No. 23 GymDawgs Cruise To Big Win Over Cal

Feb. 19, 2010

SEATTLE - While Washington gymnastics head coach Joanne Bowers has been happy with her team's improvement throughout the 2010 campaign, there was just one thing missing that left her feeling not quite right: a win.

Bowers and the No. 23 Huskies finally got that first 'W' in a dual meet Friday night in a big way, setting a season-high in a 195.625-189.325 blowout of California at Bank of American Arena.

The Huskies (3-6) had earned two victories in a quad meet earlier this season, finishing second to No. 8 Stanford and defeating San Jose State and Sacramento State, but Friday night marked their first dual meet victory as well as their first home win in five tries. The GymDawgs did it in style, setting season highs on bars and beam on top of their best team score of the year, while the Husky individuals swept the top three places on all four events, with sophomore Hatsune Akaogi winning the all-around outright for the first time this season.

Akaogi won the all-around with a career-high of 39.225, which included a win on balance beam where she recorded a season-high 9.825. She also finished second on bars, tying a career-best with a 9.825, as well as third on floor with a 9.775 and fourth on vault, also with a 9.775.

Kristen Linton won two events for UW, including the bars, where she became the first Husky in 2010 to score a 9.900. It was also the first 9.900 of her career. She also won the floor with a 9.825 while Haley Bogart won the vault with a career-high 9.875.

The Huskies started on vault where junior Karen Cain set the tone from the get-go, sticking her landing perfectly for a 9.700. Amanda Cline would follow with a 9.800, a score which was matched later by Lauren Rogers. Akaogi also added a 9.775 and Bogart finished things off to take the top spot with a 9.875. UW's score of 48.950 was their second-best of the season on vault, just shy of the 49.000 season-high they put up last week.

Up next were bars for UW where they had their best performance of the night, racking up a score of 49.025. Phoebe Tham started things off with a 9.600, a score which was later dropped because the next five performers nailed their routines. Cline followed immediately with a season-best 9.750 and Ruby Engreitz posted a 9.825 to take the lead momentarily. She was then topped by Akaogi, who tied her best-ever bars score with a 9.825 but Linton followed with a near-flawless routine, recording the 9.900 to win the event. Samantha Walior wrapped things up with a solid 9.700 to keep the Huskies well in the lead.

UW moved on to beam where they recorded their second season-high of the night, posting a 48.850. Five of six Huskies scored at least a 9.725, led by Akaogi, who went second and set the bar with a 9.825. Anna Epps added a 9.725, tying a career-high, while Linton scored a 9.750. Bogart and Walior closed things out by each scoring a 9.775, with Bogart's score tying a season high.

The GymDawgs finished things off on floor, with Linton taking her second event with a 9.825. Bogart was right behind her with a 9.800 and Akaogi was third with a 9.775.

Bowers, who said the Huskies hit 20 of their 24 routines, couldn't have been more pleased with the total team effort.

'We've been telling the girls all season `wins and losses don't really matter, you're going against yourself', but let me tell you, it does. I hate losing and it just feels good to get a win,' Bowers said. 'For everyone to do well and really pull together and get our best score, it feels wonderful. I was so proud of the girls. This was the most relaxed we've been going into a meet. They were having fun and they just relaxed and did their gymnastics. We trained so hard all week and we've done that for three straight weeks and it finally paid off. It was so much fun for everyone and I think this will be great for our confidence. I feel like we're making good progress and I just really like where we are.'

UW closes out the home portion of their schedule next Friday, Feb. 26 when they host No. 6 Arkansas and Seattle Pacific at 7 p.m. at Bank of America Arena.

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