Feb. 3, 2005
This Week: Fri., Feb. 4 vs. Arizona -- Berkeley, CA (Haas Pavilion), 7:30 p.m.
WHAT'S ON TAP: The California women's gymnastics team (5-1 overall, 0-1 Pac-10) welcomes No. 22 Arizona (8-4, 1-1) to Haas Pavilion, Feb. 5. Friday's meet against the Wildcats marks the beginning of a scheduling stretch where Cal will face five Pac-10 opponents in five weeks. The Bears are seeking their first victory over a Pac-10 opponent in 2005, following a loss to No. 3 UCLA on Jan. 23. Cal is coming off of a Feb. 28 season sweep of UC Davis.
MAGNIFICENT MAEDA: Through three meets, Miho Maeda is posting the Bears' top marks of 2005 and raising her own scores each week. The senior posted a career-best 38.875 to win all-around at UC Davis Jan. 28. For her efforts, she was named Daily Californian Athlete of the Week. Highlighting Maeda's mark - the Bears' highest all-around score of 2005 - were season-best scores on bars (9.875) and floor (9.775). The North Hills, Calif., native holds Cal's highest season average on beam (9.642), floor (9.742) and is third on vault (9.567) and bars (9.625),
MEET IN REVIEW (1/28/05): The Bears swept the top three all-around spots and captured each individual event except vault in defeating UC Davis 190.175-187.050 Jan. 28 at The Pavilion in Davis. Maeda won the bars event while tying for first with senior My-Lan Dodd on floor ... Junior Britani Pittullo posted season-highs on beam (9.700) - finishing first - and vault (9.625) ... Siobhan Luce, a freshman from Reno, Nev., set a new season-high and career high of 9.700 on floor, an event where she has improved her mark at every meet ... Freshman Nicki Wells competed in her first collegiate all-around, scoring a 35.800 ... Senior Lauren Shipp shook off early season injuries to compete in her first meet of the year ... The Bears swept the season series from the Aggies after winning the first leg in Haas Pavilion, 191.850-187.375, on Jan. 14.
RAISING THE BAR: Buoyed by a 48.475 score against UC Davis, Cal's top event early in the season continues to be bars. The Bears average 48.325 on the event, T-23rd nationally this week with Ohio State. The Bears scored a 48.900 on bars in their Jan. 14 season opener, the best single-event mark they've posted in 2005.
SCOUTING THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT: ARIZONA is coming off of a second-place quad meet finish Feb. 28. The Wildcats (194.800) topped No. 24 Minnesota (193.700) and Seattle Pacific (191.025) but fell to No. 22 Washington (195.075), whom the Bears square off against Feb. 18. Senior Monica Bisordi claimed the individual title on beam (9.850) while senior Jamie Schell and Karin Wurm each posted 9.800s on bars. Cal is 4-15 all-time against Arizona but has split with the Wildcats the last four seasons. The Wildcats are coached by Bill Ryden (77-96-3, 7th year, Arizona State).
BEST OF THE BEST: Cal enters a five-week period Friday where it will not only face a Pac-10 foe each week, but some of the nation's top clubs. No. 23 Arizona State (Feb. 11), No. 21 Washington (Feb. 18), No. 24 Oregon State (Feb. 25) and No. 30 Stanford (March 4) lie ahead, as well as No. 1 Utah and No. 5 Florida (March 4).
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-22 - Cal hasn't fared well in the championships, finishing higher than seventh just once since 1994.