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ASU Gymnastics: Sun Devils lose to No. 15 Cal in conference opener despite season-high team score

(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)

Despite earning a season-high total, the Arizona State Gym Devils fell to the No. 15 Cal Bears in their first Pac-12 competition of the year.

The Gym Devils opened the night on bars. Sophomore Morgan Wilson was the first to compete, scoring a season-high 9.675. Sophomore Eileen Imbus and freshman Ashley Szafranski both contributed, earning a 9.750 and 9.725, respectively. Junior Nichelle Christopherson earned a 9.700 to improve the team score and start out her all-around competition. The Gym Devils earned a 48.450 total to start out the meet.

Cal started the competition on vault. The event was led by senior Emily Richardson who earned a 9.850 and junior Arianna Robinson who scored a 9.825. The Bears also earned three scores 9.7+ to give them a 48.925 total to begin the night.

ASU moved to vault for the second rotation of the night. Freshman Graycee Rushton started the rotation with a 9.600. Sophomore Katelyn Lentz earned a 9.700 to add to her all-around score. The event was led by a pair of 9.725s from Wilson and freshman Jessica Ginn.

The Bears went to the bars for the second rotation. Senior Dana Ho and sophomore Chelsea Shu both posted a 9.825 on the event. Three 9.775s followed to give the Bears a 48.975 total.

Arizona State competed on floor for the third rotation. Freshmen Averie Brook and Mekayla Jones opened the floor exercise. Both performed their only routines of the meet, scoring a 9.625 and 9.700, respectively. Lentz earned a season-high 9.750 while sophomore Corinne Belkoff tied her season-high, scoring a 9.750 as well. Christopherson anchored the event, scoring a 9.725 to close things out. ASU scored a 48.550 on floor to improve its cumulative total to 145.375.

For the third rotation, Cal was on the beam. Junior Alicia Gallarzo earned an event-high 9.875, and Richardson also scored a high 9.825. The Bears improved their total to 146.850, topping the Gym Devils by 1.475 points.

The Gym Devils finished the night on the beam. Senior Beka Conrad was a late add to the line-up, but she earned a 9.700 on her only event of the evening. Sophomore Heather Udowitch also competed for the only time on beam, scoring a 9.725. Szafranski tied her career high on beam with a 9.750. Christopherson closed out the meet, scoring a 9.275 after recording a fall.

Cal closed the meet on floor. Junior Toni-Ann Williams, the defending Pac-12 Specialist of the Week, scored a meet-high 9.925 on her floor exercise. The Bears also added three 9.8+ scores to their total.

The Gym Devils fell to the Bears 196.025-193.575. Cal also swept the individual event titles.

Lentz won the all-around competition with a season-high 38.575 total while Christopherson came in second with a career-high score of 38.325.

Up next, ASU will host No. 8 UCLA on Saturday, Feb. 4 at Wells Fargo Arena.

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