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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Gymcats leaps to OSU

Rodney Haas / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Rodney Haas
Rodney Haas / Arizona Daily Wildcat

After falling to UCLA last week, a road trip might be the perfect remedy for the Arizona gymnastics team. The No. 21 Gymcats will face the Oregon State Beavers tonight in Corvallis, Ore.

“”We are pretty excited to get back on the road,”” said assistant coach Colleen Johnson. “”The team really just sticks together and focuses on ourselves when we’re on the road.””

The Gymcats struggled in vault and bars last week — usually two of their strongest events — but aim to turn things around tonight.

“”Regardless of the gymnastics, I expect a totally focused group that will compete their hearts out for four straight events,”” said head coach Bill Ryden, “”and not have any momentary lapses that cost us.””

Fortunately, the Gymcats will have a few key competitors finally back at full strength this weekend.

“”Some of the injury problems are getting better,”” Ryden said. “”We are going to try and exhibition Katie (Matusik) on two events.””

Matusik, a sophomore, suffered a broken ankle before winter break and has been unable to compete this year.

“”It’s definitely frustrating because I have a huge passion for gymnastics,”” Matusik said. “”It’s awesome seeing the girls out there, but really it’s heartbreaking for me because I want to be out there so bad. It’s frustrating, but I’m glad to be back.””

“”There is nothing like actually competing,”” she added. “”I’m definitely anxious. Hopefully I won’t be too anxious.””

Redshirt junior Miranda Russell is also slightly healthier. Russell has been competing with a knee injury that has limited her all season. The coaching staff had originally planned to have Russell do all-around, but with her knee injury she has only been able to compete bars.

The Gymcats are still a very young team and Ryden expects that they will be much better by March compared to how they have been doing in January and February.

“”Overall the team is starting to get a little sore, it’s that time of the year that we hit that wall,”” Ryden said. “”We got to just push through it, we will probably play with a few different line-ups to rest people.

“”We’re probably going to be losing some people due to injury in the next couple weeks,”” said Ryden. “”I have a feeling we’re going to have to rest some people just to regroup for March.””

The whole team is on the same page and focused on getting healthy. The requests from the coaching staff seem very clear: “”One is stay focused, two is worry about yourself and your teammates,”” said assistant coach John Court. “”And three is make routines.””

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