No. 17 Arizona vs No. 1 Oklahoma
Saturday, Jan. 25 // 4 p.m. (MST)
Video Steaming: http://pac-12.com/videos/university-arizona
Live Stats: http://athletics.arizona.edu/gymstats/20140125.htm
TUCSON, Ariz. –The Arizona women’s gymnastics team will open the home portion of their schedule this Sat., Jan. 25 at 4 p.m. MST. The No. 17-ranked Cats will host No.1-ranked Oklahoma inside McKale Center.
"Oklahoma is a very good program," Arizona head coach Bill Ryden said. "They are ranked number one for a reason. They're very well coached with some excellent athletes. They are incredibly precise and our goal is to match up with them from that standpoint. It will certainly be a great challenge for us, but it will also be good to see what's out there and where we are going. They are obviously our toughest test to date, but I'm excited. I think quite highly of the coaches and their program and looking forward to the meet for sure. The fans are surely in for a treat."
Last week, the Cats fell to No. 12 Stanford 195.925-195.850 but defeated Sacramento State, who scored 192.450.
Scouting the Opposition:
Last year, the Sooners’ only regular season loss was against Alabama, as they went on to a second place finish at the NCAA Championships. They enter the season losing three seniors but have welcomed five freshmen. The Sooners defeated the Wildcats last year by less than two points and are currently led by their senior class of five, which includes Lara Albright and Taylor Spears. Oklahoma is directed by head coach K.J. Kindler, a two-time National Coach of the Year, who has eight years of head coaching experience with the program. The Sooners are coming to Tucson, Ariz. after defeating Iowa State last Friday.
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 finished out the 2013 season with an overall event record of 220-198-3.
What’s Coming Up:
The Wildcats will return to McKale for their second conference meet of the season against No. 21 Washington on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 4 p.m. MST.