No. 9 Cal Hosts Arizona Monday Afternoon
BERKELEY – The California women's gymnastics team returns to competition on Monday afternoon as the ninth-ranked Bears host Arizona at 2 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.
Cal is coming off an impressive win against No. 3 Utah in their last appearance as the Bears recorded a season-high of 197.525, the seventh-best team total in school history. Cal is now the lone undefeated team remaining in the Pac-12 Conference and is ranked in the top 15 nationally in all four events.
The Bears have opened the season by winning five consecutive meets, including three straight decisive wins over top-20 opponents in No. 14 Oregon State, No. 19 Stanford and No. 3 Utah. The win over Utah was Cal's third-ever victory over the Utes, but the second win in the team's last three matchups in Berkeley.
Cal was missing standouts Milan Clausi and Mya Lauzon from the lineup vs. the Utes, but the Bears saw multiple people step into the lineup and shine. Gabby Perea made her collegiate debut with a 9.90 performance on bars. Maddie Williams debuted in the vault lineup and her 9.85 score helped Cal record a season-high of 49.350 on the event, the seventh-best vault score in school history.
Andi Li continued her standout sophomore campaign as she had a 39.650 score in the all-around, the third-highest score in school history. She also recorded four top-two finishes in the meet vs. the Utes. Nevaeh DeSouza was just behind Li with a 39.625 score, which included a career-high vault of 9.95.
FOLLOW THE ACTION FROM AFAR:
The Monday afternoon contest will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network as Jim Watson and JaNay Honest will call the action. Live results will be available on CalBears.com.
Cal women's gymnastics is celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community at their annual inclusion meet. The Bears will be wearing customized leotards and celebrating diversity in the Monday afternoon meet at Haas Pavilion.
After missing the entirety of her freshman campaign and the first four meets of her sophomore season, Gabby Perea made her collegiate debut vs. Utah and scored a 9.90 and took third place on bars. She also notched a 9.825 score on floor. Perea joined the lineup after Milan Clausi and Mya Lauzon were ruled out for the meet. Additionally, Nina Schank recorded her first all-around of the season, performing a new series on beam and setting a season-high on vault and floor. Maddie Williams was in the vault lineup for the first time in her career and scored a 9.85. She also recorded a 9.90 on bars and now has scored at least a 9.85 on bars in all five meets during her freshman season.
DEFEATING THE UTES
The Bears are the last remaining undefeated team in the Pac-12 after they won a thrilling meet against No. 3 Utah on February 12. The Bears scored 197.525, the seventh-highest team total in school history. Andi Li recorded the third-highest all-around score in school history at 39.650 as she finished in the top two on four events. Neveah DeSouza had the fourth-best all-around in school history at 39.625 as she set a new career high of 9.95 on vault, leading the Bears to the seventh-best vault score in school history. The Bears also had the eighth-best floor score in school history to seal the victory on the final rotation. It's only the third time that Cal has defeated Utah and second time in the regular season. The Bears have now beaten the Utes in two of the past three meets in Berkeley between the schools.
SETTING A NEW STANDARD
The Bears broke a program record for the best start to the season with a 196.325 score in the win over Stanford. Cal didn't better that score until the third meet (Feb. 14) of the 2021 season. The previous best season-opening score came in 2020. Cal has continued improving in every meet, tallying the best second-meet and third-meet scores in school history this year. In the win over OSU, the Bears tallied a 197.350, which is the 11th-best team score in school history, along with the 10th-best bars score in school history at 49.475.
WATTERSON WINS COACHES CHOICE
Watterson was named Pac-12 Coaches Choice Award Winner on Feb. 1st, after competing in her first meet of the 2022 season against Oregon State. She recorded a 9.925 score on beam and tied for the win after only five days of practice. Watterson had left the team after her father suddenly passed away on December 19. She returned to Australia to be with her family and attend his funeral. Due to COVID restrictions, Watterson spent nearly a month away with minimal practice time. After she landed her routine the Cal team swarmed her for an emotional Bear hug.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW
Tickets to all Cal home meets are available for purchase online at CalBears.com. Tickets are also available for purchase at the ticket window on Spieker Plaza 90 minutes prior to the start of each home meet.
For complete coverage of Cal women's gymnastics, please follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalWGym), Instagram (@CalWGym) and Facebook (/CalWGym/).