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No. 8 Cal Opens 2021 Season By Hosting Air Force

Jan 28, 2021

Live Stream | Meet Notes | Live Stats | Cardboard Cutouts

BERKELEY - California women's gymnastics is set to open the 2021 season by hosting Air Force on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. 

Cal returns all but one member of last year's squad that featured multiple All-Americans and All-Pac-12 performers and adds one of the top recruiting classes in the country. That strong combination of experience and talented newcomers will help the Bears improve on a team that won three of their final four meets last year and ended last year ranked No. 9 in the country. The Bears had a team NQS of 197.075 when the season was canceled in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Bears are ranked eighth in the preseason WCGA poll, the highest-ever ranking in school history. The Bears were also selected third in the Pac-12 preseason coaches poll, receiving one first place vote. 

Due to local health guidelines, fans are not allowed inside Haas Pavilion for the meets. However, fans can be present to cheer on the Bears by purchasing a cardboard cutout.

FOLLOW THE ACTION FROM AFAR: 
Saturday's meet vs. Air Force will be streamed on the Pac-12 Now app. Cal will offer a live stream featuring in-meet footage from the videoboard.

Links to live stats can be accessed on the Cal Women's Gymnastics schedule page on CalBears.com. Follow @CalWGym on Twitter and Instagram for scoring updates, behind-the-scenes photos and videos and the latest information, and like Facebook.com/CalWGym for more on the Bears.

NUMBERS TO KNOW
8
- The Bears are the No. 8 team in the preseason WGCA poll, it is tied for the best-ever preseason mark in school history, with the 2019 squad. Cal was also picked to finish third in the Pac-12 conference, receiving a first-place vote and finishing just one point behind UCLA. 

97 - Cal returns 97 of the 100 Top 3 finishes from the 2020 season to the 2021 team, including ties and all-around results. Four different gymnasts have claimed at least a dozen Top 3 finishes each, led by 27 Top 3 finishes and 17 first-place wins by Kyana George.

9.925 - Cal had 18 event scores that received a 9.925 or higher during the 2020 season. The Bears bring back all but one of those performances for the 2021 season. Maya Bordas led the team with six performances at 9.925 or higher last year.  

BACK FOR THE BEARS
California returns an exciting group of student-athletes for the 2021 season as they feature the past two Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in Milan Clausi (2019) and Nevaeh DeSouza (2020). Additionally, 2020 All-Americans Kyana George (All-Around) and Maya Bordas (All-Around, Uneven Bars) return in 2021. In 2020, Cal had a school-record eight All-Pac-12 honors from five different gymnasts, all of whom will return for the 2021 season.The Bears return all but one member of last year's team that finished the season ranked ninth in the country. 

YOUTH MOVEMENT
Cal has added five freshmen to the team this year including three-time JO USA National Team Members Andi Li and three-time USA National Team member Gabby Perea. Li finished in second place at the 2019 JO National Championship. Perea claimed first place with Team USA at the City of Jesolo Trophy in 2019, 2017 and 2016. The Bears also added Kennedy Quay, Elise Byun and Blake Gozashti to the squad. Quay is a two-time Nastia Liukin Cup qualifier and claimed silver on vault at JO Nationals in 2017 and 2018. Byun is a two-time JO National qualifier and the 2019 Region 1 uneven bars champion. Gozashti took fifth all-around at NorCal State competition.

CALIFORNIA INKS NATIONAL STANDOUTS
The Cal women's gymnastics team added four high-level performers to the team during the early signing period as Ella Cesario, Jordan Kane, Mya Lauzon and Madelyn Williams signed National Letters of Intent with the Bears. The group has a wealth of national level experience as three have been members of the national team and the group has combined for six top-five all-around finishes and 11 top-three event finishes at the Junior Olympic Nationals. Cesario is a Junior Olympic National Team and finished in the top five of the all-around at three consecutive Junior Olympic Nationals. Kane is a two-time Junior Olympic Nationals qualifier. Lauzon is a two time Junior Olympic National team member.  She has two top-three all-around finishes at Junior Olympic Nationals. Williams won the 2019 Junior Olympic Nationals All-Around championship by a score of .575, the widest margin of victory from any of the sessions in 2019 and is a member of the Junior Olympic National Team. 

NEXT ROTATION
California hits the road for the first time in 2020 as they begin conference play with a trip to Arizona on Saturday, February 6. The meet is set for 1 p.m. on the Arizona campus.