Women's Gymnastics Set to Tango with Bay Area Rivals

March 19, 2007

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The California Golden Bear women's gymnastics team will return to Northern California for a meet against UC Davis, Sacramento State and San Jose State in Davis, Calif., on Friday, March 23, 2007 at 7 p.m. (PT). Last weekend the Bears recorded their first upset over a ranked opponent since 2004. Cal defeated No. 22 BYU on Friday night, 193.875-193.800. In the same meet, the Bears dropped a decision to No. 17 Denver, 196.100-193.875. On Sunday, Cal defeated Air Force for the second time this season, 191.725-185.600.

The Golden Bears are ranked 42nd in this weekend's Troster Poll. The Bears also rank 26th on the vault (48.845 V RQS) and 32nd on the floor (48.630 F RQS). 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.

With seven-time Olympic medalist Shannon Miller in the audience, the California Golden Bears recorded their first upset in three years, defeating No. 22 BYU, 193.875-193.800. However the Bears fell to No. 17 Denver 196.100-193.875 in Denver, Colo. Sophomore
Jessica Kelley led the Golden Bears in the all around for the second straight meet, finishing with a 38.975 and in second place. Kelley notched a 9.750 on the vault, 9.750 on the bars, 9.650 on the beam and 9.825 on the floor. Also in the all around was sophomore Bridgette Glass, matching her career-high of 38.900. The Bears continued their dominance on the vault, with five gymnasts scoring a 9.750 or higher. Glass scored a team-high 9.825 on the vault. After scoring a 49.000 on the bars in last weekend's meet, Cal almost hit that mark again, recording a 48.950 on the event. All six gymnasts scored a 9.750 or higher, with both junior Nicki Wells and sophomore Lydia Williams collecting a 9.825. Wowing the judges again on the floor was senior Isabel Garcia, as she scored a 9.825 in tonight's meet. Kelley also notched a 9.825 in the event.

The California women's gymnastics team defeated Air Force, 191.725-185.600 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Sophomore Jessica Kelley won her second individual all-around title, by scoring a 38.825 in today's competition. Kelley notched a 9.800 on the vault, 9.650 on the bars, 9.650 on the beam and a 9.725 on the floor. The Bears continued to post their best scores on the vault, recording a 48.875 team score today. Freshman Sophia Hocini collected her season-best mark on the event of 9.875, winning the individual vault title. Junior Allison Szutu scored a 9.775, finishing third. As senior Isabel Garcia followed in fourth (9.750) and junior Siobhan Luce in fifth (9.675). Sophomore Lydia Williams won the bar individual title with her team-high 9.825 against the Falcons. Sophomore Tiffany Tam also won the individual beam title with her season-best score of 9.675.

UC Davis enters Friday's meet after a 12-day layoff while they were taking final examinations. The 8-7 Aggies rank No. 9 in the West Region. Andi Dolinksy, who has been named MPSF Gymnasts of the Week twice, notched career highs on the floor (9.875) and bars (9.850) against Seattle Pacific. Tanya Ho (16th) and Dolinsky (22nd) continue to hold top-20 regional rankings on vault and floor, respectively.

The 11-3 Sacramento State Hornets enter Friday's meet after falling to San Jose State, 195.300-194.900. It was the Hornet's season-high team score. Mariana Borisova led the Hornets during the meet, winning the bars, floor and all around competition with her score of 39.275, including 9.900 on the bars and floor.

San Jose State just produced the second-best team score in school history, defeating Sacramento State, 195.300-194.900 last Sunday. The team also recorded its top team scores of the entire season in all four individual events. Michelle Monotti scored a 9.900 on the beam to win the event. Veronica Porte collected a 39.125 and Alise Blackwell scored a 39.050 in the all around competition.

As the individual scores continue to rise and the potential of a berth in the NCAA West Regional that Cal is hosting increases, the Bears have raised their team scores continually this season. In its final home meet two weeks ago, Cal recorded its best score (194.575) since the 2004 season when the Bears posted a 195.175 at the Pac-10 Championships. The Bears continue to raise their scores, as they upended the 22nd-ranked BYU Cougars this past weekend, 198.875-193.800. This trend started against Washington on Feb. 18, when they scored a 193.025, and has continued over the past week with only two scores lapsing below 193.000.

Already this season, Cal has notched six meets over 48.800 on the vault. The Golden Bears have tallied their best scores on the vault since the 2004 season. The Bears rank No. 5 on the vault in the west region. Cal notched its best score this season of 48.950 in the tri-meet against Air Force and Penn. Senior Isabel Garcia scored her career high of 9.925, winning the event. Cal notched two consecutive 48.875s on the apparatus in the meets this past weekend. 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. Junior Allison Szutu collected a career high of 9.850; her previous career high was 9.675, set twice in 2005.

The Bears continue to post those record breaking scores over 9.900. First of all 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. This past weekend in the tri-meet against Penn and Air Force, senior Isabel Garcia scored a 9.925 on the vault, first since; Monique Chang collected the score at Stanford on Feb. 20, 2004. In the same meet, Lydia Williams scored a 9.900 on the bars, the first since last season when Britani Pittullo notched the mark last season at George Washington on March 12, 2006. This was the first meet since the Ball State meet on March 12, 2004, that more than one Cal gymnast scored over a 9.900. At that meet, Stephanie Kim score a 9.950 on the bars and a 9.925 on the beam, as Miho Maeda also notched a 9.925 on the bars.

Sophomore Jessica Kelley won the all around competition after tallying her career high of 39.125 in the tri-meet against Penn and Air Force. The Los Altos, Calif., native scored a 9.750 on the vault, posted a 9.775 on both the bars and beams and notched a 9.825 on the floor. The 9.775 she set on the beam was her career high. A week before against Arizona, Kelley set her career high on the floor (9.850). Kelley finished the competition with a 38.475. This past weekend, Kelley scored a 38.975 against Denver and BYU, finishing second in the competition. She turned around and won the all around competition at Air Force with her score of 38.825. Also against the Falcons Kelley set her career high on the vault (9.800). Kelley currently is 12th in the 2est region in the all around competition.

Sophia Hocini leaped her way into the record book against Air Force. The freshman scored a 9.875 in only her fourth collegiate vault attempt. Hocini's vaults have gotten progressively better throughout her vaulting attempts. In her first attempt against Arizona Hocini tallied a 9.575 and against Air Force and Penn she notched a 9.625. Hocini then collected a 9.775 at the Denver and BYU meet before setting her career best against Air Force.

On senior night, Isabel Garcia couldn't have asked for better performances. The Fair Oaks, Calif., native has vaulted over a 9.700 on the vault in her last 17 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 Cal's final home meet this season, Garcia scored a career-best 9.925 winning the event and etching her name in the Cal record books. This was the first 9.925 on the vault since Monique Chang collected the score at Stanford on Feb. 20, 2004. Against Arizona, Garcia tied with teammate Jessica Kelley for the floor individual title with her 9.850. Garcia now ranks No. 17 in the West region on the vault with her regional qualifying score of 9.805.

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.

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. 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 continues to elevate her performance on the bars. In last weekend's Williams posted a career-high 9.900 winning the event. This was the first 9.900 on the bars since former Bear Britani Pittullo notched the mark last season at George Washington (March 12, 2006). A week earlier, Williams matched her then-career high on the bars of 9.850.

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 travel next to the 2007 Pac-10 Championships in Tempe, Ariz., on Saturday, March 31, at 6 p.m. (MT).

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