Jan. 27, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. -
Only five days after the Stanford women's gymnastics team beat preseason No. 1 UCLA for the second time, the No. 2 Cardinal takes on current No. 4 Utah in a matchup of 2010 NCAA Super Six teams. Stanford (7-0) and Utah (3-0) both are undefeated and will meet before an expected crowd of more than 12,000 at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City. The two teams have faced each other in the NCAA Super Six five times since 2002 and this could be a preview of yet another finals showdown.
Follow the Action
• Links to live stats can be found at gostanford.com.
• A live webcast also will be available on gostanford.com. Look for the "Watch" link on the schedule page.
• The meet will be shown on The Mountain network Feb. 6 at 2 p.m. MT.
Friday's Opponent: Utah
The Utes certainly don't avoid anyone, opening the season with dual meet victories against Georgia and UCLA, teams that combined to win the past six NCAA titles, and then beating Nebraska on the road. All three opponents are ranked among the Top 10. Now, Utah takes on No. 2 Stanford, a team ranked higher than any of them. Utah's Kyndal Robarts leads the nation in the vault, with an average of 9.938, and was a first-team All-American on beam last season. But she injured her knee in warmups before the Nebraska meet and is expected to be out for several weeks. Freshman Corrie Lothrop earned her first two career victories that day -- the all-around with a career-high 39.375 and tying for first on beam with fellow freshman Mary Beth Lofgren (9.85).
The Utah Series
Utah holds a commanding 16-3 all-time lead in the series, though Stanford won their most recent matchup, finishing fourth to Utah's sixth at the 2010 NCAA Super Six finals. Ten of their past 11 meetings have come in NCAA postseason competition, including five Super Six finals. This will be Stanford's first trip to Salt Lake City since the Utes played host to the national championships in 2007, finishing ahead of Stanford in both the Super Six and team preliminaries. Before last year, Utah had won five consecutive meetings after Stanford was third and Utah sixth at the 2004 Super Six. Stanford has never beaten the Utes in Salt Lake City.
The Stanford women's gymnastics team earned its second victory in two meets over defending national champion UCLA, pulling away on the final rotation to capture the dual meet before a packed house at Burnham Pavilion on Sunday.
Ashley Morgan scored a winning 9.925 on the final routine of the day to complete the Stanford comeback in its 196.200-194.825 victory before a crowd of 1,100. And for the second consecutive meet, the Cardinal executed every routine - including two exhibitions - without a fall.Morgan also had a big day, tying her career best on the floor, with a runner-up score of 9.925, and Shelley Alexander won the all-around and the balance beam.
Vault: Danielle Ikoma, Nicole Dayton, Allyse Ishino, Ashley Morgan, Shelley Alexander, Alyssa Brown.
Uneven bars: Shelley Alexander, Danielle Ikoma, Kristina Vaculik, Allyse Ishino, Alyssa Brown, Nicole Pechanec.
Balance Beam: Alyssa Brown, Danielle Ikoma, Allyse Ishino, Kristina Vaculik, Ashley Morgan, Shelley Alexander.
Floor Exercise: Danielle Ikoma, Nicole Dayton, Allyse Ishino, Nicole Pechanec, Shelley Alexander, Ashley Morgan.
Stanford Sweeps Pac-10 Weekly Honors
Stanford senior Shelley Alexander was named Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week and sophomore Ashley Morgan earned Pac-10 Special Performance of the Week honors for their efforts in leading the Cardinal to a dual-meet victory over UCLA.
Alexander anchored Stanford's balance beam lineup with a score of 9.925 to give the Cardinal momentum in its effort to overtake UCLA on the final rotation. Alexander tied her career-best on her winning beam routine and also captured the all-around (39.350).
The Cardinal has four team captains -- fifth-year senior Allyse Ishino, fourth-year seniors Shelley Alexander and Danielle Ikoma, and junior Alyssa Brown. The three seniors all competed in the all-around against UCLA on Sunday and each scored at least 39.0. The 39.0 all-around score by Ikoma was a personal collegiate best.
Stanford in the National Rankings
Stanford opened the season ranked No. 6 in the GymInfo coaches' poll, but moved up to No. 2 after its performance at the Pac-10 Showcase. All rankings are based on average team scores.
1, Florida 196.708; 2, Stanford 196.413; 3, Georgia 196.413; 4, Utah 195.933; 5, Oklahoma 195.781; 6, Alabama 195.525; 7, Oregon State 195.338; 8, Michigan 195.167; 9, UCLA 195.119; 10, Nebraska 195.050.
All-Around: 6th, Shelley Alexander, 39.300
8th, Allyse Ishino, 39.300
Vault: 18th, Alyssa Brown, 9.850
Bars: 5th, Allyse Ishino, 9.888
6th, Alyssa Brown, 9.875
21st, Nicole Pechanec, 9.825
Beam: 4th, Shelley Alexander, 9.863
6th, Ashley Morgan, 9.850
20th, Danielle Ikoma, 9.813
20th, Alyssa Brown, 9.813
Floor: 1st, Ashley Morgan, 9.925
6th, Allyse Ishino, 9.875
Super Six Experience
Stanford has six available gymnasts who were part of the lineups that competed in the 2010 NCAA Super Six finals in Gainesville, Fla., and finished fourth. They are: Shelley Alexander, Alyssa Brown, Danielle Ikoma, Allyse Ishino, Ashley Morgan, and Nicole Pechanec. Junior Jenny Peter also has Super Six experience, but is out with an injury.