Saturday, Feb. 8 - 12:30 pm PT
TV: Pac-12 Networks (Jim Watson, Amanda Borden)
Live Stats - uclabruins.com
UCLA Hosts ASU
The ninth-ranked UCLA gymnastics team (2-2, 2-1 in the Pac-12) returns home to host 20th-ranked Arizona State (5-2, 2-1) on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 12:30pm in Pauley Pavilion.
Saturday’s meet will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks. Live stats will be available at uclabruins.com. Live updates can also be found on Twitter: @UCLAGymnastics.
Honoring 2004 NCAA Champs
UCLA’s 2004 NCAA Championship team will be honored in post-meet ceremonies on the 10-year anniversary of their championship. The 2004 Bruins had one of the most dominant performances in NCAA history, winning the title in Pauley Pavilion with a championship record score of 198.125. With the championship win, Jeanette Antolin, Jamie Dantzscher, Christy Erickson, Kristen Maloney, Trishna Patel, Yvonne Tousek and Jamie Williams became three-time NCAA team champions.
In the Rankings
UCLA remains ranked No. 9 in the nation with a season average of 196.375. The Bruins are ranked No. 4 on floor (49.306), No. 8 on bars (49.113), No. 10 on vault (49.231) and No. 15 on beam (48.725). Samantha Peszek is tied for No. 1 in the nation on beam with a season average of 9.925 and is No. 13 on bars (9.875). Sydney Sawa ranks No. 3 on floor (9.931) and No. 23 on vault (9.881). Olivia Courtney ranks 9th in the all-around (39.425) and 16th on vault (9.894). Danusia Francis ranks 12th on beam (9.869), and Angi Cipra ranks 13th on floor (9.894).
Bruins Conquer Beam, Bears
UCLA scored a season-best 49.05 on beam in the final rotation to earn a 196.575-195.550 win at Cal on Jan. 31. Leading 147.525-146.975 going into the last event, the Bruins finished on beam, which has been their nemesis this season. Ellette Craddock and Hallie Mossett set the tone by scoring career-highs of 9.825 and 9.875, respectively, and Olivia Courtney closed it with a season-best 9.875 on a must-hit routine to secure the win for the Bruins. Courtney won the all-around with a score of 39.425 and also took first place on vault with a 9.9. Sydney Sawa won floor with a 9.925, and Mossett tied for first on bars with a career-high 9.9.
Mossett Named Pac-12 Freshman of Week
UCLA freshman Hallie Mossett was selected the Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Week for the week of Jan. 27-Feb. 2. Mossett had another strong meet at Cal, tying for first place on bars with a career-high 9.9, tying for second on beam with a career-high 9.875 and scoring 9.75 on vault to help the Bruins defeat the Bears on the road, 196-575-195.550. Her scores helped UCLA record season-highs on both bars (49.300) and beam (49.050). Mossett has hit all 12 routines she has competed this season and is averaging 9.75 or better on each event.
The Series with ASU
UCLA is 53-23 all-time against Arizona State and has not lost to the Sun Devils since Jan. 26, 2001 in Tempe, a streak of 25 consecutive wins. The Bruins won both meetings last year, with UCLA posting a 196.375-195.600 dual meet victory in Tempe and then placing second ahead of 8th-place ASU at the Pac-12 Championship.
UCLA seniors Olivia Courtney and Sydney Sawa have undoubtedly been the team leaders this season. Their competitive experience and edge has shown in all four meets, with each totaling six 9.9+ scores, including a 9.975 each (Courtney on vault vs. Florida and Sawa on floor vs. Oregon State) and three event victories (Courtney with two on vault and one on floor and Sawa with two on floor and one on vault).
Courtney is an eight-time All-American who has won four Pac-12 individual titles, the most of any active gymnast in the conference. She has career-best marks of 9.9 or better on all four events, including 9.975 on vault and 9.95 on floor. Sawa earned All-America honors on floor exercise in 2011 and holds career-high marks of 9.9 or better on vault, bars and floor, including 9.975 on floor and 9.95 on vault.
Francis Makes History with Beam Dismount
Sophomore Danusia Francis achieved a gymnastics first on Jan. 11, becoming the first gymnast to do a sideways side aerial into a layout full dismount off the side of the beam. The difficult and innovative combo paved the way for a 9.9 score. She improved upon her score on Jan. 19, earning 9.925 to place first, and she tied her career-best on Jan. 25 at Utah with a 9.95. Last season at the NCAA Event Finals, Francis became the first collegiate gymnast to do a sideways side aerial on beam.
Francis, who tuned up for the season by competing at the World University Games, has been amazingly consistent, hitting all 41 of her collegiate routines in team competition without a fall.
Craddock Beaming as Leadoff
UCLA has found its leadoff beam performer in redshirt sophomore Ellette Craddock. In the ever-important leadoff role, Craddock has excelled, averaging 9.8, with a high of 9.825 set last weekend at Cal. Not coincidentally, the Bruins have scored their highest team scores on beam with Craddock hitting in the leadoff spot - 48.825 at Utah and 49.05 at Cal.
Peszek Returns After Redshirt Year
Redshirt junior Samantha Peszek showed little rust in returning from an Achilles injury that forced her out of competition in 2013. Peszek took first place on balance beam against Florida with a 9.925 and was third on bars (9.875) and fifth on vault (9.85). She has been held out of two meets (Oregon State and Cal) to rest a stress fracture in her heel but did compete on uneven bars at Utah, where she led the Bruins with a score of 9.875. Peszek is tied for first in the nation on beam (9.925) and is 13th on bars (9.875).
Pinches Back in the Saddle
Freshman Jennifer Pinches made her collegiate debut on Jan. 19, competing for the first time since the 2012 Olympics. Pinches, who retired after the Olympic Games, decided to return to the sport after UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field recruited her in 2013. Pinches signed with UCLA in August and came to Westwood a month later for preseason training. A broken toe had prevented her from training fully, but she made a successful return vs. Oregon State with a vault that scored 9.625. She improved upon her score at Utah, scoring 9.8, and added floor exercise to her repertoire at Cal, performing in an exhibition that scored 9.725.
MacArthur, Gerber Make Collegiate Debuts
Freshmen Jessy MacArthur and Mikaela Gerber made their collegiate debuts on Friday at Cal, performing exhibition routines on bars and beam, respectively. MacArthur scored 9.75 on bars, and Gerber earned 9.375 on a lower start-valued routine on beam. Additionally, Jennifer Pinches performed an exhibition on floor for the first time, scoring 9.725.
Freshmen Angi Cipra and Hallie Mossett have quickly stepped into important roles on the Bruin squad, contributing on at least three events in each of the last three meets. Against Oregon State, Cipra scored 9.95 on floor, earning a perfect 10 from one of the judges, and Mossett scored a career-high 9.85 on beam and 9.875 on her floor debut. At Utah, Cipra earned 9.875 on floor and tied for the Bruins’ top score on vault with a 9.85, while Mossett won the all-around with a score of 39.075. Mossett won bars with a career-high 9.9 at Cal and tied for second on beam with a career-best 9.875, while Cipra tied for second on floor with a 9.9.
Conference of Champions
The Pac-12 Conference leads the nation with all eight teams ranked in the Top 25. Utah is 4th, UCLA 9th, Stanford 12th, Arizona 13th, Oregon State 16th, Arizona State 20th, California 22nd and Washington 24th. All eight Pac-12 teams were also ranked in the preseason Top 25.