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Davis

Davis, California

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Stars align for Aggies

Before the fifth week of competition, coach John Lavallee asked his team to step on the accelerator and gain momentum.

Lavallee got exactly that and more.

“They put the pedal through the floor,” Lavallee said. “To see the performance they put on was pretty impressive. We hit 24 out of 24 events. This is very rare. All six girls hit each of the four events. In the past four years we’ve only done that once.”

UC Davis marked its third victory over Seattle Pacific this season by a score of 194.250-188.550.

“With the Beauty and the Beast environment, we had an unbelievable crowd,” Lavallee said. “The Band-uh! and wrestling were there – the stars were lined up.”

Freshman Katie Yamamura tied senior Michelle Bobonski for first on vault with a score of 9.750. Following closely in second was senior Tanya Ho with 9.725 points.

Senior Lida Gehlen’s 9.875 tally on uneven parallel bars helped UC Davis increase the lead to 97.350-95.225 by the end of the second round.

Ho came in second place behind Gehlen with 9.775 points while Yamamura tied with senior Kendall McCann for third with a 9.700 score.

The floor exercise was led by sophomore Erika Van Dyke who scored a 9.800 on her routine.

“Erika is one of our strong and steady performers,” Lavallee said. “She’s long and elegant, and her performance was off the charts.”

Also performing well on floor were Yamamura with 9.775 points and freshman Taryn West with a score of 9.750.

“It was one of those nights when everything came together,” Van Dyke said. “It felt good to go out there and do my best when it counts.”

Before the judges even counted the final scores, the Aggies found another cause for celebration.

“Our goal was to average a 9.700 per athlete and achieve a [final score of] 194,” Lavallee said. “This was a breakout performance and earning 194 was a big step for us. It’s something we’ve been quietly gunning for.”

The team attributed the outstanding score to their hard work and Friday night’s high-energy environment.

“It was so exciting,” Van Dyke said. “The energy was so positive. It felt great to go out there and do our routines like we do them every day in practice.”

Lavallee agreed.

“Our girls love it when Band-uh! shows up,” Lavallee said. “It lifts the spirits. Being in the gym with wrestling along with an amazing crowd – all these things fed into getting everybody dialed in.”

GRACE SPRAGUE can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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