The Arizona gymnastics team opened up the 2018 season on Saturday, Jan. 6 in McKale Center, but fell to Denver 195.775 to 195.425. The meet was originally supposed to be a quad meet, but due to the Northeast weather conditions, Rutgers and New Hampshire were unable to attend.
"I thought it was a great opening night and to come out and do what we did was fantastic," Arizona head coach John Court said. "Being the first meet of the year we had simple goals that we wanted to accomplish and we were able to do that."
Arizona sophomore Maddi Leydin began the first rotation for the ‘Cats with a powerful Yurchenko full on vault earning a 9.750 followed by junior Lauryn Mattson earning a 9.775. All-around competitor and senior Madison Cindric launched off the vault performing a Yurchencko full to earn the highest score of 9.800.
Senior GymCat Kennady Schneider started off the second rotation on the uneven bars sticking her double layout dismount earning her a 9.775. The momentum didn’t slow down on the bars with junior Danielle Spencer hitting a solid routine scoring a 9.850, followed by sophomore Christina Berg earning a 9.875.
Denver kept it close earning a 97.450 after the second rotation, but the GymCats stayed ahead of the Pioneers, 97.850.
The Wildcats started to fall behind the Pioneers during the third rotation on beam earning low scores. Cindric earned the highest score of a 9.850, followed by Leung with a 9.750.
"When you get the first one done the jitters normally go away coming the second and third meet," Schneider said. "So just seeing us being abe to come back and having the team stay together and push through is really exciting to see even though we were a little nervous going to that event, but moving forward I think the confidence will be there."
Arizona headed into the final rotation behind only .200 points off and started on floor with Leydin who earned a 9.875. Finishing up the final rotation on floor was Schneider who brought the heat and earned a 9.875, but it wasn't enough to take the victory.
"I think it was a really good start of our season," Leydin said. "After coming off a rough year last year I think it is really great we started off like this and it will only get better from here."
The GymCats hit the road for their next meet against Iowa State on Friday, Jan. 12 at 3:30 p.m.
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