Although it’s the fourth straight loss for the ASU gymnastics team, Friday’s loss marks the team’s fourth straight score above 195 — and they did it four gymnasts down.
A late injury to freshman Erin Hamister and a last-minute decision to pull freshman Risa Perez, on top of the two existing injuries to sophomore Natelle Gentile and junior Samantha Seaman, left ASU coach John Spini rearranging his lineup mid-meet.
No. 10 Stanford had no pity for No. 25 ASU and powered through Friday night’s meet, scoring its highest point total this season, 197.275-195.250.
On Thursday, ASU lost Hamister with a high ankle sprain that kept her out of competition Friday. The second scratch came just before the meet.
“Risa was struggling a little in warm-ups and I thought I needed to pull her out just to give her a message,” Spini said.
Taking Perez’s place on beam was surprised senior Amelia Rew.
“I warmed up but didn’t really know what was going on until we were on floor,” Rew said.
Rew struggled early on in the season, but didn’t at this meet with 9.7 on beam after a 9.775 on bars.
“I think it was rough for awhile,” Rew said, “Having a couple disappointing meets in a row, but coming back and hitting like I know I can has been really awesome.”
While ASU was making lineup changes on the fly, the Cardinal were coming off a double bye.
Two weeks off from competition to hone Stanford’s craft paid off, recording eight scores above 9.9. Two of those scores came from senior Ashley Morgan who recorded career-high-tying scores: 9.9 on beam and a 9.95 on floor.
Morgan ran away with the all-around competition, with Sun Devil freshman Stephanie Miceli taking second place in the meet and was the first member of ASU’s squad to even compete in the all-around.
Miceli wanted to be an all-around gymnast this season, and finally got her chance Friday with Hamister’s injury leaving a spot on the already extremely shallow vault lineup for the Gym Devils.
“The coaches have really been pushing me hard and I’ve been practicing really hard in the gym and I really wanted to be there for my team this weekend,” Miceli said.
Spini said was mostly worried about his vault lineup coming into the competition after losing Hamister, and having to put in a rookie vaulter didn’t help. Miceli’s debut contributed a 9.6 to the 48.800 the team put up, just a tenth of a point off their season high.
Along with Rew, Spini picked out Miceli as the vital member of the team tonight, a role she had wanted to fit in to.
“I was hoping I would be able to help the team out as much as I can and I love leading a team,” Miceli said. “I was kind of expecting it, I wanted to be able to help the team out as much as I could to improve us to the next level of gymnastics.”
A career-high 9.875 from sophomore Brianna Gades on beam was also key, Spini said.
“Brie is just such a stellar athlete and seeing that score come out was really helpful, and it was just a beautiful routine.”
Next for ASU is a co-ed meet at home against Washington on Feb. 22.