California Women's Gymnastics Visits No. 23 West Virginia, George Washington

March 7, 2006

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The California Golden Bears will travel back East to face West Virginia and Pittsburgh on Friday evening in Morgantown, W. Va., at 7 p.m. (EST) and on Sunday travel down to Washington, D.C., to square off against George Washington and North Carolina State at 1 p.m. (EST). Last weekend, the Bears hosted No. 15 Arizona State in a dual Pac-10 meet. The Sun Devils won the contest 196.250-191.850. Sophomore Siobhan Luce matched her career high (38.525) in the all-around competition.


No. 23 West Virginia: The No. 23 West Virginia Mountaineers rank nationally, No. 20 on the bars, first in the EAGL conference. Freshman Mehgan Morris leads the Mountaineers on the bars. This season she's averaged 9.816 in the event. Junior Janae Cox also ranks in the country's top 50 on the bars. The Mountaineers also rank No. 23 nationally on the floor and first in its conference. Morris also leads the team on the floor with her average of 9.682.

Pittsburgh: On Saturday, March 4, Pittsburgh earned its highest-team score of the season (193.500). Sitting in seventh place in the EAGL conference, the Panthers are led by junior Andrea Arlotta in the all-around competition. Arlotta, third the conference in individual all-around, recorded her season-best score 39.200 in their quad-meet against Ohio State, Maryland and SUNY Brockport.

George Washington: George Washington was edged in its last meet by Central Michigan (191.850-191.675). Senior Erin Aiken leads the team in the all-around competition. Aiken ranks ninth in the EAGL conference in the all-around. She won the all-around title and vault title against Central Michigan.

North Carolina State: Last Friday night the North Carolina State Wolfpack upset No. 23 Michigan State in Raleigh, N.C. Led by sophomore Heather Zolton in the all-around, the Wolfpack posted a season-high 49.125 on the floor. Entering Sunday's competition, senior Kylah Bachman ranks No. 6 in the EAGL conference in the all-around competition.

The Golden Bears have made a sturdy improvement on the floor. In their first meet they recorded a 46.625 on the floor. Cal has improved throughout the season, which was evident when it earned its season-high 48.400 in the event. Through out the year the Bears have been led by a series of different Cal gymnasts. Most recently, sophomore Siobhan Luce and senior Britani Pittullo each recorded a 9.700 at Washington.

Against Arizona State the Bears posted their best score this season on the bars. Cal notched a 48.625 with help from freshman Joanna Bennett, who led the team with her 9.825. Sophomore Siobhan Luce also recorded a 9.700 and senior Britani Pittullo collected a 9.775.

Entering the last month of the regular season, junior Isabel Garcia continues to break her career highs over and over again. Garcia tied her career-high on the vault against Arizona State. The Fair Oaks, Calif., native posted a 9.800 in the event. Prior to the Arizona State meet, Garcia broke her career high against UCLA, Sacramento State and UC Davis when she tallied a 9.750. Garcia matched the 9.750 the next week against Washington and broke it once again at Cal State Fullerton (9.800).

Freshman Joanna Bennett recorded her season high (9.575) on the vault against Arizona State. In her four previous attempts in the event, Bennett had only posted a high of 9.400.

Against Arizona State sophomore Siobhan Luce matched her career-high in the all-around competition. Luce recorded a 9.550 (vault), 9.700 (bars), 9.600 (beam) and a 9.675 (floor). Last season Luce recorded her career-high 38.525 in the all-around against this weekend's opponent North Carolina State.

Cal senior Britani Pittullo posted a season-high 938.400 in the all-around competition against Arizona State. Previously, Pittullo has recorded a season-best 38.200 at Sacramento State and at Arizona. Against Arizona State Pittullo was a half a point shy of matching her career-high on the vault, as she scored a 9.800.

The trip to West Virginia will mark a homecoming for both head coach Cari DuBois and assistant coach Scott Ryan. DuBois spent six years as an assistant coach with the Mountaineers. While at West Virginia, she helped the Mountaineers attain their highest national ranking ever (fourth, 200) and helped lead West Virginia to a pair of 12th-place national finishes in 1999 and 2000. During DuBois' tenure at West Virginia the Mountaineers captured more than 20 wins per season and captured four Big East Championships. DuBois also holds her masters degree in athletic coaching education from West Virginia. Ryan is a graduate of West Virginia with an undergraduate degree in journalism and a masters of science in sports promotions.

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.

California will return home on Friday, March 17, to host San Jose State at 7:30 p.m. in the final home meet of the season. Senior Britani Pittullo will be honored at the meet.