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No. 21 Arizona Prepared for Pac-12 Championships
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/21/2014
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics

No. 21 Arizona vs. No. 19 Cal, No. 22 ASU and Washington
Saturday, March 22 // 6:30 p.m. (PT)
Berkeley, Calif.
Live Stats HERE

BERKELEY, Ariz. - The No. 21 Arizona women’s gymnastics team will compete in Session II of the Pac-12 tournament on Saturday, March 22 at 6:30 p.m. PT in Haas Pavilion. The Wildcats are ranked sixth in the conference.

The night session will include No. 5 Cal, No. 7 ASU and No. 8 Washington. Arizona has already competed against ASU and Washington this season. In the fifth seed, Cal will begin on vault and continue in Olympic order. Arizona will begin on bars before moving to beam, floor and then vault.

“As of this moment, all eight Pac-12 teams are slated to be in the postseason,” head coach Bill Ryden said. “We have an incredibly strong conference. It will certainly be a close competition. I feel like we’re a different team than we were when we saw the two teams. We haven’t seen Cal this year, but they’re doing great.”

“Every single one of our events is ranked higher than our entire team is ranked,” Ryden added. “It goes to show that our problem has been putting together four rotations. If we can put together four decent rotations then I like where we are going to stand. The team is focused on doing the job and not stressing about it. The numbers tells what we are capable of. Sometimes we try too hard and that comes and bites us. This week is to be ourselves, have fun and be successful. We are going to look at it like a quad meet and show everyone what we’re made of.”

Session II consists of the teams that are seeded 5-8 as determined by the NCAA Regional Qualifying Score (RQS). The team’s RQS is calculated on the team’s six best regular-season meet scores, three being from an away competition.  Arizona begins post-season competition with a RQS of 196.035.

The remainder of the Pac-12 teams will be in Session I, which will begin at 1 p.m. with Utah, UCLA, Stanford and Oregon State competing. At the completion of the meets, the final conference standings will be determined. Both sessions will air live on the Pac-12 Networks.

Follow @AZGymnastics on Twitter for up to date information and live updates. Live stats will be available on the day of the competition.

Pac-12 Championships - Session II (6:30 p.m. PT | Seeds 5, 6, 7 & 8)

Rotation

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

I

Cal

Arizona

ASU

Washington

II

Washington

Cal

Arizona

ASU

III

ASU

Washington

Cal

Arizona

IV

Arizona

ASU

Washington

Cal

Scouting the Opposition:

California - The Golden Bears are a relatively young team with eight freshmen and three seniors making up their roster. Cal is coming off of a win against UC Davis, 195.675-194.950. The Golden Bears are coached by Justin Howell, who is in his second year as head coach of the program. Howell has had an instant impact on Cal gymnastics, and he was recognized as the 2013 Pac-12 Coach of the Year and the NACGC West Region Coach of the Year after taking his team to the 2013 NCAA Regional competition for the first time since 2007. The last time the Wildcats and Golden Bears met was Jan. 6, 2013 when the Cats took third (194.825) to Cal (195.425) and Kentucky (195.125).

ASU - Their team consists of 16 girls, including one senior and four newcomers. ASU is coached by four time Pac-10 Coach of the Year, John Spini, who has led his team to the NCAA tournament 21 times during his 34 years as head coach. His career at ASU has made him the longest tenured head coach in school history, and his team’s 196.175-195.00 win over Northern Illinois last Friday marks his last home meet at the helm of the program. The Sun Devils are 5-5 on the year, and the last time these in-state rivals competed was earlier this year on Feb. 22 when the Sun Devils beat the Wildcats, 196.125-195.350.

Washington - The Huskies feature six freshmen and one senior, Aliza Vaccher. They are coming off of a second place finish to Oregon State (196.250-195.375) and a win over Seattle Pacific (193.125). The last time the Huskies and Wildcats met was February first earlier this year. Arizona won the meet 196.500-195.175, and Shay Fox and Allie Flores both set season highs on beam. The Huskies are coached by Joanne Bowers who has brought her team to the NCAA regionals all seven years she has been there.

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.

Pre-season Rankings:

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.

Ryden’s Record:

Head coach Bill Ryden finished out the 2013 season with an overall even record of 220-198-3.

What’s Coming Up:

Upon the completion of Pac-12 Championships, regional qualifying will be determined. NCAA Regionals are set for Saturday, April 5 with locations to be decided.

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