Cal Stays Perfect With Season-High 197.100 vs. ASU
BERKELEY – California women's gymnastics notched an impressive win over No. 14 Arizona State on Sunday afternoon at Haas Pavilion. The Bears scored a season-high as they won 197.100-196.650 over the Sun Devils to stay perfect with a 3-0 record this year.
Cal decisively won the bars and beam competitions, while the two squads matched scores on both the vault and the floor. Cal notched season highs on all four events, a 49.200 on the vault, 49.325 on bars, 49.250 on the beam and finishing it off with a 49.325 on the floor.
Nevaeh DeSouza tied for the fifth-highest score in the country entering the weekend as she set a personal best in the all-around with a 39.600 score. That score also tied Toni-Ann Williams 2018 mark for the fifth best all-around mark in program history. DeSouza displayed amazing consistency as she finished second and recorded a 9.90 on all four events, which led to her second straight all-around victory. DeSouza matched her career-best marks on the bars and beam and set a new personal standard on the floor with a 9.90.
"Nevaeh has ice in her veins when it comes to handling the pressure," co-head coach Elisabeth Crandall-Howell said. "The things that Nev is doing in competition are the things she does every day in practice. The true value of Nev is she's a 10.0 human; she shows up for her teammates, she's always positive and they know that they can lean on her. It's fantastic that the gymnastics is showing the person she is, but the true value is how she is that anchor for our team all the time."
Andi Li had a standout performance for the second straight meet as she earned her second straight bars title. The freshman landed a career-best 9.925 on the bars as the Bears swept the top three spots. Li followed that with a third-place finish on the beam as she stuck the landing with a 9.850.
"Every time Andi goes out, I expect big things from her," Crandall-Howell said. "I know what she's capable of, she was one of the most highly touted recruits in the country for a reason. She's a stunning athlete, but she was managing injuries in the lead up to the season. She has started rounding into form and today was an excellent example of what she can do."
Kyana George was another standout for the Bears as she took second place in the all-around as she totaled a 39.525. That mark would rank in a tie for 11th in the nation entering the weekend. George closed the meet down as she anchored the Bears' floor lineup with a 9.95, the sixth-ranked score in the country this year. She also finished second on bars as she equaled DeSouza's 9.90 mark.
"Kyana is doing amazing things, she is so consistent from week-to-week," Crandall-Howell said. "Her floor routine is fire, and she is one of the best dancers in the country and got that recognition today with a 9.95. How does someone not have a giant smile on their face when watching her floor routine?"
This marked the second straight week that Cal has improved their score. After starting with a 195.75 vs. Air Force, the Bears followed that up with a 196.075 at Arizona last weekend. This weekend's meet score of 197.100 saw the Bears stick their landings and improve their score immensely.
"One of the things we felt like we could improve on was the landings, Crandall-Howell said. "We gave points away on landing errors. This week in practice, we talked about doing the things that help you have ownership of the landings."
In addition to celebrating the victory, the Bears also spent Sunday celebrating Black History Month. This is Cal's lone home meet during the month of February. The team wore black, red, green and yellow ribbons in their hair throughout the meet. The red ribbon represents the blood and history that unites all people of Black African ancestry. The Black ribbon connotes the shared identity and power of Black people. The green ribbon stood for the abundant natural wealth of Africa while the yellow ribbon represented both the African riches and all of the Black Excellence within the Cal community.
"We've always tried to make sure that we recognize what each individual brings to the team," Crandall-Howell said. "We want to celebrate who they are, they're entire identity. Each person's uniqueness allows them to bring something different to the team and it allows us to travel further together than we ever could go on our own."
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