Senior night in McKale
After a rough meet last week, the Arizona gymnastics team is looking to turn things around before the Pacific 10 Conference Championships next week.
The Wildcats are also looking to send senior Miranda Russell off with a win for her last competition in McKale Center. Senior night will be at 7 p.m. against No. 28 BYU, No. 32 New Hampshire and No. 1 (Division-II) Texas Women's University.
""We believe in ourselves,"" head coach Bill Ryden said. ""You would like your fans and the other teams to see you coming in on a high note. ""Although there have been numerous occasions that teams have been injured all year and surprised everyone in the postseason, but we would like to take a less dramatic approach if possible.""
Arizona will have to be without all-around gymnast Deanna Graham, who is being sidelined as a precaution because of a previous shoulder injury. ""We would rather have her rested and ready for Pac-10's,"" assistant coach John Court said. ""She could go if she wanted to, but we will probably sit her.""
The Wildcats struggled last week against UCLA, with uncharacteristic falls during bars and had point deductions during the floor event.
""It was one of those things, I just don't know,"" Ryden said. ""We had three falls on bars and two of those girls hadn't fallen all year, and the other girl had only fallen once all year. Occasionally people just have a bad meet, and it was incredibly bad timing that they all had that happen at the same time.""
The team has a lot of motivation heading into tonight's meet, as they want to improve its standings while sending Russell off right.
""Of course we want to do good for (Miranda's) last meet in McKale, but as a team we really need to pick it up,"" said Katie Matusik. ""It's going to be a really special night for her and we all just want to make it memorable.""