After a close competition with Cal at the Pavilion on Jan. 27, the Aggies had hoped to come out strong against the Golden Bears on Sunday to capture the first-place finish they had so narrowly missed.
But it was not to be.
Shaky performances on bars and beam once again put UC Davis in second place. Cal finished first with a final score of 193.275 over the Aggies’ 190.625.
The Aggies opened on uneven bars, an event that the team has struggled with in the last two meets. It was their lowest score at each meet, coming in at only 46.825 against Air Force and 47.300 in the triangular meet against Seattle Pacific and Cal.
Despite the Aggies’ hopes going into the meet, UC Davis was unable to see improvement in the event, opening the meet with a 47.200 after being forced to count two falls.
Cal didn’t hesitate to take advantage of the shaky performance and swept the category, winning all three individual titles and finishing the event with a final score of 49.150. The score is the team’s season high.
The lone high point for the Aggies on bars came with junior Katie Yamamura’s career-high 9.825. She led UC Davis in the event.
The Aggies were able to recover and put forward a strong performance on vault in the next round. Sophomore Anna Shumaker led the Aggies with a career-high 9.850 that tied her for first in the event. Shumaker was the at-large qualifier to the NCAA Corvallis Regional on the event last year as a freshman.
“Anna [Shumaker] is really doing an amazing job,” head coach John Lavallee said. “She’s returning from [shoulder surgery], which is difficult to do for a gymnast, but the last two weeks she’s been back on track with her level of vaulting from last year.”
UC Davis looked to be gaining on Cal’s score in the third round when they put out their highest team score of the meet on floor (48.425). Yamamura and junior Michelle Ho went 1-2 in the category with scores of 9.800 and 9.775 respectively. Strong performances by sophomore Madeline Kennedy (9.650), Shumaker (9.600) and freshman Tiana Montell (9.600) completed the scoring for the team.
But after two strong events, the Aggies were unable to finish on a high note.
Competing on the balance beam in the fourth round, the team counted four falls on their way to a score of 46.700 — UC Davis’ lowest score in the event in nearly a year. Only Ho and Kennedy were able to hit their routines, each earning a 9.575. It was the second event in which the Aggies did not have an individual place in the top three.
“We certainly didn’t have the kind of day that we were hoping to have,” acknowledged Lavallee. “Hitting five out of six is really the next step for this group… we need to double our efforts.”
KAITLYN ZUFALL can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.