After struggling early on in the year, the Aggies closed out the regular season strong, setting a season-high score for the second consecutive week on Saturday in San Jose.
The Aggies’ 194.150 was a more than 0.100 point increase on their previous high set at Sacramento State.
The Spartans won the meet with a score of 195.850, while the Hornets took second with 195.275. Both scores were also season-highs for their respective teams.
The most dramatic sign of UC Davis’ improvement was the squad’s combined score of 48.775 on beam. After struggling on the apparatus for most of the season, the score was not only a season-high, but the second highest recorded score in school history.
“I’m absolutely amazed and impressed at how resilient this group is,” Head Coach John Lavallee said. “We’ve had some very rough performances this year, but they keep battling back and continue to learn how to get stronger and better.”
Junior Anna Shumaker led the Aggies on the event with a score of 9.850, a career-high that crushed her previous record by nearly an entire point. Fellow junior Michelle Ho was right behind her with a 9.800, another career-high score. Junior Leah Houseman (9.775), freshman Tiana Montell (9.725), and sophomore Madeline Kennedy (9.625) rounded out the score for UC Davis.
Ho also had a stand-out performance on floor, leading the Aggies with a 9.825 en route to a team score of 48.725, the squad’s second-highest score of the year. It was the fourth place floor score of the night.
On vault junior Katie Yamamura and Shumaker both came out strong for the Aggies, each scoring above 9.700.
The Aggies posted another season-high when they took to the uneven parallel bars in the third rotation. Their score of 48.450 was their highest mark this year since scoring a 48.350 in their season-opener against Arizona State.
Freshman Kayla DeFrancesco tied with Sac State’s Kalliah McCartney for third in the event with a score of 9.825.
Montell provided another high for the night, setting a career-high all-around score of 38.625. It was the second-consecutive meet in which she has improved her all-around record.
“[Montell] has really done an amazing job — as a freshman to walk onto this program, it’s a real credit to her ability…” Lavallee said . “She’s a very calm, cool, collected performer.”
The Aggies will return to the Pavilion on Saturday to host conference rivals Seattle Pacific, Alaska Anchorage, and Air Force in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championships.
KAITLYN ZUFALL can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.