Women's Gymnastics Host NCAA West Regional

April 10, 2007

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The California Golden Bear women's gymnastics team will host the NCAA West Regional at Haas Pavilion, on April 14 at 6 p.m. Five other teams and nine individuals will also compete at the Regional. The Bears advanced to the NCAA Regional by ending the season with an 193.775 regional- qualifying score. Cal last competed at the Pac-10 Championships in Tempe, Ariz., as it finished seventh with the score of 193.650. UCLA won the Pac-10 title with its score of 197.200.

Cal will join No. 6 Nebraska, No. 7 Utah, No. 18 Missouri, Washington, Sacramento State and nine individuals at the NCAA West Regional at Haas Pavilion. Six teams, five all-around competitors (who are not on a qualifying team) and one individual event specialist per event [who has a minimum regional-qualifying score (RQS) of 9.4] were named to each of the six regions. The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors (who are not on an advancing team) from each regional will receive an automatic berth to the national championships in Salt Lake City, Utah, April 26-28, hosted by the University of Utah.

Tickets for the NCAA West Regional are still available. To purchase prior to the event call 1-800-GO-BEARS or check out CalBears.com. Tickets will also be sold at the door, two hours prior to the competition thru the fourth rotation.

California has appeared at an NCAA regional either as a team or individuals 26 times in its 30-year history. Like this year, the Bears have competed as a team 16 times. Individuals have represented Cal seven times in the NCAA regional. As a team, the Golden Bears have been in the top 5 nine times, with the team receiving a bid to the NCAA Championships only once, in 1992.

The lone participant for California in the NCAA West Regional hosted at Stanford's Maples Pavilion was senior
Britani Pittullo. Pittullo earned a 38.300 in the all-around competition, finishing 11th to end her amazing career at Cal. Pittullo opened on the bars in the third rotation scoring a 9.650. The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native moved onto the beam in the fourth rotation collecting a 9.700. In the fifth rotation, Pittullo earned a 9.775 on the beam, her second-highest score of the season, tying her in 16th overall. In the sixth and final rotation, Pittullo tallied a 9.175 on the vault.

The last time Cal hosted the NCAA West Regional was in 1992, as Pam Burgess' team finished third overall with its score of 192.10, advancing as a team for the only time in school history to the NCAA Championships. The Bears finished eighth out of 12 teams at the NCAA Championships and Kristen Smyth earned three individual All-American honors at the event.

The Golden Bears are ranked 37th in this week's Troester Poll. The Bears also rank 27th on the vault (48.860 V RQS), 40th on the bars (48.545 UB RQS), 32nd on the floor (48.785 F RQS). Cal did receive votes in the Troster Preseason Coaches poll. About the rankings: Unlike other rankings, college gymnastics rankings are not based on wins or losses or votes. The teams are ranked by their meet scores alone.

The California women's gymnastics team wrapped up the Pac-10 Championships with a 193.650, in seventh place in Tempe, Ariz. UCLA won the championship with a final score of 197.200. Jessica Kelley finished the all around in 16th place after scoring a 38.900 in the event. Kelley vaulted a 9.800, collected a 9.750 on the bars, 9.625 on the beam and a 9.725 on the floor. Siobhan Luce scored a 38.525 in the all-around. Cal got off to a good start on the vault, posting a 48.825. Kelley matched her career-high 9.800 on the vault. She has notched the mark for the last three consecutive meets. Isabel Garcia hit a 9.800, as freshman Sophia Hocini scored a 9.775. The Bears struggled a bit on the bars. However sophomore Lydia Williams continued her success on the event scoring a 9.850, tying for 10th place. Kelley and sophomore Bridgette Glass each scored a 9.750 on the apparatus. On the beam, Hocini notched her career-best 9.750. Junior Keiko Nakamura scored a season-high 9.650 on the beam.] Cal continued its strength on the floor, collecting a 48.650 team score. Garica scored a team-high 9.775 in the event. Senior Elyse Wong matched her season high of 9.725, as both Kelley and junior Allison Szutu also recorded a 9.725.

The sixth-ranked Cornhuskers bring a load of talent to the West Regional. Nebraska ranks sixth on the vault, seventh on the bars, sixth on the beam and fifth on the floor. Co-Big 12 Gymnast of the Year and seven-time All-American Emily Parson ranks first nationally on the beam, second nationally on the vault and third on the floor.

