The mood was excellent after Friday night’s meet against San Jose State and Sacramento State.
“After the meet I told the team I was speechless,” coach John Lavallee said. “I really couldn’t express how impressed I was with their performance. For us to come in and compete well against these two teams showed how much of a jump that this team has made this year.”
UC Davis’ 193.750 score split San Jose State’s winning 194.550 and Sacramento State’s 193.550.
The score marked the second-highest road score for UC Davis in program history.
It also allowed the Aggies to improve their regional qualifying score by eliminating the 191.525 tally they hit in the third meet of the year.
The boost in the standings was enough to please Lavallee.
“It’ll bring our RQS up and that’s pretty exciting,” Lavallee said. “We had a great day. We started on beam, which is always difficult, so we had a couple of falls. But after that, we came back huge. It was the best gymnastics I’ve seen since I’ve been at UC Davis.”
Senior Tanya Ho couldn’t have agreed more.
“I think we did really well under a lot of pressure,” Ho said. “We had two big teams there. We had a shaky start on beam and we were able to do really well in the last three events.”
In fact, UC Davis posted season-high marks in the remaining three rotations, including a 48.825 on uneven parallel bars – the fourth-highest [bars] score in school history.
Finishing first in that rotation was senior Lida Gehlen with 9.875 points – a score that put her just ahead of San Jose State’s Thomasina Wallace with 9.850.
Katie Yamamura tied San Jose State’s Lily Swann for first on vault with a 9.825 tally. Her score helped UC Davis to its 48.650 mark in that rotation.
“All the way around, there was a lot of competitiveness,” Lavallee said. “It was a very energy-charged atmosphere. San Jose State and Sacramento State are both teams in the Western Athletic Conference, and they are big rivals in that conference. We were mashed in the middle.”
Lavallee was also happy with the all-around performances from Ho and Kendall McCann, as the two took the top two spots in the all-around with scores of 38.800 and 38.600, respectively.
“McCann did great,” Lavallee said. “She hit a 9.800 on bars for the first time in her life.
“Ho had an injury last week and we had to pull her off a couple events against Cal State Fullerton. She did a great job at practice this week and she really hit a homerun tonight.”
UC Davis is next in action at the Pavilion next Friday at 7 p.m. in a triangular meet against Sacramento State and Eastern Michigan.
“This’ll be the last time we see [Sacramento State],” Ho said. “We’ve beaten them twice already, but we want to make sure we beat them again.”
GRACE SPRAGUE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.