Feb. 26, 2012
Los Angeles, Calif. - The sixth-ranked UCLA Gymnastics team made a big statement this afternoon, scoring 198.050 in a dual meet victory over 24th-ranked Arizona State (194.850) at the John Wooden Center. The score was the highest in the nation this year and the highest by a Bruin team since winning the 2004 NCAA Championships.
The Bruins posted team totals of 49.475 or better on every event and totaled 13 marks of 9.9 or higher, including three 9.95s and a 9.975. Vanessa Zamarripa won the all-around with a mark of 39.625, the highest by a Bruin this season. Olivia Courtney won vault with a career-high 9.975 and tied for firth on floor exercise with Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs with another career-high 9.95. Monique De La Torre won uneven bars with a career-high 9.95. Zamarripa, Samantha Peszek and Mattie Larson tied for first on balance beam with scores of 9.925.
UCLA started the meet with a 49.475 on vault and built on those scores as the competition progressed. After Kaelie Baer's leadoff vault score of 9.8, Hopfner-Hibbs stuck her Yurchenko layout full vault for a season-high 9.925. Larson followed with a 9.85, and Courtney drilled a big Yurchenko layout full for a career-high 9.975, earning a perfect 10 from one judge. Tauny Frattone and Zamarripa closed the rotation with 9.825 and 9.9, respectively.
The Bruins equaled their vault score on uneven bars. Hopfner-Hibbs' leadoff score of 9.85 set the tone, and she was followed by a 9.825 from Courtney, meet-best 9.95 from De La Torre, career-high 9.9 from Larson, season-high tying 9.9 from Aisha Gerber and 9.875 from Zamarripa.
Leading Arizona State 98.950-96.875 after two events, UCLA moved to balance beam focused on maintaining the momentum. Gerber's leadoff score of 9.875 helped the Bruins do just that. Even with Baer falling in the No. 2 position, the Bruins kept calm and didn't stray from their game plan. Larson posted a career-high 9.925, Zamarripa earned a season-high 9.925, and Hopfner-Hibbs scored 9.85. Peszek, competing a hands-free routine due to wrist soreness, threw huge difficulty in her routine, including a standing full, and recorded a career-high-tying 9.925 to help the Bruins post a team total of 49.5.
Just 49.55 away from a 198 team score, the Bruins got that and more, recording 49.6 on floor exercise in the final rotation. The score was the eighth-highest floor score in school history and the highest on that event since Jan. 23, 2005. Frattone's leadoff score of 9.875 set the tone, and the Bruins closed with four straight 9.9+ marks. Zamarripa scored a season-high 9.925, Alyssa Pritchett tied her career-high with a 9.9, and Courtney and Hopfner-Hibbs each received 10.0s from one judge (and 9.9 from the other) to record final scores of 9.95.
The Bruins went 1-2-3 in the all-around, with Zamarripa picking up her first win of the year with a 39.625. Hopfner-Hibbs recorded a season-best 39.575 to place second, and Larson set a new career-high with a 39.350.
UCLA returns to competition on Friday, Mar. 2 at Georgia.