One of the most nationally recognized gymnastics program, the seventh-ranked Utah Utes will challenge for a bid to the NCAA Championships they are hosting in two weeks. Ten-time All-American Ashley Postell currently ranks No. 9 nationally in the all-around competition. Postell a season-high of 39.550 in the all-around competition, twice during the season. The Utes rank nationally fourth on the vault, third on the bars, seventh on the beam and 11th on the floor.

The 18th-ranked Missouri Tigers enter Saturday's competition 21st on the vault, tied for 17th on the bars, 20th on the beam and tied for 22nd on the floor. Adrianne Perry will enter the West Regional as the nation's 10th-ranked all-around competitor and is tied for 14th on vault, 30th on beam and 33rd on floor.

The Washington Huskies are familiar with Haas Pavilion, as they picked up a 194.800-193.025 decision over the Bears on Feb. 18. The Huskies rank fourth in the Pac-10 on the vault and fifth on the floor in the conference. Ashley Houghting ranks 10th in the west regional. Houghting is fifth nationally on the vault, as she tied for first at the Pac-10 Championship on the apparatus.

The Hornets of Sacramento State won their second straight WAC title, setting their season-high team score of 195.275. The team also set a school-record 49.325 on the beam. Marina Borisova currently ranks first in the WAC in the all-around competition; however Borisova finished second at the WAC Championships with her score of 39.275.

At the UC Davis quad meet, the Bears scored the second-best team score in school history of 196.500. Not since the 2004 season has Cal hit the 196.000 mark. In 2004, Cal last notched its best score in history of 196.800 on March 12, 2004 against Ball State. Cal first reached the 196.800 mark in 2003 in a meet against Arizona. Also at the UC Davis meet this past weekend Cal scored its third-highest marks in school history on the bars (49.325) and beam (49.225).

In California women's gymnastics history a 196.000 or higher has only been accomplished six times after last weekend's record-setting performances. The last to come was the 196.800 (highest) set against Ball State in 2004. During the 2003 season, Cal notched three of these feats posting a 196.800 against Arizona, 196.475 against Washington and Sacramento State, a 196.375 against Boise State. CS Fullerton, UC Davis. The Bears also recorded a 196.075 against Stanford during the 2001 season. Head coach Cari DuBois has overseen five of the six 196.000 or higher.

After starting out the season rocky on the beam, the Bears have continued to improved and collected a near perfect-performance at the UC Davis quad meet, as Cal score its third-best score in school history of 49.225. Freshman Sophia Hocini recorded her career-high of 9.725 on the beam, as Tiffany Tam also notched her career-high of 9.825. Siobhan Luce posted her career best mark on the apparatus of 9.875. Both sophomore Bridgette Glass and Jessica Kelley each scored a career-high 9.900, winning the competition.

Already this season, Cal has notched eight meets over 48.800 on the vault. The Golden Bears have also tallied their best scores on the vault since the 2004 season. The Bears rank No. 5 on the vault in the west region and 27th nationally in the event. Cal notched its best score this season of 48.950 in the tri-meet against Air Force and Penn. Senior Isabel Garcia scored her career high of 9.925, winning the event. Against Arizona, Cal notched a 48.825. Sophomore Bridgette Glass won the individual title after posting her career-best 9.875. In the UCLA quad meet Cal posted a 48.875 in the event. Junior Allison Szutu collected a career high of 9.850; her previous career high was 9.675, set twice in 2005.

The Bears continue to post those record breaking scores over 9.900. Four gymnasts have hit a 9.900 or higher on the different events throughout the season. Sophomore Bridgette Glass scored two 9.900 on the bars and beam at the UC Davis quad meet. Glass is the first Golden Bear gymnast to post two 9.900 in the same competition since Stephanie Kim notched a 9.950 on the bars and a 9.925 on the beam on March 12, 2004 against Ball State. Also on Friday night at the UC Davis quad meet, Jessica Kelley notched her first career 9.900 on the beam, tying with Glass to win the event. Also scoring over a 9.900 during the tri-meet against Penn and Air Force, senior Isabel Garcia scored a 9.925 on the vault, the first since Monique Chang collected the score at Stanford on Feb. 20, 2004. In the same meet, Lydia Williams scored a 9.900 on the bars, the first since last season when Britani Pittullo notched the mark last season at George Washington on March 12, 2006.

