UC Davis enters short practice week before SJSU road meet

Alyssa Ito, shown here on bars at the NorCal Classic, made her lineup debut on beam last weekend with a first-place 9.850 score. (Mark Honbo, Athletics Communications)
Alyssa Ito, shown here on bars at the NorCal Classic, made her lineup debut on beam last weekend with a first-place 9.850 score. (Mark Honbo, Athletics Communications)
Feb. 19, 2018

Weekly Release No. 7 Get Acrobat Reader | Live Video

Friday, Feb. 23 - at San Jose State, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 17 - at Air Force (1st, 194.950)

RECAP: UC Davis (7-6) tied its No. 6 all-time road score of 194.650 (see below) in a Saturday conference dual at Air Force... Kelley Hebert won the all-around at 39.250, tying her teammates Kyla Kessler (2018) and Alexis Brown (2015) for the highest in program history by a freshman... Hebert also won meet titles on vault (9.850), floor exercise (9.900, tied), while Alexis Brown tied for first place on bars (9.825) and Alyssa Ito captured the balance beam outright (9.850)...

Ito had appeared in exhibition but had not competed in the event in a meet since the 2014 NIT, when she was a high school sophomore and a standout for Winners Gymnastics... That 9.850 in her first lineup appearance ties a record for the best Aggie event debut, along with Tanya Ho (on vault vs. San Jose State, 2007) and Ericka Ruelas (on bars at 1999 Western Independent Championships)

The Aggies barely missed out on breaking the 195-point barrier for the second time in 2018, and the sixth time on the road in program history:

195.725 at MPSF Championships (3/18/17)
195.575 at San Jose State w/Brown (3/06/16)
195.325 at California (3/8/15)
195.300 at MPSF Championships (3/21/15)
195.175 at Seattle Pacific (2/21/14)
194.950 at Sac State w/Seattle Pacific (3/04/17)
194.950 at California (3/15/14)
194.950 at MPSF Championships (3/23/13)
194.900 at Sacramento State (1/23/15)

With Hebert's 9.900 leading the way, the Aggie floor squad scored a 49.125 for the conference's highest team score on any apparatus this season... Brown hit 9.875 while junior Yasmine Yektaparast made her return to the event after a one-month absence, notching a 9.850... Freshman Kyla Kessler and senior Amanda Presswood each added 9.750s to compile that team floor total.

RANKINGS: With all but three teams having hit the minimum six meets, RoadToNationals has begun calculating regional-qualifying scores... UC Davis ranks 41st nationally and tops in the MPSF at 194.240... Iowa has the key No. 36 spot at 194.985, but RQSs will shift dramatically in the next few weeks as teams start removing low early-season scores from their equation... Alexis Brown leads the MPSF in the AA (39.060) and on beam (9.720), while ranking 2nd on bars (9.805) and floor (9.815).

UP NEXT: UC Davis enters a short week of practice before heading to another conference road dual, this time at San Jose State on Friday... Meet time is 7 p.m.... Live video will be available via the Mountain West Network (link above).

SAN JOSE STATE (6-8) split a conference triangular at Sacramento State on Friday, scoring 194.050 overall... Spartans won or tied three of the four events: Kaprece Nadonza on vault (9.825), Chelsey Andrada on beam (9.875) and Taylor Chan on floor (9.850)... Nadonza led a 1-5 sweep on vault, with Chan adding 9.800 plus Andrada, Won and Ellie Pascoe-Long chipping in 9.775 efforts... That vault total of 49.850, set in the fourth rotation, ties for No. 6 in SJSU history.

"The week before, we were very disappointed with our ability to bring the changes we've made in practice to the competition floor. This week, they really made those changes and it showed significantly in our level of performance. They performed extremely well."

"Alyssa Ito competed for her first time in the lineup. She had a [knee] injury then some cartilage issues that kept her from competing last year. She really has made an unbelievable return. Kelley Hebert was amazing, and continues to make changes to improve the quality of her performance, yet she still gave something away on Saturday. Her skill level is very high. Kyla Kessler did a great job coming back after missing a week from a muscle pull. She went 9.7-plus on three events. This whole freshman class is full of competitors."

"This team believes they can walk into any gym and compete. With as many freshmen as we have in the lineup, it has been very impressive to watch where this group is at. They are very close. Cohesion isn't always a predictor of success, but this group is using it to their advantage. I think we'll go down to San Jose and have a big day. I look forward to a big road score for our RQS."

ABOUT UC DAVIS: Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 6-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation's best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and plant and animal programs.

DON'T MISS OUT!: Season and single-game tickets for all UC Davis winter sports are now on sale by contacting the Athletics Ticket Office at (530) 752-AGS1 or by visiting us online at UCDavisAggies.com.

BIG WEST COIN DRIVE: Support the UC Davis Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Yolo County SPCA during the month of February as the Aggies hold their 11th annual coin drive at all home events. For the fourth year in a row, Big West Conference institutions will donate 100 percent of the funds raised to their designated charities, with the top three fundraising SAAC's receiving a cash prize toward their SAAC budget. Over the last 10 years, conference members have combined to raise nearly $197,000.