No. 25 Bears Head South to Face No. 1 UCLA in Pac-10 Opener

Jan. 14, 2003

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WHAT'S ON TAP: California continues its two-meet road trip as the squad heads south to challenge the nation's No. 1 ranked team UCLA in the Bears' Pac-10 opener, Sunday, Jan. 19 in the Bruin Classic at 2:00 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion. The quad meet will also feature UC Davis and Cal State Fullerton. The meet represents the first of two consecutive meets against Top 10 opponents as the Bears host No. 7 Stanford on January 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Haas Pavilion.

BEARS JUMP INTO EARLY SEASON RANKINGS: With the 2003 season just one week old, Cal is ranked No. 25 in the Troester GymInfo Weekly Rankings. UCLA is the top-rated team with an average score of 197.6000. Among Pac-10 teams, Cal is sixth, as UCLA (No.1), Stanford (No. 8), Oregon State (No. 10), Arizona (No. 11) and Arizona State (No. 16) all finished ahead of the Bears.

A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS: Cal began its 2003 campaign on a high note, defeating the Sacramento State Hornets, 192.950 - 190.175, in Cari DuBois' head coaching debut. The Bears enter this week's national poll as the No. 25 ranked team in the country. Junior tri-captain Stephanie Kim shined for the Bears as she shattered her personal best all-around score of 38.325, finishing in first place with a 38.800 mark. Her all-around score places eighth in the Pac-10 through two weeks of competition. Cal won three of the four rotations in the victory, outscoring Sacramento State on vault (48.000 - 47.575), bars (47.900 - 47.275) and beam (48.200 - 46.375). The Hornets edged the Bears on floor with a mark of 48.950 - 48.850. By far the most successful event of the afternoon, Cal took Nos. 1-4 on the balance beam with Kim's 9.775 leading the way. On the vault rotation, Kim tallied another personal best 9.600 to take second place, while freshman Monique Chang's 9.775 mark claimed first place in her collegiate debut. The parallel bars were a success as well, as Chang finished first (9.850) and senior Janet McKnight finished second with a 9.800. The Bears took the top three individual spots in the all-around, with Kim, Karissa Chock and My-Lan Dodd finishing 1-2-3.

FIRST FOR EVERYTHING: Freshmen Monique Chang, Anja Garcia and Britani Pittullo all made their collegiate debuts against Sacramento State. Chang's 9.850 mark on the bars puts her in a ninth place tie for best score in the Pac-10 through two weeks.

SCOUTING UCLA: The Bruins currently hold an 18-1 all-time advantage over the Bears after defeating Cal in the teams' lone meeting last year. UCLA is the defending national champions and currently ranked the No. 1 team in the nation. After defeating Oregon State and Utah to begin the season, the Bruins are a perfect 2-0. The victory over Utah snapped the nation's longest home-court winning streak in NCAA history as the Utes had won 170 consecutive meets over 23 years on their home court. The Bruins' roster boasts five Olympians, eight All-Americans and three NCAA individual champions, including 2002 NCAA all-around, vault and floor champion Jamie Dantzscher. The junior from San Dimas currently leads the nation in the individual all-around with a mark of 39.775 after two meets. She also leads the nation in the floor exercise (9.9875) after posting a perfect 10 against Oregon State, and is in the Top 5 in the other three events. Senior Onnie Willis (39.4500) and freshman Kate Richardson (39.3125) currently place third and fourth in the nation, respectively.

SCOUTING CAL STATE FULLERTON: Fullerton holds a slim 5-3 all-time edge over the Bears, though Cal defeated the Titans, 193.925 - 192.175, to open the 2002 season. The Titan squad finished fifth in the Western Gymnastics Conference last year, while claiming a fifth place regional showing as well. Fullerton won its opening meet of the 2003 with a team score of 193.875, finishing ahead of second-place Utah State (192.050) and third-place Illinois-Chicago (191.700). The victory propelled Cal State Fullerton to No. 19 in the national rankings. The Titans are led by senior Kelly Mathiasen, who finished 13th overall at the 2002 NCAA Regionals.

SCOUTING UC DAVIS: Cal holds a commanding 21-1 all-time record over the Aggies, most recently defeating them in last year's Cal Invitational (Feb. 17). Davis finished the 2002 campaign with a 12-11 overall record. Sophomore Tiffany Chan returns after capturing a gold medal on the floor exercise at the 2002 USAG Collegiate Gymnastics National Championships.

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