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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Gymcats fall against No.1 Alabama

The Gymcats knew that they would have a difficult meet this weekend against the Alabama Crimson Tide before they left Tucson.

The Crimson Tide’s lowest overall team score of the season is 195.650. The Gymcats’ highest overall team score of the season is 196.025.

Alabama has only fallen below a team score of 196 once this year; Arizona has only surpassed that marker once.

The No. 21 Gymcats (2-5) lost to the No. 1 Crimson Tide (6-1) 197.25-195.100 in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Friday night.

“”Well, we are getting better; we had a pretty good meet,”” said head coach Bill Ryden. “”Up until beam we didn’t have 18 perfect routines, but we were 18 for 18. We didn’t have a fall for the first three quarters of the meet, and (were) competing well against the No. 1 team in the country.””

The Gymcats had to deal with the same minor deductions that they have been facing all year. Ryden said that those mistakes will go away with experience.

“”It’s a lot of the same little nickel-and-dime stuff that is costing us,”” Ryden said. “”I continue to see the team grow and move in the right direction.””

Junior all-arounder Colleen Fisher shared Ryden’s sentiments.

“”I think we really need to focus on the smaller details,”” Fisher said. “”I think a lot of times we are getting nailed not because the routines aren’t difficult, but because we are not having pointed toes all the way, just little things like that and those little tenths really add up. I think we just need to be cleaner and more precise in our gymnastics.””

Arizona faced more than just the top-ranked team in the country. It also had to compete in front of the largest crowd most of the team has ever seen.

The Crimson Tide held their fifth annual “”Power of Pink”” event to raise awareness in the fight against breast cancer. The event attracted 15,075 fans to the meet.

“”I feel like they had more fans than our basketball team,”” said sophomore all-arounder Katie Matusik. “”I have never seen that many fans before. They were incredible. It was really loud, we were screaming just to get Bill’s attention.””

Ryden did not expect the crowd to be a factor in the outcome. He said that the majority of the crowds in the South Eastern Conference are very respectful and knowledgable about gymnastics.

“”I would guess it was the largest gymnastics crowd of 2010,”” Ryden said. “”Actually it didn’t faze us at all, any problems we had weren’t because of the fans.

“”With this team, I really wasn’t worried about the crowd affecting them,”” he added. “”There is a reason we had problems in the past, because they were getting too distracted from the crowd.””

Ryden likes the direction the team is going in and likes that it is improving with every meet.   

“”You can tell we are close, the team is competing well,”” Ryden said. “”They are tired right now, but they will get their second win when we enter March and the bigger things come along. I expect us to finish doing really well, and start doing some of our best gymnastics entering the postseason.””

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