Jan. 14, 2011
Stanford, Calif. - The No. 1 Cardinal began its 2011 season by falling to No. 5 California, 349.650-348.700. Competing as a team for the first time in almost nine months, the Cardinal showed they still have work to do if they intend to reach its goal of an NCAA title.
The Cardinal opened with the floor exercise, finishing with a score of 58.700. Josh Dixon led the Cardinal with a score of 15.00. Freshman Cale Robinson began his career with a very solid 14.900, while Tim Gentry pitched in with a 14.55. The Cardinal led by 2.100 after the first rotation as Cal began on the pommel horse with a score of 56.600.
The two teams then switched with Stanford taking its turn on the pommel horse. The Cardinal struggled at times on the pommel horse, but Jason Stevens and John Martin completed their difficult routines with identical scores of 13.950. The Cardinal finished with a team score of 54.850 and led Cal by just 1.600 after two rotations.
Stanford moved onto rings, an event that it dominated in 2010. To begin 2011, Stanford scored 58.600 as Gentry was in midseason form posting a score of 15.400. Also scoring well was Ryan Lieberman with a score of 14.850 and Nicholas Noone with a score of 14.500.
Moving onto the vault, Stanford widened the lead to 3.500 after recording a team score of 62.750. All four of the scoring vaulters had marks of 15.500 or above. Alex Buscaglia and Dixon paced Stanford, each scoring 15.800. Stevens chipped in with a 15.650, while Lieberman was at 15.500.
The Cardinal next went to parallel bars, but the defending NCAA champion Lieberman and a two-time All-American in the event, Noone, each fell as the Cardinal struggled to a 54.700. Gentry paced Stanford with a 14.200, but after Cal nailed several routines on high bar, the Bears took over the lead by over three points.
Gentry led off on high bar for Stanford, hitting another routine with a score of 14.55. Later Martin (14.55), Dixon (15.05) and Buscaglia (14.95) would also come through with big routines, but it was not quite enough as Cal came through on the parallel bars as well.
The Cardinal was forced to settle for a close defeat and knowledge of what it would need to work on going forward. Stan ford and Cal will be right back at it next weekend, Saturday, April 22, when they contest the Big Flipoff. The meet will be back at Burnham Pavilion at 7:00 p.m.