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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Gymcats finally return home

Carlos Herrera/ The Daily Wildcat
Carlos Herrera / The Daily Wildcat Junior all-around Shay Fox performs during her floor routine at Arizona’s 197.575-196.925 loss against Oklahoma at McKale Center on Saturday, Jan. 25.

The No. 20 Arizona women’s gymnastics team hosts No. 9 UCLA this Saturday in McKale Center for the first of a three-meet home stand.

“UCLA is a great team to come in and give us that much more motivation,” head coach Bill Ryden said in an Arizona Athletics video previewing the meet. “I think they will look great. We want to protect our home court, and we are going to do everything in our power to come out with a victory.”

Last week, the Gymcats suffered a 196.125-195.350 loss to ASU in the annual Territorial Cup rivalry meet. They opened the night on the bars, but dug themselves into a hole very quickly and were never able to find their rhythm.

“We’re looking to basically get back on track and certainly address all of those bar woes and really work on our landings and the stuff that cost us,” Ryden said.

No. 9 UCLA is coming off of a victory against then-No. 12 Stanford last week, where senior Sydney Sawa received a perfect 10 in floor exercise. Overall, the Bruins are 5-2 on the season, with their only losses coming to then-No. 1 Florida and then-No. 4 Utah.

Last year, the Bruins placed fourth in the NCAA Team Finals; they return five All-Americans from last year’s team. Leading UCLA this year are seniors Olivia Courtney and Sydney Sawa, along with head coach Valorie Kondos Field, who is in her 24th year.

“We’re looking forward to being home,” Ryden said. “Out of our first seven meets, five were on the road. The team loves their home fans and being here, so we’re really looking for a fun and strong march that’s for sure.”

—Follow Matt Wall @mwall20

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