, as Arizona managed 49 points or better 23 times in 13 meets. The Wildcats are three 49s away from the school record 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.
Perfect Cats: Arizona received two perfect scores on Monday, Feb. 23 against Texas Woman's and LSU, as senior Andi McCabe and junior Katie Johnson became the seventh and eighth Wildcat gymnasts in school history to record perfect 10s. McCabe posted her first-career 10.000 on vault, becoming the fourth gymnast in Arizona history to do so in the event. Johnson landed her first-career perfect 10 on floor, becoming the third Arizona gymnast to accomplish such a feat on floor.
She's on Fire: Senior Andi McCabe has been on fire for the Wildcats as of late. Last week, McCabe posted a perfect 10 on vault on Monday, Feb. 23, finishing first in the all-around with a career-high 39.575, the fourth-best score in school history. She also finished fourth on beam with a career-high 9.875, and tallied a career-high 9.900 on floor. Monday night's performance was McCabe's first all-around competition since her freshman year at Arizona. To follow that performance, McCabe placed third on vault (9.950) and second on beam with a career-high 9.900 on Friday at Arizona State. On the season, McCabe has registered four vault titles, and 18 top-five finishes.
Titlist: For two consecutive meets, junior Jamie Duce has single handedly kept an Arizona season streak alive. Against LSU and Texas Woman's University, Duce racked up Arizona's only two individual titles, tying for first place honors on bars (9.900), her fourth of the season, and on beam (9.900). Against Arizona State, Duce earned the Wildcats' only individual-event title again, tying for first place on bars with a career-high 9.925. At least one Arizona gymnast has claimed an individual-event title in each meet this season, combining for 26 individual titles.
Against Opponents: Arizona's 7-4-1, 2-2-1 Pac-10 record possesses some trend-setting details. So far this season, the Wildcats are 2-3-1 versus ranked competition, 3-3-1 in dual-meet competition, and are 5-4 on the road. Arizona is also 4-3-1 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. 5 Stanford, No. 9 Arizona, No. 12 Washington, No. 13 Oregon State, and No. 23 Oregon State.
Up Next: Arizona returns home to Tucson after three-consecutive road meets, and three weeks since its last home meet to host Arkansas on Friday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m. (MST), in McKale Center.