Women's Gymnastics Opens 2009 Season with Home Meet Saturday, Jan. 10

Jan. 5, 2009

BERKELEY -

The California Golden Bears women's gymnastics team opens their season this Saturday, Jan. 10 with a 7 p.m. tri-meet, hosting Sacramento State and UC Davis at Haas Pavilion.

With only four upperclassmen on this year's Cal squad, head coach Cari DuBois is looking to each gymnast on the team to be at her best this season. Coming off a campaign in which it earned representation at the NCAA West Regional for the third consecutive year, Cal has its sights set on returning to regionals as a team and improving its finish at the Pac-10 Championships.

In order to accomplish these goals, DuBois will call upon her three seniors - Joanna Bennett, Bridgette Glass and Jessica Kelley - to provide the veteran leadership necessary to lead the young squad. In addition to the guidance of the seniors, DuBois notes that each gymnast will need to work hard at her role on the team in order to be successful this year.

'We definitely want to qualify for regionals as a team and continue to improve our fitness level and remain healthy,' said DuBois, who begins her seventh season leading the Cal program. 'Looking back at last year, no matter what type of adversity we faced, we remained determined and continued to work hard. I believe that we are a very talented young group, and I feel the passion and desire. Leadership will have a significant impact on what we are able to accomplish this year. Overall, I feel like the team is in better shape than it was last year.'

Once again the Pac-10 will be one of the most competitive conferences in the nation this season. It is essential for the team to be ready and motivated for every competition if they want to meet their goal of a top-four finish at the conference championships. The Bears came in fifth at last year's conference meet, finishing higher than No. 19 Arizona State. DuBois wants to capitalize on that success and place higher this year.

'We went in and did what we do well, and it helped catapult us to our second-highest finish ever at the Pac-10 Championships,' said DuBois. 'It was an incredible feeling and the team wants that back. They want to continue to improve in the conference, in the regional and the national rankings as well.'

In Pac-10 dual meets, Cal will entertain Arizona, Washington and Stanford. The Bears host two tri-meets this year. They open the season with Sacramento State and UC Davis, and later host Washington and Illinois State. The team will make non-conference stops at Michigan and at Sacramento State.

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