It’s a busy weekend for the No. 25 Sun Devils as they travel to Tucson tonight to face No. 16 Arizona in the second round of the Territorial Cup Competition. The Devils will then be back at home at Wells Fargo Arena to compete against No. 1 Utah on Sunday. The Utes will definitely prove to be a challenge for ASU as they currently lead the nation on both floor and beam, and for the second consecutive week have a 197.031 scoring average. However, the gym devils are not backing down from the 4-0 on the season and are taking each meet one at a time. Right now, their focus is on the Wildcats and they already know it will be different competing for the State Farm Territorial Cup competition in Tucson. Nevertheless, they are excited for the opportunity.
Senior Beate Jones spoke about tonight’s matchup at practice on Wednesday saying, “They are going to come back harder and we are not taking anything for granted. They know what to look for and we know what to look for from the first round. We need to focus during this meet because we are in their territory.”
Senior Kahoku Palafox relished in the moment of the victory over the Wildcats from the first duel in the desert. She explained, “It was so amazing beating the Wildcats in the first round. They are a great team and we were able to push harder and come out on top. Tonight will be a challenge but we are ready.”
Junior Amelia Rew, who scored two career bests on both bars and beam against Utah State last meet, offered her insight as to some of challenges for away meets.
“With away meets there is a different rotation in the events,” said Rew. “For away meets we end on beam and ending on beam can either really help your or hurt you. Mentally it is a little bit more pressure because it can make or break the meet.”
Either way ending on beam last meet against Utah State could not stop the devil’s momentum. They finished with a 194.600-192.575 against the Aggies.
Head coach John Spini who has been training his team all season for these back-to-back meets this weekend said his focus is all on U of A right now. “We can’t think about Utah on Sunday,” said Spini. “I want the gymnasts to go into this rivalry with the mentality, let’s make it our house when we get there.”
All fans are encouraged to wear pink tonight for the Wildcats annual “Flipping for the Fight” meet to support breast cancer awareness. The U of A gymnasts will show their support by sporting pink leotards. The meet will start at 7 p.m. tonight inside the McKale Center.
Join in the LIVE CHAT tonight from the University of Arizona with myself and Brandon Kamerman.