Feb. 17, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas - Stanford takes a break from Pac-12 competition to take on two Eastern schools at the Metroplex Challenge at the Fort Worth Convention Center Arena on Saturday.
No. 12 Stanford (5-2) competes against Brown and Bridgeport to extend its road stretch to four consecutive weekends away, with one more to follow.
The Cardinal has produced its two highest scores of the season over the past two weeks and expects to continue its improvement as gymnasts continue to get healthy from preseason injuries.
What: No. 12 Stanford (5-2) vs. No. 45 Bridgeport (8-4) and No. 61 Brown (2-6)
When: Saturday, 4:30 p.m. PT
Where: Fort Worth (Texas) Convention Center Arena
Follow the Action:
• Check for updates on Twitter (@StanfordWGym) and on the Stanford Women's Gymnastics Facebook page.
National Rankings: Stanford is No. 12 in the nation, based on its 195.595 season scoring average. As a team, Stanford ranks No. 8 on the uneven bars (49.095), No. 11 on the balance beam (48.685), No. 15 on vault (48.960), and No. 16 on floor exercise (48.855). Individually, Nicole Pechanec is No. 7 on floor (9.888) and No. 16 all-around (39.288), Ashley Morgan is No. 20 on floor (9.855), and Nicole Dayton and Samantha Shapiro are tied for No. 21 on vault (9.875).
Road Trip: Stanford is on the fourth leg of its five-week road stretch, having already traveled to Oregon State, UCLA, and Cal, and with a trip to Utah still ahead. Stanford is 1-2 so far on the trip, all against Pac-12 teams.
Last Week’s Lineup:
Vault: Lucy Meyer, Pauline Hanset, Ashley Morgan, Ivana Hong, Nicole Dayton, Alex Archer.
Bars: Rebecca Wing, Nicole Dayton, Samantha Shapiro, Shona Morgan, Ashley Morgan, Nicole Pechanec.
Beam: Rebecca Wing, Ivana Hong, Ashley Morgan, Shona Morgan, Amanda Spinner, Alyssa Brown.
Floor: Nicole Dayton, Rebecca Wing, Jenny Peter, Shona Morgan, Pauline Hanset, Ashley Morgan.
Last Week: Stanford freshmen Ivana Hong and Pauline Hanset earned their first collegiate victories to lead the Cardinal past Cal for the 25th consecutive time, with a 196.175-194.725 victory at Haas Pavilion. Stanford hasn't lost to the Golden Bears since 2000 and is 34-1 against them since 1996. The Cardinal swept every event, with junior Ashley Morgan winning the all-around with 39.175. The Cardinal earned four scores of 9.9 or above, including Nicole Pechanec's meet-high 9.925 to win the uneven bars. Hanset won the floor exercise (9.850), Hong and Shona Morgan tied for first on the balance beam (9.90 each), and Nicole Dayton won the vault (9.875).
Ivana Hong returns to Texas after training at the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy in Plano, Texas, in recent years. Hong is rounding into form and taking on more events after a preseason ankle injury. The freshman, who won the vault and beam at the 2009 U.S. national championships, had her best meet yet for Stanford, winning the beam (9.900) and scoring 9.825 on vault.
Alyssa Brown may soon be taking on more events after being limited to the beam because of an off-season shoulder injury. Brown, the team’s anchor in that event, is getting healthier.
Nicole Pechanec has emerged as Stanford finest all-around performer in her senior season. Pechanec had stuck largely to three events over her collegiate career, but has added vault to her repertoire this year. Her specialties are bars and floor and has season bests of at least 9.9 in each this year.
Amanda Spinner, a sophomore, made her collegiate debut last week after undergoing a series of operations to repair an injured knee. Spinner scored a credible 9.750 on beam and provides the Cardinal with a boost in that event.
Saturday’s Opponent, Bridgeport: The Purple Knights have won three consecutive USA Gymnastics Collegiate Team national championships, which essentially crowns a Division II title. Bridgeport already has beaten Brown in a tri-meet, on Jan. 22, and for the most part has competed against a major-college schedule while compiling an 8-4 record. Bridgeport has a high team score of 194.625.
Saturday’s Opponent, Brown: Brown’s program may be best known for Alicia Sacramone, a 2008 Olympic team silver medalist for the U.S., who competed for the Bears in 2007 while continuing to train at the elite level. Brown has a high team score of 190.125.