March 11, 2012
Los Angeles, Calif. - In a matchup between two of the nation's Top 3 gymnastics teams, No. 3 UCLA (10-2-1) easily defeated No. 2 Oklahoma (16-3), 197.525-196.475, in a dual meet at a sold-out John Wooden Center on Sunday afternoon. UCLA senior Tauny Frattone earned the first perfect 10 of her career on vault.
The Bruins recorded their fourth 197+ score of the season on the strength of dual 49.5 marks on vault and floor. Sophomore Samantha Peszek won the all-around with a career-high score of 39.575 and also took first place on beam and floor with career-high marks of 9.925 and 9.95, respectively. Fittingly, three Bruin seniors ended their last home meet with event victories and career-high marks, with Frattone sticking her Yurchenko half on, pike front off vault with ease for a 10.0, Aisha Gerber scoring a career-high 9.95 to win uneven bars, and Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs tying her career-high of 9.95 to tie for first on floor.
UCLA grabbed onto the lead from the first rotation on and never let up, increasing its lead bit by bit after each rotation. The Bruins started off with a 49.5 on vault, thanks to Frattone's 10 and 9.9s from Mattie Larson and Vanessa Zamarripa. UCLA also received scores of 9.875 from Peszek, 9.825 from Kaelie Baer and 9.8 from Monique De La Torre. Oklahoma had five scores of 9.8 or higher on uneven bars in the first rotation but nothing over 9.875 and totaled 49.175.
The Bruins had similar scores on bars in rotation two, with Larson contributing a 9.85, Hopfner-Hibbs and Peszek scoring 9.825 and Zamarripa 9.875. But Gerber's near-flawless set to close the rotation merited 9.95 and brought the Bruins' score to 49.325 while the Sooners were scoring 49.2 on vault.
Armed with a 98.825-98.375 lead at the halfway mark, the Bruins totaled 49.2 on beam, thanks in large part to a 9.875 from Larson, a 9.9 from Hopfner-Hibbs and a career-high-tying 9.925 from Peszek, the reigning NCAA beam champion. The Sooners struggled a bit on floor, totaling just 48.875 to fall .775 behind the Bruins with one rotation to go.
UCLA put an emphatic stamp on the victory by posting a 49.5 on floor in the final rotation. Frattone opened with a 9.85, and De La Torre equaled that score with a career-best 9.85. Zamarripa recorded a 9.9, Alyssa Pritchett added a 9.825, and Peszek and Hopfner-Hibbs closed with back-to-back 9.95s, career-bests for both. Hopfner-Hibbs earned a 10.0 from one of the two judges.
"What a great way for your seniors to go out, especially going into the postseason," said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. "Hopefully it will allow them to just relax and play hard and play to win in the postseason."
The Bruins begin postseason play on Mar. 24 at the Pac-12 Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah.