Feb. 1, 2013
BERKELEY - The No. 20 California women's gymnastics team (6-2, 1-2 Pac-12) continues conference action at home in a dual meet against No. 14 Oregon State (5-5, 1-1 Pac-12) Sunday. Meet time is set for 2 p.m. in Haas Pavilion.
"Oregon State is always a strong team. They're always going to be a tough Pac-12 competitor and always a Top 10 program, so I expect them to come in here and be ready to go," said Golden Bear head coach Justin Howell. "We're coming off a high from last weekend with our season-high in a number of years so we're looking to build on that."
In last Saturday's 196.450-195.775 loss to Stanford, Cal posted its season-best overall team score and highest team score since 2007, upping the season average to 194.975. Senior Madisyn O'Brien set a career-best 9.95 on the uneven bars, claiming the bars title for the third time in four meets. Fellow senior Mariesah Pierce also set a career-best in her first-place finish on the floor exercise, posting 9.925 for the second-highest floor score in program history and best floor score since March 2004. Pierce's score contributed to the overall floor score of 49.325, the third-highest total in program history and highest since February 2004.
The Golden Bears opened the season with a 195.425, besting the team's top score of last season (194.725), and have continued to improve. O'Brien is tied for No. 7 in the nation on the bars with a season average of 9.875, and she joins Pierce, junior Alicia Asturias and freshman Serena Leong as four Golden Bears who have posted a 9.90 or better on an apparatus this year.
Oregon State is coming off a season-high 196.825 at the Metroplex Challenge in Fort Worth, Tex., where the Beavers finished third among five teams. Senior Kelsi Blalock, ranked No. 4 in the all-around, posted a career-best 39.425 to finish third in the meet. Sophomore Chelsea Tang also established a career-best in the all-around with a 39.175, and junior Brittany Harris and senior Makayla Stambaugh each registered a 39.35.
The Golden Bears and Beavers last met in regular-season action at a tri-meet in 2012, where Oregon State and UCLA tied for first and topped Cal 196.775-192.350.