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GYMNASTICS HEADS TO UC DAVIS FOR SUNDAY SHOWDOWN

GYMNASTICS HEADS TO UC DAVIS FOR SUNDAY SHOWDOWN

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OPENING PASS
The Sacramento State gymnastics team returns to Northern California and will make the short trek across the Causeway when it competes at UC Davis on Sunday, Jan. 29. The meet against the Aggies will start at 1 p.m. from The Pavilion.

The meet will also serve as the 40th anniversary of the first meeting between the two programs. Alumni from both schools will be honored throughout the day. Despite the rivalry, the teams have several connections. Sacramento State head coach Randy Solorio competed for the Aggies before eventually earning his degree from Sacramento State. Former UC Davis head coach Ray Goldbar was a Hornet during his collegiate career. Tamara Ross has served as an assistant coach for both teams and current Sacramento State assistant Tanya Ho was recently inducted into the UC Davis Hall of Fame.

Sunday will mark the second of five meetings between the Hornets and Aggies. Sacramento State was victorious at the NorCal Classic on Jan. 9. The teams will also compete on Feb. 24 at Davis, March 4 at The Nest and at the MPSF Championships on March 18.

The Hornets are currently 5-1 on the season following a 193.150-191.475 win at Air Force on Jan. 21. The score was the lowest of the year for the team and dropped Sacramento State to 36th in the national rankings.

Those that won't be able to attend can follow the meet through a live webcast as well as live results on ucdavisaggies.com.

OPPONENT PREVIEW
UC Davis is ranked 40th following a season high 194.000 at Arizona State last weekend. The Aggies have a three-meet average of 193.757 and own a 4-4 overall record.

In the meet at ASU, Miranda Holder (vault, 9.775), Alexis Brown (vault, 9.775), Yonni Michovska (bars, 9.800) and Yasmine Yektaparast (floor, 9.775) each tied for event wins in the meet.

The Aggies are coached by John Lavallee who is in his 11th season.

Sacramento State leads the all-time series, 57-30.

THE LATEST ACTION
Sacramento State competed at Air Force for just the fourth time in school history and walked away with a 193.150-191.475 victory at Cadet Gym.

The Hornets opened on bars and scored 48.400 led by a 9.800 from Lauren Rice. Caitlin Soliwoda added a 9.775 to place second overall.

The team kept things rolling with a 48.625 on vault during the second rotation. Sacramento State counted five scores between 9.675 and 9.775. Courtney Soliwoda owned the high mark and finished second in the meet.

Things took a turn for the worse during the third rotation with a 47.250 on floor. The Hornets suffered three falls (counting two) during the event. Annie Juarez ended on a high note with a 9.825 to win the event.

The Hornets bounced back on beam with a 48.400. All six gymnasts received scores ranging from 9.725 to 9.800 with Tara Catour and Caitlin Soliwoda tying for the top spot.

SOLIWODA AND JUAREZ LATEST TO CLAIM MPSF HONORS
A week after Julia Konner was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Week, the Hornets added two more recipients this week in Caitlin Soliwoda (gymnast) and Annie Juarez (specialist).

Soliwoda totaled 39.025 to win her second consecutive all-around title. The North Las Vegas, Nev., native also tied for first place on beam with a 9.800 and added scores of 9.750 on vault, 9.775 on bars and 9.700 on floor. Prior to this season, Soliwoda had never competed in the all-around in college but the junior currently leads the MPSF with an average of 38.975 in three meets.

Juarez was inserted into the floor lineup after missing the first part of the season due to a broken toe. The junior opened her career in 2015 as one of the best floor competitors in the region before seeing the last half of her freshman season and all of her sophomore campaign lost due to injury. She returned to the lineup at Air Force and won the event with a 9.825.

TOTAL TEAM EFFORT
Sacramento State enters the week ranked 26th nationally with an average of 48.792 on vault which is the best in the MPSF. Despite the high number, no Hornet ranks among the top three in the league or the top 100 nationally in the event. Instead, Sacramento State has relied on a team approach which has seen five gymnasts average at least 9.7000 and has all five ranked among the top 13 in the MPSF.

Courtney Soliwoda leads the way with an average of 9.767 to rank fourth in the conference. Catour is tied for fifth (9.758), Caitlin Soliwoda is tied for eighth (9.750) and Alexis Belkoff and Lauren Schmeiss are tied for 11th (9.733).

Julia Konner, Belkoff and Catour have each claimed at least a share of an event win on vault this season.

BALANCING ACT
The Hornets are also the MPSF leaders (32nd nationally) on beam with an average of 48.392. That total is more impressive when you consider the team counted a pair of falls in its dual against San Jose State.

However, unlike vault, the team does boast the top two beam workers in the league in Caitlin and Courtney Soliwoda. The twins ranks 1-2 with averages of 9.783 and 9.742, respectively. Each has three scores of at least 9.700 this season.

Caitlin leads the MPSF and is 52nd nationally with an average of 38.975 in the all-around. In her 12 routines, she has scored 9.700 or better in all but one (a 9.625 on floor at NorCal). She also has a pair of wins this season on beam and in the all-around.

Courtney has hit the 9.700 mark in eight of nine routines with the lone exception coming on bars (9.525) at Air Force.

INJURY UPDATE
Catour and Lauren Schmeiss were each pulled from the lineup at Air Force due to illness. Catour exhibitioned on bars and scored 9.700 on vault at Air Force. She sat out on floor before returning to tie for first place on beam with a 9.800. Schmeiss scored 9.675 on vault but was also unable to go on floor.

Lauren Rice finished first on bars (9.800) and tied for third on beam (9.775) at Air Force. The junior is now training on vault and floor and could return to the lineup in early February.

Jackie Sampson remains out of the lineup with a foot injury.