Gymnastics 'Meet of the Week' preview: No. 12 Oregon State at No. 18 California
The matchup: Oregon State (5-1 overall, 2-1 Pac-12) vs Cal (4-2 overall, 2-2 Pac-12)
When: Satuday, Feb. 18 at 4:30 p.m. PT/ 5:30 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Network, Bay Area and Oregon
On the call: Jim Watson and Amanda Borden.
The fourth edition of 'Meet of the Week' pits rising powerhouse Oregon State against an experienced Cal team recovering from the loss of star Toni-Ann Williams. The Beavs, who hold an all-time 70-6 record over the Bears, are hoping to feed off a thrilling 196.550-196.525 upset against the then-No. 4 Red Rocks on their home turf.
On the visitor's side: Oregon State (5-1 overall, 2-1 Pac-12):
Oregon State is coming off of an unexpected win--one decided over .025 of a point-- over the Red Rocks for just the 10th time in program history. The Beavs are ranked 12th in the nation, averaging 196.075 with a 196.9 high.
Beavs to watch:
Kaytianna McMillan's dazzling 9.925 floor routine gave her squad the walk-off victory against Utah just a week ago.
With her team needing a 9.925 on the floor to win it, Kaytianna McMillan DELIVERED
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) February 12, 2017
The senior and Oregon native is leading the Beavs' surge through the NCAA ranks, holding a 39.308 all-around average, good for 20th in the country. She averages 9.892 on floor, but hasn't scored below a 9.9 since the team's second meet against Seattle Pacific. Consistent floor routines from McMillan and her teammates against a 28th-ranked Cal could seal the win.
Dani Dessaints will be the Beav to watch on beam. The junior from Las Vegas is averaging an 11th-ranked 9.871 on the apparatus with a career-high 9.9 earned in a January non-conference meet. Dessaints has kept up the pace, posting a 9.875 three times, including against Utah.
Madeline Gardiner has competed in the all around three times this season, averaging a 39.233. Gardiner has been a steady presence in the Beavs' rotation, tallying her best marks on beam and floor, where she averages a 9.854 and 9.833 respectively.
On the home side:
Cal is looking to notch their third conference win. The Bears haven't won a meet since beating Arizona State 196.025-193.575 in January, which also marked Toni-Ann Williams' final meet since tearing her ACL. Cal has struggled to pick up the pieces since the loss, but could very well edge out a victory over Oregon State should the veterans produce consistent numbers. Cal is ranked 18th with a 195.708 average and 196.3 high.
Bears to watch:
Desiree Palomares ranks 23rd on beam with a 9.854 average and 9.9 high this season. The senior and California native could give the Bears an edge on apparatus, where both teams dominate.
— Cal W Gymnastics (@calwgym) February 16, 2017
Emily Richardson has been a consistent force for the Bears, producing solid on bars, beam and vault. Richardson could give Cal the edge on bars, where she's posted below a 9.8 just once this season and tallied a season-high 9.9 against Washington and San Jose State in January.
Arianna Robinson will be the Bear to watch on vault and floor, where she's posted a season-high 9.9 and 9.825, respectively, in their last meet against Arizona.