Cal Heads to Michigan for a Pair of Meets

March 2, 2009


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The California Golden Bears have three regular-season meets remaining, all on the road, before the Mar. 21 Pac-10 Championships at Stanford. This week, the Bears head to the chilly Midwest as they take on Western Michigan on Friday, Mar. 6 and then Michigan State and Ball State on Sunday, Mar. 8.

Mar. 1 Dual vs ArizonaThe Bears posted their second highest team score of the season, a 191.375, in Sunday's meet against the Arizona Wildcats. The Pac-10 head-to-head against was the sixth top-25 ranked challenger of the season the Bears have competed against. Arizona swept the events, posting the higher team total on all four, but the Bears had some individual achievements with individuals winning the bars and an all-around title.

Event VictoriesSenior Bridgette Glass made the most of her senior day by earning a victory on the bars. Glass' 9.800 edged a pair of Wildcats to win the event. It was the third event victory of the season for Glass. Glass won the vault in the Arizona State meet and the beam in the Washington/Illinois State meet. She has now had a victory in each of the events she has competed in this season. Glass has not performed a floor routine in 2009.

All-AroundJunior Sophia Hocini posted identical career-high 38.950 scores in the all-around the last two weeks. Against Arizona, the score was strong enough to earn her first all-around title of the season. Hocini has had the highest all-around score for the Bears in every meet this season but their opener against UC Davis and Sacramento State, but previously her highest finish had been second place. Senior Joanna Bennett scored a career-best 38.800 in the all-around for a second place finish, her highest placement of the season.

The VaultThe strongest event of the meet for the team was the vault. The Bears posted a 48.375, their second highest point total for vault of the year. Sophia Hocini paced the Bears with a 9.775 in the event, one of a pair of 9.775 scores Hocini earned in the meet, her other coming on the floor. Joanna Bennett scored a season-high 9.675. Freshman Alexandra Leggitt had a career-high 9.675.

The BeamThe Bears had three gymnasts post 9.725 or higher scores on the beam. Sophia Hocini and freshman Erica Varon each had a 9.750. It was the second consecutive 9.750 on the beam for Varon, who earned the same marks for her performance at the Stanford meet. Joanna Bennett scored a 9.725.

Scouting This Week's OpponentsThe Bears face three opponents this week on the Michigan trip. On Friday, they will compete in Kalamazoo against the Western Michigan Broncos. The Broncos are 1-16 on the season, but are coming off of their strongest meet of the year where they posted a season-high team total of 192.875. The Broncos Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) right now is an average of 188.665, below Cal's 189.755.

On Sunday, Mar. 8, the Bears will compete in a tri-meet against Michigan State and Ball State. Michigan State fell out of the top-25 this week, with an RQS of 194.525, No. 27 in the weekly Troester rankings. Ball State posts a 191.760 average, ranking them at No. 49.

Did you know...Cal gymnastics teams are 3-0 against Ball State? They are 1-1 against Michigan State and 0-1 against Western Michigan.

Up NextThe Bears are back in California for their final regular-season meet of the year in Sacramento on Friday, Mar. 13 when they take on Sacramento State and UC Davis for the second time this season. The Bears will also compete against Seattle Pacific in the same meet. the Pac-10 Championships, being held this year at Stanford, will take place on Saturday, Mar. 21.

Cal Inks Six Newcomers For 2010 The California women's gymnastics team has signed six recruits to National Letter of Intent for the 2010 season. Nicolette Lew (Chino Hills, Calif.) was a Level 10 national and regional qualifier in 2008 and 2007. As a national qualifier, she took sixth on vault in 2008 and placed 19th in the all-around in 2007. Stina Olivere (Naperville, Ill.) was a four-time Level 10 state/regional qualifier and a three-time Level 9 state/regional qualifier, including a championship on bars at nationals. Arla Rosenzweig (Los Altos, Calif.) won the state championship on floor last year and was a regional qualifier. In 2006, she was the all-around state champion and the regional bars champion. Chelsea Spomer (Forestville, Calif.) was a three-time level 10 regional qualifier and a 2008 first alternate for nationals. She placed third in the all around at the state championships in 2008 and was also the Level 8 regional vault champion. Madisyn O'Brien (Sebastopol, Calif.) was a 2008 Level 10 national qualifier and a three-time Level 10 regional qualifier, including taking fourth in the all-around and second on bars in 2008. and Mariesah Pierce (Aptos, Calif.) took third on floor at national last year, and competed at nationals throughout her high school career. She also took second in the all-around at regionals in 2007 and 2008.

Head Coach Cari DuBois In her seventh 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 66-74 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 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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