Jan. 26, 2013
BERKELEY, Calif. - It was a night filled with career-highs and season-bests for the Stanford women's gymnastics team in its 196.450-195.775 victory at California.
No. 10 Stanford improved to 7-1 and recorded its highest overall team score of the season. The Cardinal also outscored the Golden Bears on three of four events and had a gymnast finish first on every event.
Stanford was led by senior captain Ashley Morgan's two individual titles on vault and floor exercise. The All-American had an outstanding meet, tying her career-best on vault (9.925), recording a new season-best on floor (9.925) and tying her season-best on uneven bars (9.850).
Morgan also claimed the individual title in the all-around competition with a 39.225 - her second all-around victory of the season after winning the title on Monday at Georgia.
Head coach Kristen Smyth was happy with Morgan's leadership and contributions.
"Ashley was a rock for the team tonight," Smyth said.
It was also a night the Cardinal underclassmen showed flashes of its current strength and future potential.
The underclassmen had a strong night on vault with freshman Taylor Rice finishing second with a career-high score of 9.900, and classmate Melissa Chuang and sophomore Pauline Hanset tying for third with scores of 9.825. Rice's score ranks third among Cardinal gymnasts this season.
Sophomores Samantha Shapiro and Kristina Vaculik led the way for the Cardinal on uneven bars with scores of 9.950 and 9.900, respectively. It was a new career-best for Shapiro who finished tied with Cal's Madisyn O'Brien for first in the meet. Vaculik's score was good for third.
Stanford was consistent on bars and received strong performances from all six gymnasts, including scores of 9.850 from Ashley Morgan
and Shona Morgan
. Alex Archer
made her 2013 debut and tied teammate Amanda Spinner
with a 9.750.
"We had a phenomenal start on bars," Smyth said. "Beautiful work and lots of stuck dismounts. Samantha and Kristina are two of the top bar performers in the country and they showed that tonight."
After not competing in Georgia on Monday to rest, sophomore Ivana Hong showed what a week off could do and delivered a new career-high on balance beam to win the event with a 9.925. Spinner finished behind Hong in third with a 9.825. Hong and Spinner currently account for Stanford's top four scores on beam this season.
Entering the week, head coach Kristen Smyth believed her floor team had not performed to its full potential and wanted to see improvements this week at Cal.
The team didn't disappoint.
The Cardinal recorded its highest team score of the season on the event (49.100), capped by Ashley Morgan's score of 9.925 - highest of any Cardinal this season. Shona Morgan delivered a solid routine and finished third with a 9.875.
The victory marked the 28 consecutive over California, dating back to 2000. The Cardinal is 37-1 against the Golden Bears since 1996.
Smyth was happy with the victory and the improvements the team made from its meet at Georgia, and believes the team will continue to improve as it prepares for its first home meet of the season.
"As a group we made some nice improvements, however, there is still room to grow," Smyth said. "We are looking forward to our first home meet next week in Burnham and finally having an opportunity to perform in front of our home crowd."
Stanford returns to The Farm for its first home meet of the season next Saturday, Feb. 2, at 4 p.m. (PT) as it takes on UCLA. The meet will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks.
Stanford at Cal Results