Aggies, Hornets meet for 40th-anniversary dual

Jan. 23, 2017

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LAST WEEK
Saturday, Jan. 21 - at Arizona State (1st, 194.000)


THIS WEEK
Sunday, Jan. 29 - SACRAMENTO STATE, 1 p.m.


NOTES
RECAP: UC Davis (4-4) counted no falls in any of the four events en route to a season-best 194.000 in Saturday's road dual at Arizona State... The meet also marks the Aggies' first-ever dual win over the Gym Devils... The two teams previously met up in 2014, 2012, 2006 and 1979, plus the 2014 NCAA Fayetteville Regional... Miranda Holder (vault, 9.775), Alexis Brown (vault, 9.775), Yonni Michovska (bars, 9.800) and Yasmine Yektaparast (floor, 9.775) each tied for event wins in the meet... Brown was also the lone all-arounder, finishing at 38.375... Holder's vault, her first of the 2017 season, tied the career high she last set in her freshman debut.


RANKINGS: UC Davis' 193.757 three-meet average ranks 40th nationally... Brown leads the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation on vault with an average of 9.800, while Michovska's 9.800 mean on bars puts her second... Of course, the rankings at RoadToNationals.com will not begin to show RQS until the sixth week of the year.


UC Davis welcomes past gymnasts -- and two legendary coaches -- from both sides of the Causeway rivalry to attend Sunday's 40th-anniversary event.

UP NEXT: UC Davis hosts Sacramento State for its annual alumnae meet, although this year's version contains a twist... The two Causeway Classic rivals have squared off at least once a year for 40 years... The two teams will hold a joint reunion of both Aggie and Hornet men's and women's gymnastics teams from that span... Previous head coaches Ray Goldbar (UC Davis) and Kim Hughes (Sacramento State) will also be in attendance... Interim chancellor Ralph Hexter will serve as the Aggies' honorary assistant coach, while Sacramento State president Robert Nelsen will represent the Hornet side.


SACRAMENTO STATE (5-1) opened the year with a 194.475 at the NorCal Classic, then posted conference wins against San Jose State and Air Force in the two weekends after... Caitlin Soliwoda captured meet titles on both beam (9.800) and the all-around (39.025) in Saturday's road dual at Air Force... Annie Juarez paced the floor exercise at 9.825 although the Hornets as a team struggled to a 47.250 in that event, bringing their overall score below the 194-point barrier for the first time in 2017....Although the two teams certainly derive motivation from the Causeway matchup, UC Davis and Sacramento State have maintained a friendly rivalry throughout the years... For example, when the Aggies hosted the USAG Collegiate Nationals in 2001, the Hornet coaches volunteered as meet personnel... Additionally:


• Current Sacramento State head coach Randy Solorio was a three-time All-American for UC Davis -- under Goldbar's tutelage -- in the early 1980s.


• Fifth-year Hornet assistant coach Tanya Ho earned 13 All-MPSF nods for UC Davis, and last fall entered the Cal Aggie Athletics Hall of Fame.


• UC Davis head coach and Cal Aggie Athletics Hall of Famer Ray Goldbar graduated from Sacramento State in 1964.


• Current Aggie volunteer assistant coach (and former full-time assistant coach) Tamara Ross served as a Sac State assistant for 12 years prior to her arrival at UC Davis.


• UC Davis freshman Susanna Iakounitcheva is the half sister of Marina Borisova, a two-time WAC champion on floor for the Hornets in the late 2000s.


• Brian Berger, Sacramento State's assistant A.D. for media relations, was a member of the UC Davis sports information staff before joining the Hornets.


HEAD COACH JOHN LAVALLEE QUOTES:
"We really hit a lot of our goals on Saturday. It was the performance we were hoping for when we talked about it in our team meeting. When we started the season a few weeks ago, we knew we wouldn't be at 100 percent. We have had some folks step up and really perform very well. I feel like we have done the things we need to do to be where we're at. We're right on track."


On the Causeway reunion: "I am beside myself with all the energy around this event. First of all, it will be a great gymnastics meet with the top two teams in the MPSF right now. On top of that, we have all of the alumnae who are returning to celebrate 40 years of women's gymnastics. We hope to see a lot of alums come out on both sides of the gym. We have the president of Sacramento State, Dr. Nelsen, and our interim chancellor, Dr. Hexter at the meet. That alone should tell you the significance of the event, and we are quite honored to have them in attendance."


"The frame of mind that this team has -- their focus, drive and determination -- is really impressive. This meet is certainly an opportunity to take a big jump forward. This group is in a very good place, physically, mentally and emotionally. They're ready to perform at a very high level with a good remainder of the season left."