Low scores limit Gym Devils against No. 2 Stanford

A step back: ASU freshman Samantha Seaman flies through the air during her routine on the uneven bars during the Sun Devils’ Feb. 6 dual with Oregon State. ASU posted their lowest score since Jan. 28 during their loss to No. 2 Stanford on Sunday. (Photo by Aaron Lavinsky)

The ASU gymnastics squad couldn’t pull off an upset over No. 2 Stanford on Sunday, dropping a 196.825-192.375 decision at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto, Calif.

The low score of 192.375 comes just a week after the Sun Devils set a season high in an upset win against Washington at Wells Fargo Arena, and is a disappointing mark for a team that took a few steps back over the weekend.

“Going back on the road is after a string of home events was a challenge,” ASU assistant coach Kari Ward said. “It is always difficult going into Stanford with the Cardinal ranked second in the nation.”

The Cardinal won every event in the meet, extending their best-ever start to 15-0 during the team’s Senior Day.

Stanford was clicking on all cylinders on Sunday, as the Cardinal earned eight collegiate career-best marks.

“Traveling showed us where we need to be when we go back out on the road again next weekend,” senior Beaté Jones said. “We’ll make sure we prepare this week and hit the gym hard.”

Out of the safety zone of Wells Fargo Arena for the first time in a few weeks, ASU’s score was bogged down by several falls in the meet during which the Sun Devils seemed unfocused.

“It was kind of back to reality,” Jones said. “We have gotten into a routine being home for the last three meets.”

ASU had been improving on falls in recent competition but regressed on Sunday, especially on beam, where the Stanford gymnasts topped every one of the Sun Devils scores.

“The meet makes us realize what and where we need to improve,” Ward said. “We’ll use what we’ve gathered from today at Stanford and use it to move forward and to prepare for Nebraska next week.”

However, there were a few highlights on what was mostly a down day for ASU. Sophomore Nickie Johnson led ASU’s floor routine with a 9.850 showing, while freshman Samantha Seaman tallied the same score as the leader for the Sun Devils on vault.

But overall it was a disappointing day for ASU. The Gym Devils can only hope to use the poor performance as learning lesson as they look forward to next week’s showdown against Nebraska in Lincoln.

“It was a wake up call going back out on the road,” Jones said. “We need to work hard this week and hopefully we’ll take away some things from today and move forward to our next chance to compete.”

Reach the reporter at kyle.j.newman@asu.edu