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No. 7 Cal Downs Stanford In Season Opener

Jan 16, 2022

BERKELEY – No. 7 Cal women's gymnastics opened the 2022 season with a win over Stanford on Sunday afternoon at Haas Pavilion. The Bears won a tightly contested match, 196.325-196.275. This was the highest season-opening score for the Bears in program history, narrowly beating out a 196.200, which the team tallied in 2020. 
The battle came down to the last routine on floor, as Maya Bordas score correction proved the difference. Bordas was originally scored a 9.725, but it was changed to a 9.775 based on her start value, which proved the difference between a Bay Area tie and a Bears win.
"We had some first meet jitters out there," co-head coach Justin Howell said. "They've been looking really good in practice over the past week, but we were tentative in some areas and didn't land as well as we could. It feels great to get out here and have competed. The end of last week was the first time we had a full team training together. Honestly, we had so many people out here, who haven't quite gotten in the practice to be in their top form. The exciting part is we have a lot of room for growth. This was a great opportunity to get some freshmen in there and competing; we're going to be counting on them this season and in the future."
The Bears opened the 2022 season on vault as they scored a 49.175 on the first rotation. Nevaeh DeSouza led the way as she scored a 9.90 and won the vault competition. Milan Clausi and Mya Lauzon each tallied 9.85 marks and tied for third on vault, it was the first career event for Lauzon, a talented freshman.

"I was really pleased with Mya Lauzon doing all-around even though she did exhibition on bars," Howell said. "She's just going to continue to grow and grow every single week. She's a really exciting athlete to watch."
Last year's top ranked bars team started the season strong as DeSouza and Andi Li both recorded 9.85 marks. In her first career meet, freshmen Madelyn Williams tallied a 9.875. She was followed by reigning uneven bars NCAA Champion, Maya Bordas, who notched a 9.85 in her season-opening performance. Maya Green capped the lineup with another 9.875 as the Bears recorded a 49.300 as a team. Kyla Bryant from Stanford won the event, but Cal recorded the next five best scores as Green and Williams tied for second.
The Bears had to count a fall on the beam rotation, which masked the outstanding early performances from DeSouza, Lauzon, Bordas and Li. DeSouza and Lauzon both recorded 9.85 scores, while Bordas collected a 9.90. Li recorded the Bears' best score of the afternoon as she tallied a career-high score of 9.925. Li excelled last year during her freshman season, but topped out at a 9.90 score, beating that in her first meet of the 2022 season and claiming the beam crown.
"I thought Andi was excellent today, she didn't get appreciated by the judges on every event like I thought she should have," Howell said. "She did a beautiful floor routine and one judge gave her a 10.0, which I thought was deserved."
After a fall on the opening routine of the floor rotation, the Bears needed five straight hits to win the meet and the team delivered. Clausi and DeSouza delivered dueling 9.875 scores to tie for third and Andi Li recorded a 9.90, the second-best score of the afternoon.
"We've been trying to get everyone back healthy and their fitness back where it needs to be," Howell said. "We're on the right track, I think heading into next weekend will be even better because we'll have another solid week of training under our belt. Then when we get into the third week of the season we can be where we were right before Christmas break."
For the first time since 2020, Cal was able to have fans back inside of Haas Pavilion for a meet.  
"It was great to have fans back in Haas was awesome," Howell said. "I hope as people feel more comfortable going back out into the world that we're going to have more and more people in here. But it was great to have real, live energy in the gym as opposed to cardboard cutouts and I know our girls felt that."

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