January 21, 1999
Fri., Jan. 22
Recreational Sports Facility, Berkeley 7:30 p.m.
BAY AREA BRAWL: Fresh off a pair of victories over UCSB and UC Davis, the California women's gymnastics team opens Pacific-10 Conference competition Friday, Jan. 22, when the Golden Bears host 7th-ranked Stanford at 7:30 p.m. at the RSF on the Cal campus. The competition marks the 33rd meeting between the two schools in the sport of women's gymnastics, with the Cardinal holding a slight 17-15 edge in the all-time series.
SCOUTING STANFORD: The defending Pac-10 champion, Stanford enters Friday's dual meet with a 1-1 record on the season. The Cardinal, which return eight gymnasts from last year's squad, opened the season with a 192.450-183.975 victory at UC Davis on Jan. 8. Last Friday, Stanford suffered its first loss of the year when it was defeated at Utah, 196.050-192.575.The Cardinal possess three solid all-arounders in Larissa Fontaine, Jen Exaltacion and Katy Herbert.
SERIES INFO: Friday's meet will be the 33rd between the Bears and Cardinal. Last season, Stanford defeated Cal three times, including a 193.450-190.675 victory during the regular season. Cal's last win over the Cardinal was on March 29, 1996, when the Bears knocked of then-No. 18 Stanford, 194.100-193.050, at home.
A QUICK LOOK AT CAL: The Bears (2-0) opened the 1999 season with a bang last week, easily defeating both UCSB and UC Davis. Cal led the competition wire-to-wire, sweeping the top three spots on vault, bars and floor, and also capturing the event title on beam. Junior Leila Khoury, who won the all-around, led the way, taking first on vault, bars and floor, while senior Emily Bails took the beam title.
NO DEPTH, NO PROBLEM: The fact that Cal entered its season opener with only seven healthy gymnasts did seem to be a problem for the team, as the Bears combined score of 188.350 was a full 2.525 improvement over last year's debut meet. In all, four Bears had to compete all-around, as four of Cal's 12 gymnasts have been sidelined by injuries all ready this season. Junior Bridgett Coates is also not competing this season due to transfer rules.
TOP GUN: Junior Leila Khoury picked up right where she left off in last season, taking the all-around title in the Bears season opener. Khoury also picked up event titles on vault, bars and floor. The all-around title was her eighth in the last 13 meets.
SUDDEN IMPACT: A pair of freshmen, Lindsay Baker and Kristine Kaibara, where instrumental in Cal's season opener. Baker, who competed in the all-around, scored a 9.575 on vault and a 9.500 on floor, while Kaibara pitched in with a 9.450 and a 9.550 on bars and beam, respectively.
PERSONAL BESTS: Three Bears notched career bests versus UCSB and UC Davis. Emily Bails scored a 9.300 on vault to post a new career high, while Helne Kenny recorded new career highs on vault (9.125), beam (9.575) and floor (9.450). Paula Chang also registered personal bests on vault (9.575), bars (8.700) and floor (8.975).
INJURIES TAKING A TOLL: Cal's injury roll continued its climb last week when the Bears lost senior co-captain Angela Mapa for the season with a pair of torn knee ligaments. Including Mapa, Cal has now lost five gymnasts to injury already this season. Although senior Jennifer Bialosky, junior Elizabeth Berlin, and now Mapa appear to be lost for the year, the Bears do expect junior Jennie Kang (knee) and freshman Dawn Suksanong (broken hand) to be back in the lineup in about four weeks.
THE COACHES: Head coach Trina Tinti is in her second season with the Golden Bears and boast a career record of 10-9. Prior to coming to Cal, Tinti was the assistant women's gymnastics coach at the University of Minnesota for five years. Joining the Cal staff for his first season with the Bears is Peter Doyle, who for the previous five seasons was an assistant at George Washington University. After suffering a career-ending injury during the off season, former Cal gymnast Jennifer Bialosky joins Tinti's staff as a student assistant coach for 1999.