Jan. 25, 2005
This Week: Fri., Jan. 28, at UC Davis (Recreation Hall), 7:00 p.m.
WHAT'S ON TAP: The California women's gymnastics team looks for a season sweep against UC Davis Fri., Jan. 28 at the Aggies' Recreation Hall. The Bears defeated the Aggies 191.850-187.375 in Cal's season opener Jan. 14. Friday's dual meet is the final tuneup for Cal before the Bears flip into the core of their Pac-10 schedule. Following Friday, Cal will face conference foes the next five weekends.
SENIOR SURPRISE: Miho Maeda has posted the most improved scores for the Bears after two meets. In Cal's Jan. 14 season-opener, the North Hills, Calif., native took third in the all-around (38.600). She topped that mark with a 38.725 at UCLA Sunday, snatching fourth in the all-around but tops among Cal participants. Maeda improved upon her season personal bests in three of four events at UCLA, including a 9.625 career-best mark on vault. The Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week nominee holds Cal's top mark this season on bars (9.900) and is second on beam (9.775), floor (9.750) and all-around (38.725).
SWING THING: Buoyed by a strong season-opening score, Cal's top event early in the season has been bars. The Bears 48.250 season average is 24th in the nation. Maeda's 9.990 on Jan. 14 is one of the top individual marks in the nation.
MEET IN REVIEW (1/23/05): The Bears fell to No. 2 UCLA at the Bruins' Pauley Pavilion Jan. 23, 197.150-191.175, but posted victories over Sacramento State (190.375) and Cal State Fullerton (190.325). Maeda and senior My-Lan Dodd have been Cal's most consistent scorers through two meets with Dodd taking fifth in the all-around at UCLA (38.600) ... freshman Nicki Wells, competing in every event save beam, set new personal season and collegiate highs in each discipline. The Auckland, New Zealand, native's top scoring increase came on floor, where her 9.600 at UCLA bettered a 9.350 Jan. 14 mark.
SCOUTING THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT: UC DAVIS' team total of 187.475 placed the Aggies fourth in a quad meet at Denver Jan. 22. The Aggies (1-4), however, posted a 48.175 on vault, eighth-best in program history and better than either vault score Cal has posted in 2005. Freshman Michelle Kulovitz and sophomore Joanne Pizzo led the charge, posting a 9.750 and 9.700, respectively ... UC Davis senior Tiffany Chan scored a 9.700 on floor in the season-opener at Cal to tie the Bears' Maeda for first ... Cal is 25-1 against the Aggies, coached by Ray Goldbar (130-162, 16th year, Sac St. '64).
BEST OF THE BEST: UC Davis is the final unranked opponent and non-conference foe Cal will face in a meet until North Carolina State visits Haas Pavilion March 11. Competition stiffens up as the Bears face No. 20 Arizona, No. 17 Arizona State, No. 22 Washington, No. 14 Oregon State, No. 2 Utah and No. 5 Florida in the coming five weeks.
HOME-MAT ADVANTAGE: Haas Pavilion will play host to the 2005 Pac-10 Championships, scheduled for 3 p.m. on March 26. It's the first time the structure has ever hosted the event, which should give the Bears an added boost. Due to the conference's strength - something that shouldn't change this season as four of seven teams are in the Top-25 - Cal hasn't fared well in the championships, finishing higher than seventh just once since 1994.