Although they posted a season-high 191.300 against Cal State Fullerton on Sunday, the disappointment in coach John Lavallee’s voice was at once palpable.
“We came down to the end,” said Lavallee following the loss to the Titans, who scored a 193.125. “We had some trouble on beam; we had to count two falls on beam. We were pretty close to putting up a really good score.“
His disappointment receded, though, once talk turned to junior Kendall McCann, who competed in the all-around for the first time in her collegiate career.
“She did a great job for us,” said Lavallee. “She wasn’t supposed to compete in beam today, but we had an injury and she ended up filling in at the very last second. She did an excellent job.“
McCann scored in all four events for the Aggies. Her top finish came in the beam, where her 9.600 was good enough to tie for fourth.
Additionally, McCann’s debut all-around score of 38.075 placed her second.
“I was really excited,” said McCann. “It was a goal of mine to make all-around at least once before I graduated, so it was exciting for me to do.
“I didn’t expect it – I kind of got thrown in at the last minute on beam to help Tanya (Ho). I had a good beam routine. I’m happy. Really happy.“
McCann added that she would like another chance to do all-around if the opportunity presents itself.
“It depends on the team,” she said. “I only want to do it if I’m really in the top six. I wouldn’t want to be put in it just to do all-around. The team comes first, so whatever helps the team, I want to do that.“
Another standout performance was put forth by junior Michelle Bobonski, who set season highs in both vault (9.775) and beam (9.675). Her score on beam made her the day’s only Aggie winner, and her vault put her in a tie for second.
“It felt good,” said Bobonski. “It was a surprise to win beam, since I’ve never really been on the top on beam before. It felt really good. My vaults have been a little shaky since the beginning of the season, so this felt like how it should be. It felt good to be back on how I normally vault.“
Just .025 back of Bobonski on beam was sophomore Stacey Nicolini, who tied for second on the apparatus. Additionally, she scored on vault and bars, posting 9.575‘s on both. All three scores were season-highs.
“I think doing three events is challenging,” said Nicolini, “but I think it’s good because it keeps me moving throughout the meet so I can contribute as much as I can do. I was last up on beam, just keeping my confidence up and knowing that I had made it in practice. I was trying to do the same thing that I had done before.“
The strongest event for the Aggies was floor, which saw a season-high 48.475. Senior co-captain Andi Dolinsky led the event with a season-high 9.775. She’s improved by .025 in each meet this season.
UC Davis also had the third and fourth placers in the event in freshmen Erika Van Dyke (9.750) and Jen Mueller (9.675).
“Overall, I think we did really well,” said McCann. “I think we worked really hard and fought really hard to keep as many people on the equipment as possible. Beam was a bit rougher than normal, but that happens. I think our team has a lot of potential this year, so I’m ready to hopefully make it to regionals.“
ALEX WOLF-ROOT can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.