On a night that saw two of the top teams in the nation come to the Pavilion, the Aggies proved that they, too, were a force to be reckoned with.
While No. 29 San Jose State (194.700) and No. 3 Stanford (193.950) took first- and second-place honors, the Aggies (192.700) posted their highest score of the season and left with many things to be proud of.
“We had the No. 3 team in the nation in the gym on Friday,” said senior co-captain Adee Schoffman, “and we only lost to them by about one point. It’s great to see UC Davis athletics compete at that level.”
One of the top performers of the night, as has been the case for the last few weeks, was junior Kendall McCann, who competed in the all-around for her fifth time in a row and the fifth time of her career. Her 38.300 tied her high score from last meet.
“Kendall hit four for four,” said coach John Lavallee. “She’s continuing to have a strong year. I’m very happy with her.”
Coming off a breakthrough night last week, sophomore Stacey Nicolini put forth another solid meet, scoring on vault (9.700), bars (9.725) and beam (9.400). The score on vault was her second highest of the season – only .025 off last week’s – and her score on bars was a career-high.
“Stacey hit three strong events,” Lavallee said, “Her performances have really been picking up the last part of the season.”
Though these athletes had great notes as individuals, Lavallee stresses the importance of the team.
“To have a good team performance takes a lot of people,” Lavallee said. “Obviously we jumped up four-tenths, which is a very good sign. We were very solid on all four events.”
A clear indication of the all-around, strong performance was the fact that the Aggies didn’t have to count a fall for the first time all season. As each fall is a .500 deduction, that has a big impact on the overall scoring.
“This is a huge deal because it shows that we aren’t dragged down by little mistakes,” Schoffman said. “We were definitely expecting to get a season high and improve our season average.”
Schoffman herself had a solid performance, scoring on vault (9.550) and floor (9.650). Though not season-highs, they aided in the strong scores on both events for the Aggies.
“I was able to stay on my feet on vault and floor for the eighth week in a row, which is a big accomplishment for me, even though I hoped to score a little higher,” Schoffman said. “Vault and floor should be expected to be consistent. Floor is our top scoring event this year, and I think we should expect a jump in the vault score as well.”
Other top performers for the Aggies include sophomore Michele Hurlock on beam (9.750), junior Lida Gehlan on bars (9.800), senior co-captain Andi Dolinsky on floor (9.800) and junior Tanya Ho, who scored a 38.025 on all-around – including a 9.825 on bars.
“I was very pleased with our performance on Friday night,” Schoffman said. “We had great energy and kept it up throughout the entire night. We had some really high level teams with us, and it was great how close the competition ended up. I think we showed some teams how strong we are capable of being.”
ALEX WOLF-ROOT can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.