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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Aggies dominate home opener

Vault? Check. Bars? Check. Beam and floor? Check and check.

The gymnastics home opener was a thriller for Aggie fans – who literally couldn’t stay in their seats – as they saw UC Davis win all four individual events and five overall counting all-around in a dominating 191.050 to 187.175 win over Air Force.

“It was great for us to break the 191 barrier,” said senior co-captain Adee Schoffman. “We are constantly improving every meet which will help us in the rankings.”

Though not quite up to her lofty expectations, Schoffman had a solid night, scoring on vault (9.525), bars (9.525.) and floor (9.400).

“I didn’t have my best performance,” said Schoffman. “I was surprised to outscore my floor score on bars. I felt strong on bars. I still have a lot of things I need to fix on all three events, but it’s still early in the season.”

The Aggies started the night on vault, where junior Michelle Bobonski scored a season’s high 9.750 for the win. She was followed by junior Tanya Ho who scored 9.725 for second.

“Michelle Bobonski was back in vaulting for us last night,” said coach John Lavallee. “She had been a little dinged up so we used her very cautiously the last couple weeks, but she came back with a big vault for us.”

On bars, the Aggies second event of the night, Ho scored a career-high 9.875 to take the win. Second place went to junior Lida Gehlan (9.775), who also scored on the vault.

The beam, UC Davis’ weakest event just two weeks ago, saw the highest score (47.875) of any event, as the Aggies swept the top five spots. Ho (9.650) and junior Eve Hui (9.625) took the top two spots, and freshman Erika Van Dyke placed third (9.600) in her first meet at the Pavilion.

“As it was my first time in the beam line-up,” Van Dyke said. “I felt like I did my best to represent the Aggies and stick my routine. There are always things I can improve upon in the future. However, sticking seven for seven routines as a team was exciting. We all went out there and did what we’ve practiced in the gym.”

The final event for the Aggies, as is always the case at home, was the floor. Senior co-captain Andi Dolinsky continued to improve on her season’s best with a 9.750 for the win, and was followed by freshmen Jennifer Mueller (9.700) in third and Van Dyke (9.650) in fourth.

Dolinsky’s win was even more impressive, as she had to rebound from a fall on bars shortly before.

“I was bummed about my fall on bars,” Dolinsky said, “but you just learn to put it behind you and move on to the next event. Everything didn’t go our way, but we were focused and willing to fight to stay on our feet and that’s what made us able to go up in our scores.”

Sophomore Staci Nicolini also turned in a fine performance, scoring on vault (9.400), bars (9.000) and beam (9.525), as did freshman Chantel Hibbard, who placed third on bars with a score of 9.700.

After the meet, the victorious Aggies signed posters for their fans, as they soaked in their first conference win of the season at their first home meet of the year.

“It was amazing to compete at home for the first time,” Van Dyke said. “Having the entire crowd stand and cheer as we performed our floor routines was a new experience for me, and it felt great to be an Aggie.”


ALEX WOLF-ROOT can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.


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