Gymcats host final Pac-12 team before championships
No. 18 Arizona women’s gymnastics will face No. 15 Oregon State this Sunday in the McKale Center.
“It’s going to be a really good meet,” head coach Bill Ryden said. “The rivalry with Oregon State goes back even into the ’80s just because we have always been very good friends with the staff and it has always been a very friendly rivalry.”
Head coach Tanya Chaplin is entering her 17th year for the Beavers, and the team is coming off of a second-place finish in a tri-team meet against then-No. 7 Nebraska and ASU. Fifth-year senior Kelsi Blalock and junior Chelsea Tang lead the Beavers.
“They are a very good program and are very well-coached,” Ryden said. “They will definitely bring their ‘A’ game, and I expect nothing better than that.”
Amber Wobma competed against UCLA with her teammates on Saturday in the McKale Center. The Gymcats scored lower than UCLA, 196.250-197.500.
Last weekend, the then-No. 9 UCLA defeated the Gymcats, even with the score of 196.250. The Gymcats have had some breakout performances recently by junior Allison Flores, who tied two career highs in the meet, and freshman Selynna Felix-Terrazas, who earned Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Week after her 9.900 performance on bars.
Also in the mix is junior Amber Wobma, who tied her career-high score of 9.850 on the balance beam.
“Last weekend certainly was a great kick-start out of the rut we were in, so that is a real positive,” Ryden said. “But we have to continue with that and we need that complete meet. We need to not count falls, and if we can go 24-for-24, I think that we are going to be an incredibly serious team to deal with.”
With losses to then-No. 4 Utah, ASU and then-No. 9 UCLA so far this season, the Gymcats are looking for some revenge in their conference.
“It’s our last Pac-12 meet before we actually see them at Pac-12s,” Flores said. “We haven’t done too well against some of the other Pac-12 schools, so this is a really good opportunity for us.”
The Gymcats have struggled with some major falls in their meets and hope to execute in order to keep performing on the level that they want against the Beavers.
“Right now, we have been our own worst enemy in some cases,” Ryden said. “Our focus this week is to up our performance for Oregon State. They are a conference opponent and a great team. Certainly that is all the motivation that we need. Now it is just execution.”
—Follow Matt Wall @mwall20