GYMNASTICS WELCOMES CAL AND UC DAVIS FOR SENIOR NIGHT ON FRIDAY

GYMNASTICS WELCOMES CAL AND UC DAVIS FOR SENIOR NIGHT ON FRIDAY

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OPENING PASS
For the final time this season, the Sacramento State gymnastics team will compete at The Nest when it welcomes Cal and UC Davis for a three-team meet on Friday, March 1, at 7 p.m. Following the competition, the Hornets will honor seniors Carly Pratt, Jackie Sampson and Lauren Schmeiss who will each be wrapping up their Sacramento State careers.

The meet can be viewed for free on Pluto.TV with Brian Berger and former Hornet gymnast Dallas Smith on the call. Live scoring will also be provided through StatBroadcast and Hornetsports.com.

March 1 marks the earliest home finale for the Hornets since 1997 when the team hosted Seattle Pacific and Calgary. Sacramento State had just four home meets during the 2019 season and will end the year with contests at Washington and Cal before the MPSF Championships at Seattle Pacific.

OPPONENT PREVIEW
Cal enters the week ranked 14th in the initial RQS poll of the year. The Golden Bears are averaging 196.059 and have a high of 196.700. Cal has scored 196-plus in its last four meets, including a 196.650 at home against Washington in its most recent meet.

The Golden Bears were dealt a significant blow when Tori-Ann Williams suffered an injury two weeks ago. Williams was one of 20 finalists for the AAI award which goes to the top collegiate gymnast. During her career, she has won six Pac-12 individual titles, was an All-American and represented Jamaica at the 2016 Olympics. Even with Williams out last weekend, Cal still had two individual event wins against UW as Milan Clausi and Rachael Mastrangelo shared the vault crown and Kyana George finished first on bars.

UC Davis is currently clinging to the 36th spot in the national rankings. The Aggies have scored 195-plus in three meets this season, including its last two. Most recently, UC Davis scored 195.050 to defeat San Jose State.  Kelley Hebert finished first on vault (9.825) and in the all-around (39.325) to earn the MPSF Gymnast of the Week.

The Aggies have separated themselves from the rest of the conference, as they own the top marks in all four events as well as the team score. UC Davis' RQS of 194.775 is over a point above second place San Jose State (193.400). Camille Johnson and Yasmine Yektaparast are also the top individuals on vault and beam, respectively.

THE LATEST ACTION
Sacramento State finished with the better score in three of the four events but came up short at Seattle Pacific (192.375-192.175) last Friday night. The Hornets outscored the Falcons on vault, bars and beam but were riddled by injuries on floor resulting in a team score of 47.200 as the team was forced to count a pair of falls.

Jackie Sampson was named the MPSF Specialist of the Week after finishing first on bars and beam in her season debut. Sampson scored 9.850 on bars and 9.825 in beam.

Sacramento State scored 48.350 on vault where it was led by Lauren Schmeiss (9.750), Alexis Belkoff (9.725) and Jordyn Brent (9.700) who finished second, third and fourth.
Sampson recorded the fourth win on bars during her career to lead the team. Brent was third overall with a 9.800.

Along with Sampson's win on beam, Kendra Braida tied for second place with a 9.775 from her leadoff position. Schmeiss tied for fourth with a 9.750.

The team was left without the services of Carly Pratt and Destiny Watley on floor due to injuries/illness and forced Sacramento State to compete just five gymnasts for the first time this season. Braida finished second overall with a 9.775 and Belkoff was third at 9.750.

SENIOR SENDOFF
All three members of the 2019 senior class have been fixtures in the starting lineup throughout their four years.

Carly Pratt has mainly competed on floor during her collegiate career. Pratt has been in the lineup in every meet this season and has been one of the most consistent members of the team. She set her career high last season, scoring 9.800 in a four-team meet against Cal, Minnesota and Alaska Anchorage.

Jackie Sampson earned all-MPSF honors last season on bars and was also a regular on floor and beam. She set career highs during the year with a 9.850 on beam and a 9.825 on floor. Sampson's career best on bars came during her sophomore season where she received a 9.900 and helped the team set the school record of 49.400 against San Jose State. Despite missing the first half this year, Sampson returned last week and finished first on both bars and beam.

Another three-event regular, Lauren Schmeiss competed on vault, beam and floor throughout her career. Schmeiss has a history of coming through in the big meets as each of her career highs have come at the MPSF Championships or the NorCal Classic. She has scored at least 9.800 in each of her events and has been a model of consistency throughout her career. This season, she's been in the lineup in all three events in every meet.

ONE GYMNAST RETURNS, THREE MORE OUT
In what is becoming too much of a trend for the 2019 Sacramento State gymnastics team, the Hornets mixed positive news with some disappoint last Friday at Seattle Pacifc. The team received a boost with the return of Sampson who finished first on both of her events. However, Sampson's success was offset by a knee injury to Destiny Watley during vault warmups which took her out of the lineup for the rest of the meet. Pratt was then scratched from floor after suffering an allergic reaction and things became worse when freshman all-arounder Shaye Mathias suffered a knee injury on her final pass.

In all, the team competed just 10 gymnasts against the Falcons with five in the lineup on two events or less. Sacramento State has had as many as 14 gymnasts in the lineup this season.

NEWS & NOTES
Kendra Braida set career highs in each of her three events during February…Braida scored 9.625 on vault at SPU, 9.850 on beam against SJSU and 9.825 on floor in the tri-meet at San Jose State…Jordyn Brent is currently ranked 67th nationally in the all-around…after the top 36 teams are named to the NCAA championship field, the next 12 highest all-arounders from teams outside of those selected, will advance to the regionals…Mathias owns a team-best average of 9.700 on beam this season in six routines…her injury forced her out of the event at SPU and snapped a three-meet streak as an all-arounder…freshman Amber Koeth made her debut in the vault lineup at Seattle Pacific…Koeth also competed in three events for the first time in her collegiate career…Mariah York set a career high on beam with a 9.625 against the Falcons.