No. 19 Arizona at No. 12 Stanford, Sacramento State
Sunday, Jan. 19 // 3 p.m. (MST)
Live Stats: http://gymrankings.com/live?id=52dc34ddaba7030200000012
TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona gymnastics team is heading to Stanford, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 19, for its second regular meet of the season and first conference meeting. The No. 19-ranked Cats will be competing against No. 12 Stanford and Sacramento State at 3 p.m. MST.
“This meet is important for us because it starts our conference season, and in our conference which is so strong, everything counts,” head coach Bill Ryden said. “The real issue is that we want to get better. We had three pretty good events and one event that we needed to improve on last week. Stanford is a very good program obviously; they have been a top 10 program recently. Sacramento State is also a very good program, so from a win-loss standpoint we can’t slip up at all. We are looking forward to the meet. It should be easy travel with nice weather, and our girls are a lot healthier.”
Last week in Chicago, the Cats came away with a win against Illinois-Chicago in their season opener, 194.750-190.000.
Live stats will be available the day of the competition HERE. There will also be updates on Facebook.com/ArizonaGymnastics and on Twitter @AZGymnastics.
Scouting the Opposition:
Stanford: After losing two seniors, Stanford returns eleven gymnasts and welcome six new freshmen and two returning seniors. The Cardinal is coming off of a win last Sunday, Jan. 11, against previously No. 8 Georgia in which it was led by sophomore Taylor Rice. Stanford is coached by Kristen Smyth who is entering her 12th year with the team. Last year, Stanford finished fourth in the Pac-12 and beat Arizona by less than a point during a home quad meet.
Sacramento State: Coached by Kim Hughes, who is entering his 31st season as head coach, the team returns six seniors and welcomes four freshmen on the team. The Hornets are led by seniors Kailey Hansen and Kalliah McCarthy. Last year, Sacramento State went 9-14. They are coming off of a third place finish behind Arizona State and San Jose State.
2013 Arizona Review:
The Wildcats completed the 2013 season with a season record of 17-15 and advanced to their 27th consecutive NCAA Regional Championships. Finishing sixth, overall, at the Pac-12 Championships and third in the NCAA Regional Championships, Arizona rounded out the season ranked No. 17 in the nation.
Arizona was led by senior Aubree Cristello, who was the lone qualifier to the NCAA National Championships for all-around. Cristello was one of the team’s top all-around athletes, tying her career-high 39.475 three times as well as finishing her career with 2001.250 points, the second highest in program history.
Numerous freshmen stepped up despite roster injuries including Jessie Sisler and Shelby Edwards. Both freshmen received at least one Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Week award during the season. Sisler recorded a career-high 9.925, giving her one of the top program scores on floor. Edwards provided depth on beam recording scores despite an elbow injury that required her to perform an armless routine.
Look Out for New GymCats:
The Wildcats added a number of new faces this season, including two Arizona natives, Krysten Howard out of Phoenix and Selynna Felix-Terrazas from Tucson. Gabby Laub hails from Owasso, Okla., while Mackenzie Valentin comes from Mustang Okla. Also added to the roster is former gymnastics manager and Plano, Texas, native Shay Fox. All of these gymnasts were top J.O. competitors and should make an immediate impact in the lineups this season.
The Arizona gymnastics team heads into the season ranked No. 17 in the 2014 Women’s Pre-Season Coaches poll. The Wildcats are one of eight Pac-12 schools to place within the top 25, including No. 4 UCLA, No. 6 Utah, No. 9 Stanford, No. 12 Oregon State, No. 20 Washington, No. 22 California and No. 25 Arizona State.
Complete pre-season rankings can be found here: http://www.troester.com/gym/Wrankings/2014/WcoachesPoll.htm
Stacked to the Max:
The Arizona gymnastics team is going to compete against one of the toughest schedules in the nation. According to RoadtoNationals.com, Arizona’s strength of schedule is ranked No. 8. Of the 12 regular season meets and 16 regular season opponents, the Cats will face eight ranked teams. Those opponents include No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 4 UCLA, No. 5 LSU, No. 6 Utah, No. 9 Stanford, No. 12 Oregon State, No. 20 Washington, No. 21 Kentucky and No. 25 ASU.
Head coach Bill Ryden is heading into this meet with an overall record of 221-198-3.
What’s Coming Up:
The Wildcats will return to McKale for their first home meet of the season against No. 1 Oklahoma on Sat., Jan. 25, at 4 p.m. MST.