Teams: UC Davis vs. Texas Woman’s; California
Where: The Pavilion
When: Sunday at 2 p.m.
Who to watch: Senior Christine Tao was the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation co-champion on balance beam in her sophomore season.
This year, the Maple Valley, Wash. native averages a 9.425 on beam with a season-high score of 9.725 against Air Force.
Her 9.675 score in last week’s meet helped the Aggies to their second-best beam score in program history.
Did you know? UC Davis is currently ranked 41st in the nation with a Regional Qualifying Score of 193.090.
Should the team fall short of the top 36 to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, up to seven Aggies are in position to qualify as individuals.
Preview: With the stakes high at the end of the season, the Aggies focus on their final two home meets.
“We’ve been talking this whole second half of the season about finishing the season strong,” said coach John Lavallee. “We’re in a very important stretch right now and we need to get a couple big performances.”
The Aggies hit their season-high score of 194.250 in last weekend’s home triangular-meet, defeating Eastern Michigan and Causeway rival Sacramento State.
The total tied the fourth-highest score in program history.
Lavallee would like to hit a 195 score to break the school record, but that’s not what’s on his agenda.
“For us, it’s about performance,” Lavallee said. “While the outcome of a school-record score would be great, the performance is what we can control, so that’s our focus.”
This weekend, UC Davis will take on California and Texas Woman’s University.
This week in the gym, the Aggies are working on the minor details to boost their score.
“Right now, we’re doing a lot of fine-tuning,” Lavallee said. “[We’re looking to] do better at hitting handstands or having bigger and cleaner jumps – those little tenths and half-tenths make the difference.”
– Grace Sprague