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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Wildcats stumble


That was the only way head coach Bill Ryden could describe the Arizona gymnastics team’s performance on Sunday against the No. 8 UCLA Bruins and the No. 7 Georgia Bulldogs.

The Wildcats were only able to put up 194.125 points during the meet, which put them third place out of three teams. The Bulldogs earned first place with 196.175 and the Bruins scored 195.750 to finish second.

“”We had two good events and two poor events. I’m not sure why,”” Ryden said. “”When you start off the meet counting two falls, it’s certainly tough to come back super strong.””

Arizona started off on bars, an event it is usually strong in, but the Wildcats immediately had to count two falls. The falls came from two of the more reliable gymnasts on the roster, Deanna Graham and Katie Matusik. Ryden considered this to be one of the worst bar events for the entire season.

“”It was like some good, some bad, but it only matters if it is all good,”” Ryden said. “”It was disappointing.””

Ryden was at a loss for words as he tried to explain what happened during the meet, saying that everyone looked good during practice and warm ups.

“”We need to clean up some of our issues,”” Ryden said. “”We need to be ready to go mentally. I think we are ready physically.””

According to Ryden, the pressure kept mounting for the Wildcats. Immediately after the slow start on bars, Arizona experienced another fall on the beam, although it did not have to count the fall at the end.

“”Every time you miss a routine it adds pressure to that next routine,”” Ryden said. “”When Aubree Cristello had issues with her beam set, that was really surprising. We were just bleeding. We were almost in cardiac arrest at that point.””

The positive things Ryden could take away from Sunday were few, but he was happy with the beam not having to count any falls and he also considered the vault routines the best of the year. He was, however, disappointed that the best vault of the year happened during a meet where it did not have the impact that it could have had.

The Wildcats’ next meet will be this Friday as the University of New Hampshire, Texas Woman’s University and BYU will all visit McKale Center for the regular season finale.

“”I believe that we will be good on Friday,”” Ryden said. “”It’s a senior meet. Miranda (Russell)’s going out after a great career. I know the girls are really focused on doing well for the team as well as for (Russell).””

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