Women's Gymnastics Hosts Final Regular Season Meet

March 6, 2007

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The California Golden Bear women's gymnastics team will host its final regular season home meet on Friday, March 9, as the Bears welcome Air Force and Penn to Haas Pavilion at 7:30 p.m. Last weekend, Cal hosted Pac-10 foe Arizona in a dual meet. The Wildcats got the best of the Bears, defeating them, 196.100-193.750.

Live stats will be available on www.CalBears.com during the meet.

The Golden Bears are ranked 47th in this weekend's Troster Poll. 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 posted its season-best score, but stumbled in the end, falling to No. 17 Arizona, 196.100-193.750 in Berkeley, Calif. In the all-around, junior Siobhan Luce scored a career-high 39.075. Luce vaulted a 9.775 and scored a 9.750 on the bars. She notched her career high on the beam of 9.800 and Luce also matched her career high on the floor of 9.750. Sophomore Bridgette Glass scored a career-high 9.900 on the beam. This was the first time since 2004 a Cal gymnast has scored a 9.9 or higher on the beam. As a team, Cal posted its best beam score of the season with a 48.325. For her first attempt on the beam, sophomore Joanna Bennett notched a career-high 9.725. Luce a career high of 9.80. Sophomore Jessica Kelly also tallied a 9.675. The Bears also notched their season best performance on the floor with a 48.825. Both senior Isabel Garcia and Kelley notched a 9.850, matching their career highs. Nicki Wells collected 9.700.

Air Force enters Friday's meet with a winless (0-8) overall record. As of this week, they have notched season highs of 47.525 on the vault, 46.250 on the bars, 46.650 on the beam, 47.650 on the floor and 186.275 overall score. Shonna Iwaniec (37.775) and Abigail Rogers (37.650) are their most consistent competitors in the all-around.

Making a West Coast tour, Penn is currently 11-6, entering Friday's meet in Berkeley. Last time on the floor, the Quakers lost to Sacramento State, 193.925-192.950 on March 4 in Sacramento. However Penn's Marissa Rosen won the all-around competition with her score of 39.075.

Over the past two meets, the Golden Bears have tallied their best scores on the vault since the 2004 season. 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. Two Golden Bears notched their career highs. Isabel Garcia is vaulting closer to 9.9, as she scored a 9.875 in Los Angeles. Junior Allison Szutu collected a career high of 9.850; her previous career high was 9.675, set twice in 2005.

Against Arizona sophomore Bridgette Glass notched a 9.900 on the beam. This was the first 9.9 on the beam, Cal had scored since 2004, when both Stephanie Kim and Karissa Chock notched a 9.900 in Berkeley against UCLA and Seattle Pacific on Feb. 18, 2004. A week later that season (Feb. 20, 2004) at Stanford My-Lan Dodd notched a 9.925, as Kim also tallied a 9.925 on March 12 against Ball State. Dodd capped off that year with a 9.950 on the beam at the 2004 Pac-10 Championships.

For the first time in her career sophomore Bridgette Glass competed in the all-around competition in the UCLA quad-meet. She had a solid performance posting a career-best 38.950 in the event. Glass finished fourth in the competition. The Oakley, Calif., native tallied a career high on the vault 9.825, the bars (9.850) and on the floor (9.550). It was Glass' first attempt in live competition on the floor.

Senior Isabel Garcia has posted over a 9.700 on the vault in her last 14 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 the UCLA quad meet, Garcia inched closer to a 9.9 on the vault. The Fair Oaks, Calif., native, notched a 9.875, to finish fourth place. Also against the Wildcats this past weekend, Garcia tied with teammate Jessica Kelley for the floor individual title with her 9.850.

With the potential of a berth in the NCAA West Regional, Cal is hosting, the Bears have pumped up their team scores, posting their season-best in the last three meets. In the Arizona meet however, Cal notched its best score yet this season. On the vault to Bears tallied a 48.825, ranking 41st in the country. Cal also posted season-highs on the beam (48.325) and floor (48.825). The Bears host their team highest ranking on the floor, as Cal ranks 34th nationally.

Junior Siobhan Luce continues to wow judges with her performances as she recorded her career-high of 39.075 in the all-around competition against Arizona. The native of Reno, Nev., previously had posted her career-highest all-around score of 38.925 against Washington. This past weekend against the Wildcats, Luce notched career-best on the beam (9.800) and floor (9.750), in addition to tallying a 9.775 on the vault and 9.750 on the bars. Luce finished third overall in the competition.

After being sidelined at the beginning of the season, sophomore Lydia Williams matched her career-high on the bars of 9.850. Previously this season, Williams had notched her season-best at the UCLA quad meet of 9.825.

Sophomore Joanna Bennett returned to the gym last weekend against Arizona. The Healdsburg native, scored a 9.700 in her first attempt on the bars, since the Oregon State meet (Jan. 19). Also in her first collegiate attempt, Bennett tallied a 9.725 on the beam.

Against Arizona last weekend, Jessica Kelley matched her career-high on the vault of 9.775 and on the floor (9.850). [I bolded Jessica Kelley'] Kelley finished the competition with a 38.475. Kelley set her season-best all-around score in the first meet of the season against Oregon State, in which she tallied a 38.625.

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 35-45 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.

The Golden Bears will hit the road, traveling to Denver to face the Pioneers and BYU on Friday, March 16, at 7 p.m. On Sunday March 18, Cal will face Air Force in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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