Teams: UC Davis vs. Cal State Fullerton, San Jose State, Wisconsin-Whitewater
Records: Aggies, (0-0); Titans, (0-0); Spartans, (0-0); Warhawks, (0-0)
Where: The Pavilion
When: Sunday at 2 p.m.
Who to watch: Senior Tanya Ho has earned 10 All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation honors in her Aggie career, including all-around champion in 2008.
At the end of the 2009 season the Elk Grove, Calif. native was ranked third in the MPSF and 16th in the West Region.
Did you know: All five seniors – Michelle Bobonski, Lida Gehlen, Tanya Ho, Kendall McCann and Christine Tao – earned either All-MPSF honors or MPSF titles in their first two seasons at UC Davis. As a group, they have earned a collective 20 all-conference honors and won four league titles.
Preview: According to coach John Lavallee, the depth of the team has elevated the efforts in preseason workouts. It has also allowed the program to grow in all aspects as the Aggies go into their first competition of the 2010 season on Sunday.
Co-captains Bobonski and Tao lead the squad into the new campaign after each winning conference event championships in 2008 – Bobonski on the vault and Tao on the beam.
Bobonski and Tao aren’t the only leaders as other Aggies are stepping up as well.
“In particular, Michelle Hurlock has really transformed her gymnastics,” Lavallee said. “Marcy Miller has also done an amazing job. We always saw flashes from them, but I have a feeling their hard work is really going to pay off.”
Other leading returners include Erika Van Dyke and Jennifer Mueller who both won All-MPSF honors on the floor exercise in 2009.
Freshman Katie Yamamura should have a solid impact on the team as well, according to Lavallee. When she signed her National Letter of Intent in November of 2008, Lavallee noted that she is a skilled and consistent performer.
For the first meet of the year, the Aggies take on two teams from the Western Athletic Conference on Sunday, along with UW-Whitewater, a team that placed third at the Division III National Championship last year.
With the healthy balance of Aggies in each class, Lavallee expects his team to perform as a solid unit from start to finish.
“Our goals are to get out onto the gym floor and remember what it’s like to work as a team,” Lavallee said. “Overall, we want to just get out there and have a positive experience.”
– Grace Sprague