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Stanford Falls to Alabama in Stirring Duel
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 03/07/2009

Scoresheet in PDF Format

March 7, 2009

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Stanford competed toe-to-toe with host Alabama in a battle of top-five women's gymnastics teams Friday night in a matchup that went down to the final rotation before 9,235 raucous fans.

No. 3 Stanford earned its highest team score of the night, on the balance beam, but it wasn't enough to catch the No. 5 Crimson Tide, which countered in the final rotation with an exceptional 49.45 on floor exercise to hold off the charging Cardinal, 197.150-196.775.

"I am so proud of my team and how they performed," Stanford coach Kristen Smyth said. "They stayed together, focused and tough throughout the meet and never once backed down. We hit 24 routines and performed with poise and confidence. It is really hard to get a win on the road in the SEC...I couldn't have asked for more from my team."

Stanford earned solid scores across the board, exceeding 49 points as a team in every event. Trailing by 0.2 going into the final rotation, Stanford got led off with 9.85s from Heather Purnell and Allyse Ishino, and scored 9.8 on all six routines and totaled 49.275.

"Going into the last event my team really rose to the occasion and responded to a great Alabama team with six strong beam routines," Smyth said. "It was a great team effort, a confidence builder. I couldn't have asked for better preparation as we head into postseason than to go up against a top team, a great program in a championship environment."

Carly Janiga earned Stanford's only victory, capturing the balance beam with a score of 9.9 to culminate her 39.45-point performance in the all-around, which placed her second to Alabama's Ashley Priess, with 39.525.

Danielle Ikoma and Kelly Fee tied season bests, Ikoma with a 9.85 in the vault and Fee with a 9.825 on the beam.

The meet concluded a strong regular season for No. 3 Stanford (13-2), which now looks toward defending its Pacific-10 Conference championship on March 21 at Maples Pavilion. The meet begins at 4 p.m.



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