Jan. 11, 2013
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NOTE: There will not be a live chat for the Oklahoma meet. Follow along on Twitter for all the same great updates, scores and pictures. Also tweet us questions and your shoutouts using the hashtag #GymDevils.
TEMPE, Ariz.--The Arizona State women's gymnastics team kicks off the season hosting the fourth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners, Saturday, at 2 p.m. MT in Wells Fargo Arena. The meet will be live cast for free on Pac-12.com.
The 2013 Gym Devils look to build on the momentum of the previous season, which saw Arizona State become the most improved team in the nation. Although the Sun Devils graduated seven seniors, the team still returns 17 of it's 24 line-up spots from 2012.
Much of the success last season was attributed to the new influx of talent from the Gym Devils' underclassmen. Fourteen of the 24 routines came from then sophomore Samantha Seaman and freshmen Brianna Gades, Natelle Gentile, Natasha Sundby and Morgan Steigerwalt. Now as seasoned sophomores and Seaman moving into a leadership position as Arizona State's top returning All-Around competitor, the team looks to integrate seven brand new faces to the team.
The Sun Devils hold the distinction of having the largest freshmen class in the Pac-12 and the coaches believe the newcomers can make an immediate impact in the meet against Oklahoma. Spini sees some similarities between the new freshmen class and the national championships that line the walls of the John Spini Practice Facility. "Some of these girls [pointing to the wall of NCAA Champions] were freshmen and they were asked to step up into lead spots in the line-up."
With such a lofty comparison and equally high expectations for the season, the team looks to live up its billing against the fourth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners. OU opened its season last weekend earning a big win on the road at No. 11 Georgia. Taylor Spears, the Sooner's top All-Around gymnast, helped lead Oklahoma to a come-from-behind victory over Georgia with a score of 9.875 on beam.
The Gym Devils are giving away an iPad Mini to a fan in attendance at Saturday's meet. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for children and senior citizens, $3 for groups of 15 or more and FREE with your ASU Sun Card.