On Friday night the Aggies took on Arizona, San Jose State and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation rival Alaska Anchorage in a competitive meet that coincided with Senior Night at the Pavilion.
Seniors Erika Van Dyke and Lauren Eller were recognized alongside former gymnasts Betsy Lim and Jennifer Mueller who will both graduate this spring. Van Dyke and Eller serve as the squad’s co-captains.
“It’s … been such an honor to share these last four years with my class of seniors,” Van Dyke said. “It’s been so special sharing … this journey with them … they’re such special individuals.”
The Aggies started the evening on vault where they put forward the strong routines that have characterized the team’s performance in the event this season, scoring a team total of 48.125. Junior Katie Yamamura led the squad with a 9.775, which captured the second place individual title.
Notable performances by sophomores Anna Shumaker (9.700) and Madeline Kennedy (9.625) also helped to push the Aggies over the 48-point mark.
Though the vault performance started the night on a high note for UC Davis, two falls on the uneven parallel bars in the following round sat the Aggies with a disappointing 47.125 on the event.
The team also counted a miss on balance beam in the third rotation, dashing what looked like a strong start on the event. The team was led on beam by Shumaker’s 9.750.
The Aggies were able to break the 191-point barrier in the fourth rotation thanks to a solid performance on the floor. The squad total of 48.375 was the highest team total of the night for UC Davis.
Yamamura and junior Michelle Ho tied for second on the event with a team-high score of 9.775.
The successful floor rotation helped the Aggies maintain their three-round lead on conference rival Alaska Anchorage to take third in the meet. San Jose State finished first with a score of 194.125 that barely inched past Arizona’s second-place total of 194.100.
The meet brings UC Davis’ season record to 4–11.
Though the Aggies took a moment to reflect on the careers of the graduating seniors, they recognize that their season is far from over.
“The reality is we have three weeks left in the season,” Head Coach John Lavalle said. “You stop and pause for a second, but the reality is we’ve really got our hardest work ahead of us finishing up the season in the last few weeks.”
UC Davis returns to action on Sunday at Sacramento State.
KAITLYN ZUFALL can be reached at email@example.com.