The Cal Bears visit the resurgent ASU Sun Devils in their fourth consecutive road meet. This difficult schedule has had consequences for the Bears; they have struggled with consistency, and enter the fourth week of competition the bottom ranked Pac-12 team and one of only two to fail to record a 196+ so far this season. Bars, where Cal is ranked only 47 in the country, is the apparatus where most falls have come so far, so watch for that rotation.
ASU at home is the definitive favorite. Star freshman Cairo Leonard-Baker already has two conference honors under her belt, and the number of 9.8-worthy routines the Sun Devils have available through their lineups far exceeds any point in the past five years. However, if Cal hits bars, it could be a close one.
Lineup notes: For Cal, Sylvie Seilnacht and Alma Kuc return to lineups after sitting out last week.
— Cal Gymnastics (@CalWGym) January 28, 2018
ROTATION 1: ASU VAULT, CAL BARS
ASU – K. SZAFRANSKI: FTY, decent, piked down with hop back.
CAL – SO. SEILNACHT: Great jaeger to overshoot, stick on 3/2 dismount. Good one!
ASU – GINN: Another full, much better body position, step back.
CAL – GEORGE: Hit the troublesome first handstand, good Tkachev. Misses handstand on first bar, goes for bail, crumples and off. Good full in dismount. Now 3 misses for 4 routines this year….
ASU – KUHM: FTY, controlled with hop back, great form.
CAL – WILLIAMS: Hindorff, great, just a bit of feet. Clear hip to bail. Double layout with a little step. Good and important hit.
Back to back Olympians there!
ASU – LEONARD-BAKER: Big and secure, step back.
CAL – KUC: Beautiful on Maloney to Pak, full twisting double back… to her knees.
What in the world is going on with this rotation? This should not be a problem. They’re a great bars team on paper.
ASU – WILSON: Great, good body position and small hop back.
CAL – SCHANK: Half turn to pike Jaeger to overshoot, nice. Double lay and stuck. This routine has become so essential.
ASU – LENTZ: Replacing Rushton in this spot, since she does a more difficult vault (layout full vs tuck full). Can definitely see why she hasn’t typically been in the lineup – twisted early, very pikey, but good landing.
CAL – STERNBERG: Nice Ray, clean full turn to double back with a small step.
ASU 49.1 – CAL 48.625
Well… only counting one fall is an improvement for Cal. ASU did what it needed to do – it wasn’t a life-changing rotation but it worked.
AWW Toni-Ann is interviewing little sis Maya. “What’s one thing you miss about me?” Brilliant. And their parents are on site too!
ROTATION 2: CAL VAULT, ASU BARS
CAL – MASTRANGELO: Great full, good body position with a step to the side.
ASU – WILSON: Half turn to Jaeger, too far and doesn’t even get her fingers on the bar. Good bail, full turn to double back with a baby hop.
CAL – KEELEN: Good full, off direction with a hop back.
ASU – HART: Half turn to Jaeger to overshoot, good. Double layout, near stick. Good recovery routine.
CAL – SY. SEILNACHT: Full, a little piked and off direction but dynamic and a STICK.
ASU – A. SZAFRANSKI: Maloney to Pak with a little leg split. Insane extension on giants, double layout close and with a step back.
CAL – GEORGE: Great body position, big amplitude, hop straight back.
ASU – CHRISTOPHERSON: Good Ray! Bail to toe shoot, great. Easy full in dismount, so close to stuck but has to take a hop to the side. Gorgeous form, though, markedly stronger than the rest in the lineup so far.
CAL – ROBINSON: Ilg, off to one side with a step back.
ASU – KUHM: Missed a handstand on low bar, toe on to Maloney. Missing a couple handstands… nice Jaeger, good double layout and a STICK.
CAL – WILLIAMS: Beautiful full with a big hop back… almost twisting onto the table, which she really doesn’t need to do.
ASU – LEONARD-BAKER: Big Ray, nice bail to pike toe shoot. Full in and a STICK. That will go high. 9.95, yeah that’s about right.
ASU 98.425 v CAL 97.875
Great rotation from both! Leonard-Baker definitely the standout routine
ROTATION 3: ASU BEAM, CAL FLOOR
ASU – CALLIS: Same pretty walkover over the end of the beam thing that Sofie Seilnacht does. Beautiful on acro series. Split to double stag. Front walkover to knees! Shades of Kaytianna McMillan. Side aerial back full with a baby hop back.
CAL – SO. SEILNACHT: Front lay to Rudi, such fun choreo. 3/2 to front 1/2 punch front, nice. 3/2 front pike, dances out. Great start! Blows a kiss to the team in her ending pose.
ASU – LEONARD-BAKER: Straddle to loso, better legs than I’ve seen. Beat to straddle 3/4. Flic loso , great and secure. 3/2 twist and another stick!