Sophomore Jessica Kelley is bumping her way into the regional championships. At the Pac-10 Championship, Kelley notched a 38.900 and matched her career-high 9.800 on the vault. A week earlier Kelley won the all around competition after tallying her career high of 39.450 at the UC Davis quad meet. This was the first time since My-Lan Dodd notched a 39.575 in 2004 against Ball State a Cal gymnast scored a 39.400 or higher. The Los Altos, Calif., native put together a stellar performance, scoring a 9.800 on the vault, 9.875 on the bars, 9.900 on the beam and 9.875 on the floor. The 9.900 on the beam was Kelley's first 9.900 she scored as a Cal gymnast in any event. Kelley was also the second gymnast to score a 9.875 on the floor this season. Senior Isabel Garcia also notched the number in the UCLA quad meet.

Sophia Hocini leaped her way into the record book against Air Force. The freshman scored a 9.875 in only her fourth collegiate vault attempt. Hocini's vaults have gotten progressively better throughout her vaulting attempts. In her first attempt against Arizona Hocini tallied a 9.575 and against Air Force and Penn she notched a 9.625. Hocini then collected a 9.775 at the Denver and BYU meet before setting her career best against Air Force. Also at the UC Davis quad meet Hocini scored her career high on the beam, posting a 9.725 in only her fourth collegiate attempt on the apparatus.

Senior Isabel Garcia has vaulted over a 9.700 on the vault in her last 19 consecutive competitions. This dates back to last year's meet against UCLA, Sacramento State and UC Davis on Feb. 10, when Garcia notched at 9.750. In Cal's final home meet this season, Garcia scored a career-best 9.925 winning the event and etching her name in the Cal record books. This was the first 9.925 on the vault since Monique Chang collected the score at Stanford on Feb. 20, 2004. Against Arizona, Garcia tied with teammate Jessica Kelley for the floor individual title with her 9.850. Garcia now ranks No. 17 in the West region on the vault with her regional qualifying score of 9.805.

Sophomore Bridgette Glass continues to post flawless performances. After being sidelined for the majority of last season, Glass has competed for the first time in her career in the all-around competition in the UCLA quad-meet. She had a solid performance posting a career-best 38.950 in the event. This past weekend at the UC Davis quad meet, Glass notched two 9.900, one on the beam and another on the bars. Glass had previously notched a 9.900 on the beam against Arizona. Also in the Arizona meet, she scored her career-high 9.875 on the vault and her career best on the floor of 9.825.

As the season progresses Siobhan Luce continues to wow judges with her performances. The junior notched her career-best in the all around of 39.225 at the UC Davis quad meet. She put together a solid performance scoring her career-highs on the beam (9.875) and on the floor (9.775). She finished the competition in third. The native of Reno, Nev., previously had posted her career-highest all-around score of 39.075 against Arizona. Against the Wildcats, Luce notched career-best on the beam (9.800) in addition to tallying a 9.775 on the vault, 9.750 on the bars and 9.775 on the floor. Luce finished third overall in the competition.

After being sidelined at the beginning of the season, sophomore Lydia Williams continues to elevate her performance on the bars. At UC Davis Williams matched her career high of 9.900 on the bars she originally scored in the tri-meet against Penn, Air Force. This was the first 9.900 on the bars since former Bear Britani Pittullo notched the mark last season at George Washington (March 12, 2006).

In November, head coach Cari DuBois announced the signing of Stefanie Cheng (San Jose, Calif./Saint Francis High School) and Avery Gee (Los Altos, Calif./Los Altos High School). Both will attend the University of California in the fall of 2007.

In her fifth 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 43-49 (47 win. percentage) 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 Regional, 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, in his second year at Cal, was hired in August 2005 to assist 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. Mike Lynch, is in his first year as a volunteer coach for the Golden Bears.

Depending on the outcome of the NCAA West Regional, Cal could advance if it places in the top two teams. Individuals can also advance to the NCAA Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah, on April 26-28.

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