Cal Heads to the Desert to Face No. 19 Arizona

Jan. 29, 2008


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Bears Continue Pac-10 Play
The California women's gymnastics team continues conference play on the road this week against Arizona Friday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m. MT in Tucson, Ariz. The Golden Bears fell to Washington last weekend, as Cal dropped to 2-2, 0-2 in the Pac-10 on the season. Cal advanced to the NCAA West Regional last year for the first time as a team since 2004. The Golden Bears made the postseason after garnering a regular-season record of 8-9.

Cal Loses Tough Meet to Huskies
Cal lost to Washington last Friday, 193.975-188.450, at Bank of America Arena. The Bears placed in the top three in three events, but the Huskies swept all four events.
Junior Joanna Bennett posted Cal's top score of the night, a 9.775 on bars, which tied her for second in that event. Sophomore Sophia Hocini finished third on vault with a mark of 9.750. Freshman Nassim Mirreghabie placed third on beam with a 9.725. Senior Siobhan Luce notched the Bears' fourth score of 9.700 or higher when she tallied a 9.700 on bars.
Luce ended the night with an all-around score of 37.425, while Hocini finished with a 37.050.

Steady Siobhan
Once again, Siobhan Luce has been one of Cal's most consistent competitors on the mats in 2008. The native of Reno, Nev., is the only gymnast to compete all around in each of the Bears' meets thus far.
Luce currently owns Cal's second-best score on bars this season with a 9.875 that she earned against Arizona State. The mark was also a new personal best for the senior. Luce also holds the third and fourth best floor scores, 9.700 and 9.625, respectively.

Hocini Continues To Impress
Sophia Hocini has been another gymnast who has produced quality scores so far in 2008. She currently holds Cal's second-highest score on vault (9.800) and the second-best all-around score of 38.475. Hocini has also competed in 11 of the first 12 events, proving to be a valuable factor in Cal's success this year.

Pink Meet
One Cal home meet will once again be designated as the women's gymnastics' breast cancer awareness meet. The 2008 Pink Meet will be the Feb. 10 contest against No. 11 Oregon State. The Golden Bear gymnasts will solicit flat donations or pledges for every Cal score of 9.5 and above. Cal will donate all money earned to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Bay Area affiliate in the hopes of raising funds to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease through research, education, screening and treatment. Fans are encouraged to wear pink and 'pink-out' Haas Pavilion, while the Bears don pink leotards for the event.

Scouting the Wildcats
The 19th-ranked Wildcats host the Bears with the same record as Cal, 2-2, 0-2 Pac-10. After a season-opening tri-meet victory, Arizona dropped its first two conference meets to Stanford and Oregon State. The Wildcats are currently ranked nationally on floor (No. 17), vault (No. 17), beam (No. 20) and bars (No. 25).

Cal Inks Two Newcomers for 2009
Shana Johnson (Castro Valley / Bishop O'Dowd High School) and Erica Varon (Torrance / Redondo Union High School) have signed National Letters of Intent to attend Cal in the fall of 2008.
Johnson, a member of the Novato Gymnastics Club, finished second at the 2005 Level 9 Westerns on vault and floor. One week before competing at the 2007 regionals, Johnson dislocated her left knee, but was still able to finish 13th out of 30 in the all-around. Hoping eventually to start a career in the sports medicine field, Johnson was a member of the California Scholarship Federation and made the honor roll in high school.
Varon, who intends to major in neurobiology, has twice won the California State Championship in the all-around and is a two-time Junior Olympic National qualifier. Varon competed for the Josephson Academy of Gymnastics, for which she garnered the Most Improved Award in 2001 and the Toughest Competitor Award in 2003. She earned an academic letter last year and made the Principal's High Honor Roll.

Did You Know
Last season against UC Davis on March 7, the Bears earned their second-best team all-around score in program history, 196.500. Cal's all-time top all-around score is 196.800, which was earned on March 7, 2003, and scored again on March 12, 2004.

Up Next
The Bears return to Berkeley next week for a brief homestand. First they host Oregon State in the 2008 Pink Meet Sunday, Feb. 10, at 2 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. The following week they host UCLA, Sunday, Feb. 17, at 2 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.

Head Coach Cari DuBois
In her sixth year at California, head coach Cari DuBois has reshaped the women's gymnastics program from the day she arrived on campus. DuBois has posted a 48-60 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. Last season, DuBois guided the Bears to the NCAA West Regional, held at Cal's Haas Pavilion, and ended the campaign with a final ranking of 26. Earlier during her tenure, she led Cal to its first back-to-back dual-meet winning seasons since 1991-92 and led the 2003 Bears to their highest NCAA-regional finish (fourth) since 1992. In 2004, the Bears 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.

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