Women's Gymnastics Hosts No. 5 Stanford in its Annual Big Meet

Jan. 29, 2007

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The California Golden Bear women's gymnastics team will host its first home meet against No. 5 Stanford on Sunday, Feb. 4, at 2 p.m. (PT) in Haas Pavilion. Cal last competed on Friday, Jan. 19 at Oregon State, falling to the Beavers 195. 400-191.875.

The Golden Bears rank No. 35 in the country. Cal also received votes in the 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 fell to No. 21 Oregon State, 195.400-191.875, in Corvallis, Ore., in the first meet of the 2007 season. Sophomore Jessica Kelley posted a 38.625 in the all-around competition to finish third. Kelley tallied a career-high 9.850 on the floor and matched her career-high of 9.650 on the beam. She also set her season-highs on the vault (9.475) and bars (9.650). The Bears lit up the floor, tallying a 48.600. Kelley's 9.850 was a team-high, however, senior Isabel Garcia collected a 9.775 in her first time on the floor this season. Sophomore Joanna Bennett recorded a 9.700, senior Elyse Wong posted a 9.675 and Nicki Wells collected a 9.600 in the event also. On the vault, Garcia recorded a 9.825 to finish second. Junior Allison Szutu matched her career-high on the vault with her score of 9.675. Also Bennett posted a career-high 9.650 in the event. Sophomore Bridgette Glass collected a 9.725 on the bars, as Bennett tallied a 9.750 in the event, to tie for third.

No. 5 Stanford, enters the meet against Bay Area Rival Cal, with a No. 1 ranking in the Pac-10. The Cardinal earned the ranking after posting wins against, UCLA, Arizona State and Washington. In their most recent win over Washington, All-American Tabitha Yin posted two victories in individual events, en route to winning the all-around competition with her score of 39.450. Yin ranks 10th in the nation in the all-around competition. Stanford owns a 27-15 series record against the Bears.

It wasn't until the end of last season that the Golden Bears posted a 48.600 on the floor against San Jose State, in the final home meet of the season. However to start out this year, Cal posted a 48.600 in the first meet; the Bears now rank No. 19th nationally in the event. Several Bears posted their career-best, if not their season's best in the event. Sophomore Joanna Bennett scored her career-best of 9.700 at Oregon State, as did Jessica Kelley with her 9.850. Seniors Isabel Garcia set her season-high of 9.775 and Elyse Wong notched her season-best of 9.675, also against the Beavers. Junior Nicki Wells snagged her season-best on the floor with her mark of 9.600.

Sophomore Jessica Kelley was sidelined at the end of last season due to an injury. However in her first meet back, the Los Altos native notched her career's second-best all-around performance at Oregon State. Kelley scored a 38.625to finish third in the competition. She currently ranks 10th in the west region and 14th in the Pac-10 in the all-around. Against the Beavers, Kelley posted a 9.475 on the vault, 9.650 on both the bars and beam and set her career-high of 9.850 on the floor. She now ranks fifth in the Pac-10 Conference, third in the west region and 18th nationally in the floor exercise.

At last year's Pac-10 Championship the Bears posted a 48.000 on the vault, opening in Corvallis this season Cal continued to boost its vault score, with a 48.475. Senior Isabel Garcia (9.825), Sophomores Joanna Bennett (9.650) and Bridgette Glass (9.625) notched their career-highs in the events. While junior Alli Szutu matched her career-high of 9.675. Siobhan Luce set her season-high of 9.700 on the vault. Cal ranks fifth on the vault in the west regional and Garcia individually ranks sixth in the Pac-10 and seventh in the west region.

Against the Beavers, sophomore Joanna Bennett set two career-highs. First on the vault, Bennett, who had previously posted a career-high of 9.575, notched a 9.650 in her first attempt of the season. The Healdsburg native also collected a 9.700 on the floor, after only competing once in the event last year and earning a 8.750. Bennett, who is usually flawless on the bars, also scored a 9.750 in the event.

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 35-41 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, 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.

The Golden Bears will make a trip to Tempe, Ariz., on Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. (MT), for a tri-meet against host Arizona State, Okalahoma and Air Force.

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