UC Davis Faces Air Force In Home Opener

Tiana Montell scored a total of 38.275 points in three events plus an exhibition performance at Stanford Sunday.
(Mark Honbo, Athletics Communications)

Jan. 16, 2012

01.16.12 Weekly Release Get Acrobat Reader

Sunday, Jan. 22 - AIR FORCE, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 15 - at Stanford w/San Jose State & Sac State, 2 p.m.

LAST WEEK: Junior Michelle Ho made her collegiate all-around debut, scoring a 38.075... She posted 9.650s on both bars and beam, then blasted a 9.825 on floor, tying her for 4th in the meet... Freshman Tiana Montell was a "virtual" all-arounder, competing in three events and appearing in exhibition on a fourth... She scored a 9.500 on vault, 9.575s on bars and floor, plus a 9.625 in exhibition on beam for a 38.275 total... Sophomore Madeline Kennedy and junior Taryn West each bolstered the Aggies on vault and floor... Kennedy hit a career-high 9.725 on floor then finished her meet with a 9.600 on vault... West scored 9.675 and 9.525 on those events, respectively... Ho, freshman Kayla DeFrancesco and junior Leah Housman each scored 9.650 to lead UC Davis on beam... Reigning MPSF Gymnast of the Week Katie Yamamura had her team's high score on bars at 9.725.

NEW FACES: Head coach John Lavallee has fielded four new faces - three freshmen, one junior transfer - in his various lineups this season... DeFrancesco (Murrieta, Calif.), the program's NLI signee last year, competed as an all-arounder in the January 6 opener at Arizona State and in three events on Sunday... Montell (Hilo, Hawaii) has competed in three events in each of the first two meets (not counting exhibition), scoring as high as 9.650 on bars at ASU... Lisa Wiktorski (Huntington Beach, Calif.) has appeared as a bars specialist in both meets, while Housman (Arcadia, Calif.) has competed on beam in each... Housman transferred from Cal State Fullerton, where she served a similar role.

UP NEXT: The Aggies return home to host Mountain Pacific Sports Federation leaguemate Air Force... The meet will also serve as Alumni Day, bringing back former UC Davis gymnasts to meet the 2012 team... In particular, the Aggies will recognize past members of the men's gymnastics program... Live results will be available at the following URL: http://www.ucdavisaggies.com/sports/w-gym/stats/2011-2012/012212.html... The UC Davis gymnastics website now features a direct link to the four regular-season home meets at Tickets.com... Follow your browser to http://www.tickets.com/browse.cgi?pgid=2009200.

AIR FORCE (0-1) scored a 188.200 at Texas Woman's to open its 2012 season on Saturday... Senior Samantha Jones and sophomore Linnaea Hance tied for third on bars at 9.550 while sophomore Jessica Hanner matched that finish on beam with a 9.600... The Falcons finished 2nd at last year's MPSF Championship with a 192.225.

"In some ways, this was a step forward. In other ways, it wasn't what we hoped for. We competed balance beam better than we have in quite a while. Our presentation was excellent: our leaps were big and we were really aggressive. We still had a couple of hiccups in there but it was very encouraging to see us present that well and perform that hard. Then we did the same on floor. I was very happy to see a lot of improvement there. We still have some work to do on vaulting and on bars. We have three freshmen on bars and it takes a couple of weeks to really be comfortable."

"I think coming home and being in front of a hometown crowd will be a bonus in making us feel a little more comfortable. Each week, you evaluate what you did the week before in preparation, how that preparation led to improvement. Then after that, you identify what you need to get to the next step, implement those steps and make them pay off. It takes a while to have that confidence and to have those numbers behind you to go up there and perform."

"Sunday was standing-room only. They were turning people back from the doors. It was a hugely exciting environment with four very good teams who all performed very well. I saw some freshmen with some wide-open eyes. They just haven't been in that environment before. We had a whole section of stands with Aggie supporters. It was very encouraging to see that many people come from a distance to see us, and we're thankful for the support. It was certainly needed on Sunday."