UC Davis Gymnastics Hosts Tough Sunday Triangular

Junior Kendall McCann tied her all-around career high of 38.300 in Friday's meet with Stanford and San Jose State.<br>(Wayne Tilcock, <i>Davis Enterprise</i>)
Junior Kendall McCann tied her all-around career high of 38.300 in Friday's meet with Stanford and San Jose State.
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)

March 2, 2009

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Friday, Feb. 27 - STANFORD/SAN JOSE STATE (3rd, 192.700)

LAST WEEK: UC Davis (4-8-1) increased its season high to 192.700 in a triangular meet with San Jose State (194.700) and Stanford (193.950)... The Aggies have improved their team total in every meet this season, except for the emergency fill-in road dual on February 8... Helping the cause was a season-best 48.675 on bars, and a third straight 48-plus score on both vault and floor... The beam squad is the only event in which UC Davis has yet to break the 48-point barrier, although the Aggies went 47.975 in its home opener vs. Air Force and a 47.750 last Friday...

Junior Kendall McCann tied her career high of 38.300 in the all-around, having competed in all four events in each of the last five meets... She matched her career best of 9.475 on vault, added a season-high 9.700 on bars then finished with a 9.675 on floor... Tanya Ho (bars), Michele Hurlock (beam) and Andi Dolinsky (floor) each posted fifth-place individual performances in the tough field... Sophomore Stacey Nicolini tied for the team lead (with Marcy Miller) with a 9.700 on vault, then followed that with a career-best 9.725 on bars.

RANKINGS: The Aggies continue to lead the MPSF with a regional-qualifying score of 191.550, although Alaska Anchorage now claims the conference's highest score for the year with its 192.775 last weekend... UC Davis also ranks ninth in the West Region and 51st nationally with that average... Junior Lida Gehlen is the program's highest-ranking gymnast in the West, holding a three-way tie for 17th on bars (9.785)... If the season ended today, Gehlen would earn her second at-large berth to the NCAA West Regional... Senior Andi Dolinsky is 20th on floor (9.775), slightly trailing UAA's Shakea Sanders for the individual at-large race.

UP NEXT: UC Davis concludes its three-meet homestand with a quadrangular involving a familiar foe (Sacramento State) and two first-time opponents (Bowling Green State, New Hampshire)... The Special Faculty Assistant Coach of the Meet will be another familiar face in Hickey Gym: Dr. Paul Salitsky, a popular lecturer in exercise biology and an expert in sports psychology... Sunday's meet will also feature a reunion of the 1999 Aggie squad that captured the USAG Collegiate Nationals team title, followed by a post-meet reception.

SACRAMENTO STATE (4-8) previously beat the Aggies in a triangular meet at Cal, scoring 191.925 overall... The Hornets have since broken the 193-point barrier on three occasions, building a team RQS of 193.050 (42nd nationally)... Leading the way is three-time WAC Gymnast of the Week Marina Borisova, who is one of just six West Region athletes to register an all-around RQS of 39.000 (she is exactly at 39.000 through March 1)... Sunday's meet will be the second of three Aggie-Hornet gymnastics matchups this season: the next being on March 13 in a quad meet in Sacramento...

NEW HAMPSHIRE (14-5) is currently in the hunt for an NCAA regional berth, ranking T32nd nationally with a 194.270 RQS... The Wildcats posted a 194.825 to beat George Washington at home on Saturday, and have scored as high as 195.950 this season... Remarkably, UNH has no qualifying all-arounder in the East Region race, but owns the top vaulter (Helena Diodati, 9.850) and top two on beam (Taryn LaFountain and Chelsea Sternberg, at 9.840 and 9.795, respectively)...

BOWLING GREEN STATE is 45th nationally with a 192.180 RQS, falling on Friday to Central Michigan with a 192.625 total... The Falcons scored a season-best 193.750 on February 22 in a dual with Ohio State... Junior Breanne Guy, a two-time MAC Gymnast of the Week honoree this year, led BGSU with a 38.625 in the all-around... She ranks 12th in the Central Region all-around rankings at 38.615.

"At this point, it's a matter of having big performances on all four events. In these last three meets, we need to come out and compete at the level we're capable of. We've had a lot of 3-for-4 meets with one event keeping us from where we should be. We need to come in and have four solid events across the board to really jump up to the next level."

"Kendall McCann is on fire. Two years ago, I would not have thought she would be an all-arounder at this point. She totally deserves it. She has put in her time and it's paying off. Stacey [Nicolini] is also back on track. She had a great vault and bars and a decent beam."

"In general, every athlete at UC Davis feels a little something when Sacramento State comes out onto the floor. It has been a long and storied rivalry in all sports. I definitely think there is a heightened state of urgency when we face Sac State."