Jan. 17, 2008
No. 5 Stanford vs. No. 12 Arizona
January 20, 2007 2PM
Live Streaming Video Available on www.gostanford.com
No. 5 Stanford women's gymnastics gave the three-time defending champions all they could handle, but fell by just six tenths last weekend at Burnham Pavilion. The Cardinal will look to rebound this weekend against No. 12 Arizona, a team that has made the NCAA Tournament 21 seasons in a row. The Cardinal defeated Arizona last season in Tucson by a score of 196.400 to 195.375.
Last Time Out:
Last weekend the Stanford women's gymnastics team lost by only six tenths against top-ranked University of Georgia. The meet featured the debut of redshirt freshman Allyse Ishino, who missed all of last season due to illness. Ishino performed admirably in her first ever collegiate action, scoring a 9.850 on beam, 9.875 on bars, and 9.900 on vault.
Sophomore Carly Janiga also picked up where she left off last season by scoring a 9.900 on beam and a 9.825 on bars. Last year's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year also picked up more honors from the conference when she was named the inaugural Pac-10 Event Specialist of the Week. The Cardinal also got a very strong performance from junior Nicole Ourada, who was the only Cardinal gymnast to perform in the all-around. Ourada scored a 9.850 on beam, 9.750 on bars, 9.800 on floor and 9.900 on vault, which was good for a 39.300 score in the all-around.
Arizona is led by senior Karin Wurm who earned All-American status in the all-around and floor last season. The Wildcats also are led by Alexis Greene who was injured throughout 2007, but won the all-around title in Arizona's first meet against NC State and Alaska Anchorage with a score of 38.800.
Senior Danielle Hicks and junior Briana Bergeson also lead Arizona, after performing strongly in 2007. Hicks has a high of 9.900 on beam and Bergeson a high of 9.950 on beam as well. In their first meet of the season the Wildcats defeated NC State and Alaska Anchorage in Tucson, Ariz.
After the first weekend of competition the Cardinal rank among the nation's best in all of the events. After producing a team average of 49.275, the Cardinal rank second nationally on vault, only behind the University of Florida, who scored a 49.300 in their first meet. The Cardinal rank first nationally on beam, with a team score of 49.150 after the first weekend. Stanford also ranked sixth nationally on floor and 11th on bars.
After the Arizona meet the Cardinal will hit the road for the first time in 2008. They travel to UCLA on Friday, Jan. 25 to take on the No. 10 UCLA Bruins. The Cardinal faced UCLA twice last season and won both meets with a 196.975-195.525 road victory and a 196.825-196.250 victory at Burnham Pavilion.
The hard work that has been put in by everyone at Stanford Women's Gymnastics has shone through with the dynamite sophomore class that head coach Kristen Smyth and her staff have put together. The class has included 2007 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Carly Janiga, who has stepped right in and provided an immediate impact for the team, which showed in her capturing three All-American honors last season.
"Carly (Janiga) is a steady competitor and a great leader," said Smyth. "She was recognized for her consistency, dynamic gymnastics and competitive spirit last year by being named PAC-10 Freshman of the year. Carly went on to capture 3 All-American honors at the NCAA Championships."
Allyse Ishino came into Stanford as heralded as any recruit before her, but unfortunately had to sit out all of last season due to illness. Showing her resiliency and inner strength, she stepped right back onto the court against Georgia last weekend and was strong in all three of her routines. Ishino has become an inspiration for Stanford Women's Gymnastics, for never giving up hope and providing the team with insight from the sideline.
Allyse is a selfless team player and although she was forced to sit out all of last season she was instrumental in our success," said Smyth. "Her enthusiasm, work ethic, and passion for the sport made her our most inspirational player last year. She is one of the most artistic gymnasts in our sport, and a gifted performer. I am excited for her to get out on the floor and compete for Stanford."
Blair Ryland also came to Stanford and made an immediate impact. She earned All-American honors on vault, and will look to continue to make strides as a sophomore in 2008.
"Blair made her mark as a freshman capturing All American honors on vault. She has beautiful lines and a bubbly personality," said Smyth.
"Stephanie is a powerful athlete, and has a ton of heart," said Smyth. "She stepped in when we needed her last season and was a key contributor on vault. She is a hard worker and extremely dedicated to SWG and her teammates. Tenaya is extraordinarily creative and bright. She jumps higher than anyone in the gym and will wow you with her tumbling."
Overall the five-man class has given the team a boost in and out of the gym. With all of them having great attitudes and a willingness to work, all five should continue to provide big dividends in the future for the program.
"The sophomore class came in last year and gelled with the team right away," said Smyth. "Allyse, Blair, Carly, Stephanie and Tenaya made a seamless transition into college and instantly embraced the team concept. The five sophomores played a significant role in our success last season and will be called upon again this year to make strong contributions."