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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Gymcats cap Pac-10 season with win

    Confidence is often easily lost but hard to gain back. The No. 14 Arizona Gymcats must be feeling pretty good about themselves after beating No. 6 UCLA 195.350-194.700 Friday in McKale Center, gaining back a bit of confidence after a tough loss against Stanford Feb. 17.

    The Gymcats were led by junior Jamie Holton, who, according to Arizona head coach Bill Ryden, “”had a fantastic meet.””

    “”It was definitely the best meet I have had here,”” Holton said. “”We knew we had to get our confidence up, and we knew we were just as good as them.””

    Holton scored personal bests on the balance beam with a 9.825 and floor exercise with a 9.800.

    “”That girl, the spotlight is on, and she just rises to the occasion,”” Ryden said.

    The Gymcats (4-8, 4-3 Pacific 10 Conference) jumped out to a quick start with a 48.800 score on vault, but UCLA only scored a 47.900 on uneven bars after the first rotation.

    The Bruins (13-3, 5-1), who have won four out of the past six NCAA championships, had several gymnasts fall off the bars during their routines, en route to their first conference defeat.

    “”It did surprise me when we had almost a point lead after the first event,”” Ryden said.

    The Wildcats increased their lead at the halfway point, 97.900-96.925, after sophomore Karin Wurm and freshman Alexis Greene also matched personal bests in the uneven bars with a 9.900 and 9.850, respectively.

    Even though UCLA was struggling, junior Aubrey Taylor said her team stayed focused on the task at hand.

    “”When you see a team like UCLA falling all over the place, its kinda hard for you not to also take a step down,”” she said. “”For us to just keep fighting through that, even though we knew it was UCLA and they were bombing, we still had to go out and do our best.””

    The Bruins made a slight push in the third rotation to 146.275-145.750 as the Wildcats had difficulties on the balance beam.

    “”Beam was definitely substandard,”” Ryden said.

    The coach said he was impressed with the upbeat attitude the women took, even if one of their fellow gymnasts struggled.

    “”A hallmark of this team is they won’t quit fighting,”” he said.

    After a tough meet last week, Ryden said he wanted to make sure his team’s spirits were up and that they were still working on their goal of being ready for the Pacific 10 Championships.

    “”I wasn’t even really concerned with UCLA,”” he said. “”We could have been out here by ourselves or against any team you want to name, good or bad, and we needed to be better for us, for our confidence, for where we want to go in the postseason; we needed to bounce back from last week.””

    Holton said she thinks the team’s confidence is heading in the right direction.

    “”We know that we are one of the best teams in the Pac-10,”” she said. “”Now that we beat them, and we know that we can, we will have extra confidence going into the Pac-10 (Championship)s.””

    Taylor said she knows that her team is capable of pulling off some amazing things come postseason time.

    “”It just goes to show that we are absolutely capable of beating the best teams in the Pac-10 and the country because our skills are all there,”” she said. “”It’s just whether or not we’re on or they’re on the same day because we are so close in skills.””

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