CAL – STERNBERG: Double pike, good leap series. Double tuck, chest a little low on both passes. 3/2 to pike barani, looked like she meant a layout but lost momentum and had to fight to make it around.
ASU – UDOWITCH: Front aerial, small check. Repeats it, front aerial-bhs good. Switch to split, maybe shy on splits. Cat leap to kickover front. Side aerial back full with a stick.
Amanda’s laughing at Jim because he called Cal’s hair ribbons “scrunchies.”
CAL – ROBINSON: Double arabian, crazy legs and a big short but hangs on. 3/2 front pike. A little short on a leap.
ASU – LENTZ: Flic loso, nice. Switch to straddle 1/4 with beautiful split positions, standing loso. Cat leap to switch side. This is beautiful so far. 3/2 twist with step forward.
CAL – KEELEN: This one is so much fun. Double pike, a bit short and a bounce forward. FHS front lay front 1/2,
ASU – A. SZAFRANSKI: Lovely extension on the Korbut series. Illusion turn is my life. Rulfova, a little wonky but makes it work. Gainer full with crossed legs and a little shuffle. Good one!
CAL – GEORGE: Beautiful control on the front 2/1 landing. Lovely splits, and nice Rudi. Deep on double back, hangs on with a step back, could almost have sat it.
ASU – CHRISTOPHERSON: Kickover front to Korbut, a bit of a lean in the middle so questionable connection. Orphan split leap. 3/2 with a stick!
CAL – WILLIAMS: Big DLO and a STICK. Stellar leap series, great landings… 9.975 yup cool.
ASU 147.550 – CAL 147.075
Cal reduced the margin ever so slightly with that great routine from Toni-Ann but it’s difficult to see a route to a win here unless ASU has mistakes on floor.
ROTATION 4: CAL BEAM, ASU FLOOR
CAL – SO. SEILNACHT: Off on acro series, whoops. Great leap series, off balance on dismount but holds the stick
ASU – CHRISTOPHERSON: Double pike and bounds back, keeps the heel up and just stays in bounds. Double tuck, another scoot back.
CAL – SHU: Front aerial – bhs, check, holds on.
ASU – LENTZ: Great landing on double pike, less so on second pass. Leap positions are so great, good double back.
CAL – GEORGE: Double wolf, shaky. Front aerial, big leg up check and off. Well there’s the meet folks. Front aerial again to bhs with check in the middle. Double back dismount, stuck.
ASU – GINN: Great front tuck thru double back. Stick on the front lay front 1/2! Double pike, big step… stepped over a line but I think that was a leftover tape line from another routine that isn’t the actual boundary? so she’s still in bounds? maybe?
CAL – KEELEN: Steady on flic loso, a bit of legs. Front aerial, over and off. Again with the stupid front aerials! 3/2 with a step back.
Coach Justin looks worried. Coach Liz is trying very hard to keep everyone happy.
ASU – K. SZAFRANSKI: Double back, a little short? Tour jete 1/2 to crazy Popa, off balance on landing. 3/2 front lay, beautiful! Really good landings.
CAL – GALLARZO: Oh yay, she hit her front aerial! Connected to bhs loso with a step out. Switch split. 3/2 dismount, hop forward – quick efficient routine.
ASU – KUHM: Wrong music to start.Whip double back, great. Front full front tuck, underrotated and has to work to pull it around. 2.5 twist with a bit of leg form but good landing.
CAL – WILLIAMS: Standing front to loso, great. Switch switch, big problems in split positions and a check. Gainer pike. 9.9, not sure I get that but okay.
ASU already has the score it needs to pass Washington and move up into 14th in next week’s rankings.
ASU – LEONARD-BAKER: Great leap series, 3/2 to front full perfect. Great landings and she’s thrilled, good for 9.925 and second!
FINAL: ASU 196.800, CAL 194.85
ASU’s highest team score since 2006, and it overtook Boise State, Washington, Georgia, and Oregon State for TWELFTH in the live rankings, and third in the Pac-12. That really says all there is to say about that. Cairo Leonard-Baker tied for another all around title with a season high and becomes the 13th-ranked all arounder in the country.
Cal mercifully returns home next week and gets to start on vault instead of bars. I’m not sure how much that will legitimately help, but at this point anything that gives it a bit of confidence is a win. It drops to 31st in the country and remains last in the Pac-12 with this result, which is baffling with the depth and talent on the team, so hopefully the Bears can get their mental game figured out soon.
Vault: Sylvie Seilnacht 9.9
Bars: Cairo Leonard-Baker 9.95
Beam: Toni-Ann Williams 9.9
Floor: Toni-Ann Williams 9.975
AA: Cairo Leonard-Baker and Toni-Ann Williams 39.575
Live blog by Rebecca Scally