Annabeth Eberle won vault and floor at UA.
Feb. 14, 2003
TUCSON, Ariz. -
TUCSON, Ariz.-The No. 2 ranked University of Utah gymnasts ran their road streak to 3-0 with their surprisingly easy 196.900-194.500 win over No. 13 Arizona, but Utah Head Coach Greg Marsden characterized the meet as a "battle."
While Utah again didn't have to count a fall, some normally steady Utes ran into trouble and it seemed sheer willpower kept them on the apparatus at times. Arizona was not so lucky, falling six times in losing its 48th straight to Utah. The Wildcats have never won against the Utes.
"It was a bit of a battle tonight," said Marsden, whose team is now 4-2. "I was concerned that we'd have trouble being as sharp as we were last week at Utah State (when Utah scored a season-best 197.825) and sure enough, we took a step backwards in terms of landings. However, I was pleased at how this group just doesn't give up. Tonight was another example of them demonstrating their toughness."
Utah never trailed and its lead ballooned to two and a half points after three events. One Ute unaffected by her teammate's small struggles was Annabeth Eberle, who finished second in the all-around to Arizona's Monica Bisordi by a mere .025 (39.600-39.575). Eberle won the vault (9.925) and floor (9.95). Utah made it a clean sweep on the individual events, with Theresa Kulikowski capturing bars for the third straight week with a 9.90 and Melissa Vituj winning beam with a 9.95.
Utah opened the night on the uneven bars and hit big in the early and late part of the lineup. Veronique Leclerc fell trying a brand new routine and Melissa Vituj had to compensate for a problem on the low bar. But Kim Allan put up a 9.85 and Kulikowski was perfect but for a tiny hop on her landing in a 9.90 routine. Freshman Dominique D'Oliveira, who is attempting to come back from ankle surgery in early January, competed her first routine of the year in exhibition and scored a 9.75 and freshman Crystal Gilmore also made her first appearance after a season-long injury and scored a 9.65 in exhibition.
Arizona finally kicked it into gear on the floor exercise, earning the third-best score in school history (49.425), but it wasn't enough to dent Utah's lead, even though every Ute but Eberle and Vituj flirted with a fall. Freshman Gabriella Onodi, who joined the team at the semester, received a 9.75 as an exhibition performer in her first collegiate routine.
"Everyone on the team had a chance to compete tonight for the first time, which really made this fun," said Marsden.
Utah competes at Oregon State next Friday, ending a string of four straight road meets. The Utes are at home against Michigan on Feb. 28.