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Dwight Powell on SportsCenter now as the "other piece" of the Rondo trade: 6 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
ICYMI, Dwight Powell was traded from the Celtics to the Mavs as part of the Rajon Rondo deal yesterday.: 14 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
RT @StanfordWVB: Final: @PennStateVBALL 3, @StanfordWVB 1 Cardinal ends the season 33-2, tying for the most wins in program history. #gosta: 1 day ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Cardinal within one after block from Bugg and Ajanaku. A hush over the crowd in OKC as it's 20-19 PSU in the fourth, up two sets to one.: 1 day ago, Stanford Daily Sport
It's getting late quickly for the Card. PSU up 18-15 in the fourth set. Another Dunning timeout, this one the most important of the year.: 1 day ago, Stanford Daily Sport
PSU with three straight points to even the fourth set at 13. Timeout Stanford.: 1 day ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Cardinal up 10-7 in the fourth set. Down two sets to one.: 1 day ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Stanford has been down 2-1 three times this season, and it has a 2-1 record in those matches. (W @ Illinois, W @ Colorado, L @ Washington): 1 day ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Card closed to within one point on three occasions towards the end of the 3rd, but couldn't pull it out. PSU wins it 25-22, takes 2-1 lead.: 1 day ago, Stanford Daily Sport
RT @jwallach12: Neither team has been able to get in a rhythm since the beginning of the first set. It's a dogfight out there. Exactly what…: 1 day ago, Stanford Daily Sport

Men’s gymnastics travels to No. 7 Cal, kicks off challenging early schedule

No. 3 Stanford men’s gymnastics, armed with the talent to compete for an NCAA title, begins its 2014 season Saturday at No. 7 Cal in Berkeley.

Junior Brian Knott finished first in the parallel bars in the NCAA team finals last year, and headlines a Cardinal team that is looking to replace Nissen-Emery Award winner Eddie Penev. (HECTOR GARCIA-MOLINA/StanfordPhoto.com)

Junior Brian Knott finished first in the parallel bars in the NCAA team finals last year, and headlines a Cardinal team that is looking to replace Nissen-Emery Award winner Eddie Penev. (HECTOR GARCIA-MOLINA/StanfordPhoto.com)

The Cardinal is coming off an impressive third-place finish at the NCAA Championships in University Park, Pa., last April.

Stanford will have to replace the production of Eddie Penev ’13, who graduated as a three-time national champion and nine-time All-American. Penev was an all-around star for the Cardinal and consistently dominated on the floor exercise.

The Cardinal does return one standout from last year’s championship events: junior Brian Knott. Knott scored a career-best 15.450 in the parallel bars in the team finals for a first-place finish, and Saturday will provide an opportunity to see how that effort propelled him in the offseason.

Another upperclassman to watch out for is senior Sean Senters. Senters has two seasons of eligibility left after a redshirting in 2011, and he has already established himself as one of the top gymnasts in the country. Senters earned All-America honors in 2012 and 2013 for his performance on the floor exercise and added All-American status on the vault in 2013.

Saturday’s matchup with Cal will also provide a first look at the Cardinal’s new freshman class. Stanford has six freshmen on the team, and all will look to make an impact early.

The season is filled with tough challenges for Stanford. The Card faces No. 7 Cal on consecutive Saturdays to open the season, first in Berkeley and then at Stanford. Then Stanford hosts a tournament that will see Cal, Washington and No. 1 Michigan come to the Farm.

In the team’s first competition after the tournament, Stanford heads to Norman, Okla., to take on the No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners. The end result: By Feb. 8, Stanford will have faced the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 7 teams in the country in competition.

Stanford’s season begins at Cal Saturday at 1 p.m. in a meet that will be televised on Pac-12 Networks. The Cardinal’s home opener is set for Jan. 18 at 4 p.m., also against Cal.

About Sam Fisher

Sam Fisher is the managing editor of sports for The Stanford Daily's Vol. 244. Sam also does play-by-play for KZSU's coverage of Stanford football, Stanford baseball and Stanford women's basketball. In 2013, Sam co-authored "Rags to Roses: The Rise of Stanford Football," with Joseph Beyda and George Chen.