Women's Gymnastics Hosts San Jose State in Final Home Meet

March 14, 2006

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The California Golden Bears will host their final home meet of the season. On Friday evening the Bears will host San Jose State at Haas Pavilion. The meet is schedule for a 7:30 p.m. (PST) start. Last weekend, the Bears traveled back East. Cal finished second behind No. 23 West Virginia on Friday night. On Sunday, Cal won its first tri-meet for the first time since the beginning of last season. Cal posted a 192.225 to edge North Carolina State and George Washington. Senior Britani Pittullo posted Cal's first 9.900 this season.

California's home matches will be available live with video and audio coverage on the California Golden Bears Sports Network. A subscription to California Golden Bears Sports Network costs $9.95 per month or $79.95 per year. For more information visit: http://cal.newtier.com. Make sure you don't miss a meet!


San Jose State: The San Jose State Spartan currently ranks third in the WAC conference. The Spartans are atop the WAC conference on the vault and beam. Junior Raylyn Cardeno is second in the conference on the vault and Leah Bigelow is seventh in the conference on the beam. Sophomore Michelle Minotti and freshman Veronica Porte led the Spartans in the all-around competition. Porte currently is fourth in the conference on the bars.

Injuries, which have hampered the California women's gymnastics team in 2005, plagued the Bears (176.450) yet again in their regular season-ending loss to host San Jose State (194.325) and Stanford (192.750) at Spartan Gym. The Bears finished the meet with just four competitors on the final rotation after senior My-Lan Dodd suffered an undisclosed season-ending injury during her floor exercise routine. Cal began the night in third place after posting a 47.100 on bars, highlighted by freshman Siobhan Luce's new career-high score of 9.650. Led by Dodd's 9.800 and senior Lauren Shipp's 9.775, the Bears rallied with a 48.425 on beam to move into second after two rotations. Dodd, who owns four of the top five all-around marks in Cal program history, was the fifth and final competitor for the Bears on floor, but was unable to finish her routine. Cal finished the event with a 42.575. Cal was led on the evening by Luce, whose 38.425 all-around score was a tenth of a point off of her career high and fifth in the meet. The Bears top individual event finish was by freshman Alli Szutu, who posted a 9.750 and tied for third on bars.

On Friday night against San Jose State the Golden Bears will bid farewell to their lone senior, Britani Pittullo. Pittullo was a freshman in 2003 as a walk-on. The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native earned a scholarship in her final three years. Pittullo will be honored prior to the meet.

The Golden Bears posted their team best score on the bars for the first time in over two years. Cal notched a 49.100 in the event against George Washington and North Carolina State, the first time since March 20, 2004 when they were at the Pac-10 Championship and scored a 49.150. Senior Britani Pittullo notched the first 9.900 of the season for the Golden Bears on the bars. Also at the meet, sophomore Nicki Wells recorded her career-high in the meet of 9.850, as did freshmen Lydia Williams (9.850) and Bridgette Glass (9.675).

Last weekend back East, a couple Bears collected or matched their career-highs. Sophomore Keiko Nakamura tallied a career-high 9.725 on the beam, while freshman Tiffany Tam matched her career-high (9.675) in the event.

Cal senior Britani Pittullo posted a season-high 38.900 in the all-around competition against George Washington, North Carolina State. Previously, Pittullo recorded a season-best 38.400 on Friday night at No. 23 West Virginia and Pittsburgh. Against the Colonials and Wolfpack Pittullo recorded the first 9.900 (bars) of the season in any event for Cal. Pittullo ranks No. 15 in the west region for the all-around competition and is No. 24 in the west region on the bars.

Freshman Joanna Bennett continues her hot streak on the bars this season. This past weekend, Bennett posted 9.800 (3/10) and a 9.825 (3/12). Bennett's career mark came against UCLA, Sacramento State and UC Davis when she scored a 9.875, the highest mark for a freshman in the event since former gymnast My-Lan Dodd recorded a 9.900 during her freshman season (2002) against San Jose State, Boise State and Sacramento State. Bennett currently finds herself tied for No. 14 in the west region on the bars.

In only her second meet this season, freshman Bridgette Glass collected her career-high. Against George Washington and North Carolina State Glass notched a career-high 9.675 on the bars. In her first meet against No. 23 West Virginia and Pittsburgh, Glass tallied a 8.150.

Sophomore Keiko Nakamura collected her career high on the beam at the George Washington, North Carolina State meet. Nakamura notched a 9.725, ousting her previous career high of 9.625 set at last year's UC Davis and Brown meet. Nakamura matched her career high on Feb. 26 at Cal State Fullerton.

Freshman Lydia Williams lit up the bars this past weekend. Williams scored a 9.775 against No. 23 West Virginia and Pittsburgh. Against George Washington and North Carolina State Williams notched a career-high 9.850 in the event.

In November, head coach Cari DuBois announced the signing of Sophia Hocini (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley High School) and Nicole Day (Artesia, Calif./Richard Gahr High School). Both will attend the University of California in the fall of 2006.

In her fourth year at California, head coach Cari DuBois has already reshaped the women's gymnastics program from the day she arrived on campus. DuBois has posted a 27-23 record at Cal. Also she was named the 2003 Pac-10 Co-Coach of the year and the 2003 West Regional Coach of the Year. In her short tenure, DuBois has guided the Bears to their first back-to-back dual-meet winning seasons since 1991-92 and led the 2003 Cal team to its highest NCAA Regional finish (fourth) since 1992. A year later, Cal finished fifth at the NCAA Regionals, the program's best back-to-back postseason showings since 1991-92. Prior to coming to Berkeley, DuBois worked as an assistant for nine years (six at West Virginia and three at Cal under Alfie Mitchell). DuBois also has spent time instructing and choreographing routines at several gymnastics camps and clubs nationwide. DuBois graduated from Ball State in 1992 with a degree in exercise science and wellness and holds a master's degree in athletic coaching from West Virginia. Scott Ryan, hired in August 2005, assists DuBois. Ryan served as the director and head coach at Aztec Gymnastics in San Diego, Calif., prior to his hiring at Cal. While at Aztec Gymnastics, Ryan led his teams to 33 state and regional championships in the state of California and national championships in both the United States and Mexico. Also, 18 of his gymnasts earned college gymnastics scholarships.

After closing the regular season, the Bears will travel to the Pac-10 Championship in Corvallis, Ore., on March 25. The meet is scheduled for a 6 p.m. (PST) start at Gill Coliseum.

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