No. 4 Utah (7-1, 197.113) vs. No. 9 Cal (4-0, 196.588)

When: Friday, 7 p.m. MST

Venue: Huntsman Center (15,000 capacity), Salt Lake City

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Livestream: Pac-12 Networks Live

Series: Utah leads the all-time series with Cal 26-2 and is a perfect 9-0 in Salt Lake City. The Red Rocks have won six straight meets against the Golden Bears, the most recent being a 197.550-197.325 come-from-behind win on the road last season. Utah and Cal were tied through three rotations before the Red Rocks’ beam lineup earned a competition-winning 49.625 that included three scores of 9.95, from Adrienne Randall, Maile O’Keefe and Abby Paulson. Utah last lost to Cal in 2018 in Berkley. The Red Rocks’ only other loss to the Golden Bears came in 2017, at the NCAA championships in Fort Worth, Texas.

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The stakes

For Utah: Following the thrilling victory over rival UCLA, Utah actually dropped behind Florida, LSU and Oklahoma in the rankings. While the victory over the Bruins was a step in the right direction when it comes to Pac-12 competition, it was a slight step back on the national stage. The meet against Cal offers Utah the chance to get back into a familiar position at the top of the rankings, if the Red Rocks can record a new season-high score against the Golden Bears. A victory over Cal would also all but assure Utah will be the Pac-12 regular season champion for the second consecutive year.

For Cal: At 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the Pac-12, Cal started its season nearly a month after Utah, but the Golden Bears have been excellent from the get go. Aside from Utah, Cal is the only remaining unbeaten Pac-12 program, with wins over Arizona, Arizona State and Oregon State. A win over Utah would signify that Cal is ready to contend, not only at the Pac-12 championships in March, but also for a berth at nationals. Additionally, an upset of the Red Rocks would give the Golden Bears the inside track to the Pac-12 regular season title.

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The gymnasts

For Utah: Despite not being at her absolute best against UCLA, O’Keefe remains the current face of the Red Rocks and is ranked No. 9 in the country in the all-around and No. 3 on beam. Senior Sydney Soloski is ranked No. 12 on floor, making a five spot jump after her meet-winning 9.925 against the Bruins. Soloski has recorded a 9.90 or better on floor in five consecutive meets. Junior Cristal Isa, meanwhile, is ranked No. 15 on bars and is one of only three Utah gymnasts ranked in the top 25 on an event. Outside of those three gymnasts, senior Alexia Burch is one to watch on vault, thanks to scoring a 9.975 in consecutive meets. Paulson remains a threat on beam, floor and bars, while freshmen Jaylene Gilstrap and Lucy Stanhope are each coming off career-high scores on floor.

For Cal: The Golden Bears are not lacking for individual standouts. Kyana George, Maya Bordas and Nevaeh DeSouza lead the team as all-arounders. George is ranked No. 10 in the country — she is third among Pac-12 gymnasts behind only UCLA’s Nia Dennis and Utah’s O’Keefe — and holds the Pac-12’s highest all-around score of the season, a 39.650. Additionally, Bordas is No. 16 in the nation in the all-around. Another gymnast to watch is Milan Clausi, the daughter of former Utah superstar Missy Marlowe and an All-American.

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Next up

Utah will travel to Corvallis, Oregon, for its Pac-12 regular season finale, where the Red Rocks will face off against the Oregon State Beavers. Utah leads the all-time series with Oregon State 72-10-1 — included in that is a 35-0 record in Salt Lake City. Utah has won the last seven matchups in the series, with their last loss coming on the road in 2017. Last year, the Red Rocks defeated the Beavers 197.100 to 196.275, as Isa (all-around), Kim Tessen (vault), Missy Reinstadtler (bars) and O’Keefe (beam) all secured event victories.

Utah schedule

Jan. 9 — vs. No. 11 BYU, No. 16 Southern Utah and No. 22 Utah State (Best of Utah)

Jan. 17 — at No. 3 Oklahoma

Jan. 23 — vs. Arizona

Jan. 30 — vs. Washington

Feb. 6 — at No. 17 ASU

Feb. 15 — BYE

Feb. 19 — vs. No. 13 UCLA

Feb. 26 — vs. No. 9 California (7 p.m., Pac-12 Networks)

March 5 — at Oregon State (TBD)

March 12 — vs. No. 22 Utah State (7 p.m., TBD)

March 20 — Pac-12 championships (TBD)

All times MST