The Daily Californian Online

Cal Bids Farewell to Three Seniors in Final Home Meet

By Ed Yevelev
Contributing Writer
Friday, February 27, 2009
Category: Sports > Winter > Gymnastics (Women's)

After hosting Sunday's meet against Arizona, the Cal women's gymnastics team will be competing on the road for the rest of the regular season.

For three gymnasts in particular, this home meet will be their last career appearance at Haas Pavilion.

Prior to the start of the competition, the Bears will take a moment to honor seniors Bridgette Glass, Joanna Bennett and Jessica Kelley--an undergraduate assistant.

"It has been a very rewarding and growing experience for me as I have coached and mentored these three young, incredibly talented ladies," said coach Cari DuBois, who has been with the senior class for their entire careers at Cal.

The outgoing trio is certainly an accomplished one, as both Glass and Kelley represented the team in last year's NCAA West Regionals.

"These three seniors have meant so much to me and this program," DuBois said. "Their passion, dedication and competitiveness will definitely be missed."

Indeed, all three have had to overcome difficulties in order to keep competing and remain with the team throughout their collegiate careers.

Glass made her season debut at the start of February after recovering from ACL surgery, while Bennett has bounced back this season after sitting out much of 2008 with an injury.

And even though Kelley has been sidelined by a season-ending elbow injury this year, she has continued to support the team by contributing on the coaching side as an assistant.

"Having an extra set of eyes in the gym to give out corrections has helped us to increase our skill level as well and show off our performances," Bennett said of Kelley's assistance this year.

"She's just always in the gym, and supporting us through all our routines," Glass noted.

DuBois hopes to send Kelley and the rest of the departing class off on a high note on Sunday against the No. 16 Wildcats, who come into the meet having won three consecutive competitions.

This will mean showing consistency on every routine throughout the meet, which the Bears struggled to do during last Sunday's competition against Stanford, as they saw their overall team score tumble for the first time in four competitions.

"Hopefully next week, with the farewell tour of seniors, we'll be able to hit (all) four events," DuBois said following the meet against the Cardinal. "They've been doing it in practice and they're very capable (of doing it in a meet)."

Added Glass: "We always have had a good senior meet since I've been here. I think this is going to be the meet where we put it all together."

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