By Maxx Wolfson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday January 15, 2003
If the UA women's gymnastics team wants to get back in the top 10, it knows where it needs to improve.
"We need to be more consistent," head coach Bill Ryden said. "I mean we're very good on certain events but we are not very good on every event."
The strength of the No. 11 Gymcats' beam and floor were enough to give them the edge to defeat Minnesota on the road in the team's opener on Saturday.
UA (1-0) won by a score of 195.725 to 195.525, and has now won two straight openers. The score is also the 10th highest team score in the program's history.
"Minnesota is a very good program and to be able to start off the way we did is definitely a step in the right direction," Ryden said. "We obviously had some major errors that we need to work on."
One of the biggest surprises of the meet was the performance of Arizona in the vault.
"They might have even overachieved," said Ryden, who earned his 50th career win at UA.
Arizona took the team vault title with strong performances by sophomore Monica Bisordi, junior Andi McCabe and sophomore Jaime Schell, who all tied with a 9.85.
"It was a pretty good meet. We started off rough but we came back," said senior Nikki Beyschau. "We had a rough start on the bars but our beam, vault and floor teams did well."
Ryden was happy with the performance of sophomore Jaime Duce, who led off for the Gymcats in two events.
"The first spot is the most pressured spot in the lineup and she handled it very well," Ryden said.
Duce, from Flushing, Mich., won the individual title in the bars with a score of 9.85.
Bisordi, a first-team All-Pacific-10 Conference performer a year ago, got her season off to a good start winning the all-around title, tying her career high score of 39.425.
"Monica was outstanding as usual," Ryden said.
Freshmen Jessamyn Salter and Abby Pearson saw their first action as collegiate gymnasts.
In their debuts on vault, Pearson posted a score of 9.775 on vault to finish seventh in the event and Salter scored a 9.750 on vault to tie for eighth place.
The Gymcats return home to McKale Center on Friday to take on Pac-10 rival No. 13 Oregon State at 7:30 p.m.