March 17, 2013
Los Angeles, Calif. - Led by a perfect 10 by Vanessa Zamarripa on vault, UCLA matched its season-high team total in the regular season finale, scoring 197.425 to defeat Arkansas, which scored 196.6.
On Senior Day, the Bruins' fifth-year seniors came up big. In addition to scoring a 10 on vault, Zamarripa won uneven bars with a 9.95 and the all-around with a season-high-tying 39.675. Alyssa Pritchett hit career-highs on both vault (9.85) and floor exercise (9.95), and Kaelie Baer scoring a career-high 9.9 on vault for the third-straight meet.
Zamarripa's 10 gave the Bruins a season-high score of 49.5 on vault and a first-rotation lead they never relinquished. Also contributing to the season-high mark were Dana McDonald and Lichelle Wong with 9.8s, Pritchett with a 9.85, Baer with a 9.9 and Olivia Courtney with her second-straight 9.95. Arkansas started its meet with a 49.1 on bars, led by Shelby Salmon's 9.85.
The Bruins lost a little bit of their lead in rotation two, scoring 49.125 on uneven bars to Arkansas' 49.225 on vault. UCLA received scores of 9.775 from Danusia Francis, Wong and Monique De La Torre, along with a 9.8 from Sophina DeJesus and 9.825 from Courtney before Zamarripa closed it out with a 9.95.
UCLA held strong on beam in the third rotation, scoring 49.25. Baer and Wong started things off with 9.8s, and DeJesus tied her career-high with a 9.875. After a 9.75 from Courtney and 9.825 from Zamarripa, Francis performed a near-flawless routine to score a career-high 9.95.
With UCLA leading by less than three-tenths of a point, 147.875-147.600, heading into the final rotation, victory was up for grabs, especially after UCLA's leadoff performer on floor fell. But Sydney Sawa, competing on floor for the first time since suffering an ankle sprain in January, came through big with a 9.85 to set the tone for the rest of the rotation. DeJesus followed with a career-high 9.9, Zamarripa also scored 9.9, and Pritchett and Courtney closed with back-to-back 9.95s to give UCLA a season-high-tying 49.55 and the victory. Arkansas scored 49.0 on beam to finish with 196.6.
"Obviously, I'm thrilled for our seniors, but what was really important for us as a team was to hit four events great," said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. "We haven't done that all year. We needed to hit four events. And we made a point to huddle before and after every event to remind them of that, to keep the energy up. That was the goal for today, and that's exactly what they did."
UCLA (10-4) begins postseason on Saturday, Mar. 23 at the Pac-12 Championships in Corvallis, Ore.