Teams: UC Davis vs. Stanford; San Jose State
Where: The Pavilion
When: Friday at 7 p.m.
Who to watch: Stacey Nicolini had the breakout meet of her season on Friday in a dual win over rival Seattle Pacific. Winning the beam and taking second to teammate Tanya Ho in the vault, the sophomore from Novato, Calif. put on quite the show for the home crowd at the Pavilion.
“It’s always nice to compete at home knowing we have such support,” Nicolini said. “I felt like I improved from previous meets and had a pretty good meet.“
Nicolini had more than just a “pretty good meet,” as her 9.725‘s on both events shattered her previous season-highs by a whopping .150 (vault) and .075 (beam).
Did you know? While UC Davis is sitting at 4-6-1 on the season, Stanford and San Jose State have only one loss between them. San Jose State narrowly lost to Boise State early in the season.
Preview: There’s no doubt about it; this meet is going to be tough.
“Stanford right now is ranked third in the country,” said coach John Lavallee. “San Jose is ranked 29th, and they’re having a really outstanding year, so this should really be an exciting meet.“
Though it will be an uphill battle, the Aggies are coming off a season-high 192.350, which was achieved even though a few top athletes sat out.
“We rested a couple of people that were a bit dinged up,” Lavallee said. “Michelle Bobonski had a lot of meets and needed a weekend off, so we’ll be looking to get her back in the lineup, and hopefully Michelle Hurlock as well.“
With the Michelles joining the squad that won all its events last weekend – vault by Tanya Ho, bars by Kendall McCann and Lida Gehlen, beam by Nicolini and floor by Andi Dolinsky – the Aggies look to have quite the night.
Couple that with the competitive environment of two of the nation’s best teams and a home crowd, there is the potential to see some impressive scores.
“This should be some very good gymnastics on Friday night,” Lavallee said. “Stanford is in a position to win the national championship, and that’s great for us to have that level of athletics come to UC Davis. It’s really a good opportunity for us to go in and perform well, so that’s really what we are looking to do.“
– Alex Wolf-Root