March 2, 2013
TUCSON, Ariz.—The Arizona State women’s gymnastics team competed solidly through three events against Arizona, even besting the Wildcats on bars. Hanging close through out the whole meet, the Sun Devils would falter on beam in the final event of the night. Three uncharacteristic falls off beam left the meet out of reach and the Sun Devils fell to the Wildcats 193.850-196.500.
Arizona State, who has been searching for depth on vault, tied its season high of 48.900 as a team on the event. Vault was punctuated by a new career-high score for freshman Carissa Kraus, who landed a 9.875 in Wildcat territory to take second overall in the meet. The freshman has been a strong and consistent vaulter for the Sun Devils and now ties sophomore Natasha Sundby for the highest scored vault of the year for ASU. Sundby, also one of ASU’s best vaulters, scored a 9.850 in the meet on the event.
Arizona State also showed its strength on floor with three gymnasts scoring 9.800 and above. Sophomore Brianna Gades, who scored two new career highs in the meet last week against Washington, recorded a solid 9.800 for ASU. Sundby was also characteristically strong on floor, scoring a 9.875 in the event and fractionally off her career high of 9.900 she has hit twice this season. Sophomore Morgan Steigerwalt rebounded from a couple boundary penalties in the previous meet to score a 9.825 to help boost ASU’s score.
The meet was still very much in contention when ASU moved to beam, but the event proved to the Sun Devils ‘Achilles Heel’ having to count two out of the three falls and an out of bounds landing on the event. On a high note, Steigerwalt looked in top form and scored a career-high 9.850 in her third spot in the line-up. Sophomore Natelle Gentile also made her season debut after breaking her nose in warm-ups against Oklahoma in the first meet of the year. Gentile scored a 9.600 to round out the beam line-up and helped her team finish the event on a high note.
Next week, the Gym Devils travel to Colorado to face Denver and Illinois State in a Tri-Meet on Mar. 8 at 6 p.m. MT. Live stats and video (fee) will be available on the Denver Pioneers website.