Women's Gymnastics to Face Washington

Feb. 14, 2006

The California Golden Bears will hit the road to face Washington in Seattle, on Friday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. (PST). Last week, the Bears hosted a quad meet against UCLA, Sacramento State and UC Davis. Cal finished third with a final score of 190.850. Senior Britani Pittullo scored a 37.875 in the all-around.


Washington: Washington is currently struggling with several injuries. Those Huskies that are healthy are making the best of their opportunities. Freshman Ashely Houghting currently leads the Pac-10 on the vault. Houghting set her career-high of 9.925 at Utah State on Feb.10 in Logan, Utah. Senior Kelly McDonald ranks fifth on the bars in the Pac-10. McDonald posted a season-best 9.900 against Arizona on Feb. 3 in Tucson, Ariz.

California gymnasts swept the all-around, posting their most consistent scores of the season and the Bears' top team scores in nearly a month, but narrowly lost to No. 23 Washington at Haas Pavilion, 191.225-190.875. Cal (5-4, 0-4 Pac-10), which suited up just seven gymnasts for the competition, trailed the Huskies 143.825-142.525 entering the final rotation. On floor, the Bears tallied a 48.350 - their second-best mark of the year - but a 47.400 by Washington (9-4, 4-2 Pac-10) on beam was enough to capture the meet. Cal senior My-Lan Dodd captured the all-around with her highest score of the year (39.000). That mark included first-place finishes on vault (9.725) and second-best marks on bars (9.825), beam (9.700) and floor (9.750). Cal freshman Nicki Wells posted a new career best in the all-around (38.225) to finish second. Wells also set new career marks on bars (9.675), beam (9.550) and floor (9.650). Wells was trailed by freshman teammate Siobhan Luce (37.800). Cal senior Lauren Shipp won the beam competition with a 9.750.

California posted its season-best score on the vault in last week's meet. The Golden Bears' 48.300 was their best vault score since last March against Utah State (48.625). Juniors Isabel Garcia (9.750) and Justine Cephus (9.550), sophomore Soibhan Luce (9.700) and senior Britani Pittullo (9.750) all recorded their season highs in the event.

In the quad meet against UCLA, Sacramento State and UC Davis, Cal senior Britani Pittullo collected her season high on the vault. The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native posted a 9.750 in the meet. Pittullo tied for seventh in the event.

Sophomore Siobhan Luce posted her season-best on both the vault (9.700) and bars (9.825) in the quad meet last week. The score on the bars replaced her previous career high of 9.650 set last March against San Jose State and Stanford.

For only the second time this season Cal freshman Jessica Kelley did not compete in the all-around competition. Kelley instead focused on the vault and bars against UCLA, Sacramento State and UC Davis. She recorded her career-high on the bars (9.825) and currently ranks No. 21 in the west region on the bars. The Los Altos native did slip to 10th in the West Region for the all-around competition after not competing this past weekend.GRACEFUL GARCIA:
Cal junior Isabel Garcia continued to improve on the vault. The Fair Oaks native replaced her career-high (set a week before against Stanford - 9.675) again this past weekend. Garcia recorded a 9.750 in the vault against UCLA, Sacramento State and UC Davis. She continued to set highs in the meet, collecting her season-high on the floor (9.750). Her mark was only a point off of her career high of 9.850 set in 2004 against Stanford.

Cal sophomore Alli Szutu continues to improve on the floor this season. She recorded her season-high 9.650 on the floor in the quad meet against UCLA, Sacramento State and UC Davis. Only a half-of-a-point off her career-mark of 9.700, set last year against Washington, Szutu aims to repeat her career performance against the Huskies this weekend.

Freshman Joanna Bennett is breaking records on the bars. Her mark of 9.875 was the highest mark posted by a Cal freshman 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 ranks No. 10 in the West Region on the bars.

In the quad meet freshman Lydia Williams posted a 9.800 on the beam. This was the highest score on the beam from a Cal freshman since 2003, when senior Britani Pittullo posted a 9.850 in the NCAA Regional.

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.

The Golden Bears will travel next to Cal State Fullerton to face the Titans on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 2 p.m. (PST).

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