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UCLA Athletics
Sydney Sawa celebrates with teammates (photo by Christy Linder)
Sawa's Perfect 10 Leads UCLA to Win over Stanford, 196.900-196.250
By: UCLA Athletics
Los Angeles, Calif. - Senior Sydney Sawa scored a perfect 10 on floor exercise, and the ninth-ranked Bruins dominated on balance beam in a 196.900-196.250 win over 12th-ranked Stanford on Saturday night in Pauley Pavilion.

The Bruins scored a season-high 49.525 on balance beam to turn a two-event deficit into a nearly half a point lead, and Sawa's first career 10.0 solidified the UCLA victory over its conference foes, improving UCLA's record to 5-2 on the year.

UCLA began the meet with a season-high 49.4 on vault. After Jennifer Pinches' leadoff score 9.725, Hallie Mossett tied her season-best with a 9.825, and Sawa nailed her vault and scored 9.85. Sadiqua Bynum earned 9.875, and Samantha Peszek and Olivia Courtney closed the rotation with back-to-back scores of 9.925. Stanford fell behind by four-tenths after scoring 49.0 on bars.

The Bruins ran into trouble on bars, scoring just 48.875, taking extra swings and struggling with handstands and landings. Danusia Francis, who had missed the last three meets with a virus, returned to competition and hit her routine for a meet-high-tying 9.825, a score that was also matched by Peszek, who covered nicely for a mistake in her routine. Stanford, meanwhile, scored 49.35 on vault to take over the lead.

Down 98.350-98.275 and headed to the balance beam, the Bruins put together its most impressive balance beam rotation of the season. Mossett started the team off with a career-high-tying 9.875, followed by another career-high-tying mark, a 9.9 from Sophina DeJesus. Courtney scored 9.875, and Peszek hit a near-flawless and difficult routine, scoring 9.95. Francis showed grace, flexibility and moxie in scoring a 9.925. When she knew she would not be unable to connect her sideways side aerial to her dismount without a deduction, she instead landed the aerial and did a different dismount, a backhandspring/layout/full-twist. The first five scores were enough to give UCLA a 49.525, the Bruins' highest beam score since Apr. 10, 2010.

Needing 49.2 on floor to hit the elusive 197 mark for the first time this season, the Bruins fell just short, with two out-of-bounds deductions hurting the team total. With a lineup beseiged by injury and illness, the Bruins received outstanding efforts from Sawa with her perfect 10, DeJesus, who scored a career-high 9.95, and Bynum who tied her career-high with a 9.9. Valiant efforts by an ill Pinches, and Mossett and Courtney, who have had nagging injuries, helped the Bruins score 49.1 on the event and take the team victory.

"I'm really proud of how we did," said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. "We saw a lot of fight and grit in them tonight."

Courtney won the all-around with a score of 39.225 and tied with Peszek for the vault crown. Peszek placed first on every event in which she participated (vault, bars and beam), and Sawa won floor with UCLA's first perfect 10 on floor in nine years.

UCLA finishes off Pac-12 Conference play next Saturday at Arizona.

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Saturday, Apr 02
vs. NCAA Regionals
Salt Lake City, UT
2nd, 196,375
Friday, Apr 15
vs. NCAA Team Semifinals
Fort Worth, TX
3rd, 196.700
Saturday, Apr 16
vs. NCAA Super Six
Fort Worth, TX
5th, 196.825