Jan. 15, 2013
BERKELEY - After earning their highest ranking since 2003 and first ranking since 2008, the California Golden Bears are headed up to Washington to face the Huskies, as well as UC Davis and the University of Illinois-Chicago on Friday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. Live video will be available at http://pac-12.com/live/gohuskies.aspx and live stats will be displayed at http://www.gohuskies.com/livestats/w-gym/20130118.htm.
Through two meets, Cal holds a team scoring average of 195.000 and has matched their win total from last season through only two meets of the 2013 campaign. The ranking is their first since January of 2008, when they were ranked number 22. The last time they were ranked as high as 17 was in March of 2003 under former head coach Cari DuBois.
"We're really trying to build off these first two meets and keep that confidence going," said head coach Justin Howell. "We just continue to get better. We're going to go in and try to perform calm, confident routines. After each meet, we bring them praise. We say they've done a great job but we've got more work to do. The athletes know it. They know they're great. They get mad when they know they can do something better. We're at a place now where we can focus on making routines perfect, rather than just making routines."
Last Friday, at UC Davis the Bears posted a team score of 194.475 to defeat the Aggies. The Golden Bears received brilliant performances by their entire squad, but none was more impressive than junior Alicia Asturias.
Asturias won the all-around with a score of 39.300, Cal's highest mark since My-Lan Dodd and Stephanie Kim scored a 39.575 on March 12, 2004. In her outstanding performance, Asturias scored the Golden Bears' second 9.900 of the season to win the individual competition on vault. The score is tied for third in the Cal record book, and the first 9.900 a Bear has earned on vault since Dodd did it on March 7, 2005. Then Asturias scored big on the floor with her second 9.900 of the night. The score, like her vault, tied her for third in the Cal record book. It's the highest score on the floor for the Bears since Bridgette Glass scored the same on March 16, 2008. Moments later, freshman Serena Leong posted Cal's fourth 9.900 of the year on the same event.
A Look at Cal
The Golden Bears, under the direction of first-year head coach Justin Howell are currently ranked number 17 nationally, with a scoring average of 195.000. Their score of 195.425 in their first meet bested their top mark of last season when they scored 194.725 in a loss against Stanford. The Bears were bested by the Huskies last season in Berkeley by a score of 196.250-191.775.
Last week, the Golden Bears posted their first event scores of over 49 this season, hitting a 49.100 on the fault before posting a 49.175 on the floor. The 49.175 was the Bears' highest team score on the floor since scoring a 49.425, the school record, at Stanford on Feb. 20, 2004.
Beyond the outstanding performances by Asturias and Leong, the Golden Bears also saw personal records fall last week from senior Carol Chang, who posted a 9.775 on beam, and sophomore Crystal Paz, who hit a 9.725 on floor.