Saturday, Feb. 22 - 6:00 pm PT
Video Stream - pac-12.com/videos/ucla
Live Stats - uclabruins.com
UCLA Hosts Stanford Saturday
The ninth-ranked UCLA gymnastics team (4-2, 4-1 in the Pac-12) hosts 12th-ranked Stanford (12-1, 4-1) on Saturday, Feb. 22 in Pauley Pavilion at 6 pm. This meet is UCLA’s annual pink meet to raise awareness for breast cancer. Pink pom poms will be given away at the entrance.
General admission tickets for the UCLA-Stanford meet are on sale now at the UCLA Central Ticket Office and at Ticketmaster. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for youth (16 and under). UCLA students are free with ID and are eligible to win an iPad mini.
Saturday’s meet is UCLA’s first non-televised meet this season. However, fans can watch the meet on a live video stream at pac-12.com/videos/ucla. Live stats will be available at uclabruins.com, and live updates can be found on Twitter by following @UCLAGymnastics.
In the Rankings
UCLA remains ranked No. 9 in the nation with a season average of 196.517 . The Bruins are ranked No. 6 on floor (49.271), No. 7 on bars (49.229), No. 10 on vault (49.204) and No. 15 on beam (48.813). Samantha Peszek is No. 1 in the nation on beam with a season average of 9.917 and is No. 3 on bars (9.917). Sydney Sawa ranks No. 6 on floor (9.925). Olivia Courtney ranks 8th in the all-around (39.425), 11th on vault (9.9) and 16th on bars (9.875). Danusia Francis ranks 8th on beam (9.869), and Hallie Mossett ranks 25th in the all-around (39.325).
Bruins Earn Road Season-High at UW
UCLA used career-best performances by Sydney Sawa and Sadiqua Bynum and three 9.9+ scores by Olivia Courtney to defeat No. 23 Washington on Feb. 8, 196.675-195.650. The score was a season-best road score for the Bruins, who were competing short-handed due to illness and injuries. Sawa won the all-around with a career-high score of 39.45 and tied for first with Bynum and Courtney on floor with a 9.9 and won beam with a career-best 9.925. Bynum and Courtney tied for first on vault with scores of 9.9, and Courtney and Samantha Peszek tied for first on bars with 9.925s.
Sawa Named Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week
Senior Sydney Sawa was named the Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week for the first time in her career after winning the all-around with a career-high 39.45 and beam and floor at Washington. Sawa sealed the all-around win with a career-high 9.925 on beam to take first place on the event. She also earned a first-place showing on floor, tying with two teammates with a score of 9.9, her sixth 9.9+ mark on that event in as many meets and ninth 9.9 overall. She averages 9.925 on floor, 9.863 on vault and 9.810 on bars. Sawa has seven individual wins this season, including a team-high four on floor.
About the Cardinal
Stanford is coming off a 197.000-196.300 upset win on Monday over previously undefeated Utah. The Cardinal hit 24-for-24 to reach 197 for the second time this season. Stanford is led by 2012 Canadian Olympian Kristina Vaculik, who ranks 15th in the nation in the all-around. Also on the Cardinal squad are All-Americans Ivana Hong, Shona Morgan, Taylor Rice, Samantha Shapiro and Amanda Spinner.
The Series with Stanford
UCLA holds a 47-15-1 overall regular season record against Stanford and went 2-0 against the Cardinal last year, with a 196.925-196.200 dual meet win at Stanford and a second-place finish at the Pac-12 Championships ahead of Stanford’s fourth-place showing.
Three Brits will be competing in Saturday’s meet - UCLA’s Danusia Francis and Jennifer Pinches and Stanford’s Rebecca Wing. Both Bruin Brits were members of Great Britain’s 2011 World Championship team that finished an all-time best fifth. Wing was a member of Great Britain’s 2008 Olympic team, and Pinches was on the 2012 Olympic squad, while Francis was a reserve. Francis and Wing both trained at Heathrow Gymnastics. Pinches trained at City of Liverpool Gymnastics Club.
Senior Samantha Peszek scored her first-ever perfect 10 on Feb. 8 with a flawless routine on the uneven bars. Her perfect 10 was the 101st in UCLA history and the first on uneven bars since Anna Li at the 2010 NCAA Regionals. Peszek’s perfect 10 is even more impressive considering she had only competed four routines in two meets prior to it. She sat out two meets due to a stress reaction in her heel and was previously sidenlined for the entire 2013 season with a torn Achilles.
UCLA seniors Olivia Courtney, Sydney Sawa and Samantha Peszek have undoubtedly been the team leaders this season. The trio have combined for 20 of UCLA’s 28 individual wins, with Courtney winning nine, Sawa seven and Peszek four. They are also setting the pace in 9.9+ scores, with Courtney totaling 11, Sawa nine and Peszek four. Peszek has a 10.0 on bars, and Courtney (vault) and Sawa (floor) each have a 9.975 score.
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 all four events, including 9.975 on floor and 9.95 on vault. Peszek is a four-time All-American and 2011 NCAA beam champion. Her career-bests are 9.95 or better on all four events.
Mossett Most Consistent
Freshman Hallie Mossett has been one of UCLA’s most consistent athletes, hitting all 19 routines she has competed this season. Each routine has scored 9.725 or better, and she averages 9.763 on vault and over 9.8 on bars, beam and floor. Prior to this season, Mossett had missed two years of competition due to injuries. She had two hip surgeries related to a car accident and then tore her ACL during her senior year of high school. Mossett, who has two all-around wins in as many attempts, has twice earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors.
Pinches Adds More Events
Freshman Jennifer Pinches made her collegiate debut on Jan. 19, competing for the first time since the 2012 Olympics. Pinches had retired after the Olympic Games but returned to the sport after a late recruiting push by UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. 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 balance beam and floor exercise to her repertoire at Washington last weekend, scoring 9.675 on beam and 9.825 on floor.
Bynum Bringing the Goods
Sadiqua Bynum has transformed in 2014, bringing huge vaults and powerful tumbling on floor. Last weekend at Washington, she tied her career-high with a 9.9 Yurchenko layout half vault and set a new standard on floor with a 9.9 after hitting a doule layout, double tuck and double pike. Bynum averages 9.85 on vault, third-best on the squad, and 9.767 on floor.
MacArthur Makes Solid Debut
Freshman Jessy MacArthur made her collegiate debut a memorable one, scoring 9.75 on bars to help the Bruins get off to a strong 49.4 start at Washington. MacArthur had performed two exhibitions prior to making the lineup and also scored 9.75 on those routines.
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. (Note: Samantha Peszek also achieved an NCAA first on beam in 2011, becoming the first collegiate gymnast to compete a standing full, which she did to win the NCAA beam title.)
Francis, who tuned up for the season by competing at the World University Games and qualifying for floor finals, has been amazingly consistent, hitting all 41 of her collegiate routines in team competition without a fall. She sat out the Bruins’ last two meets due to a virus but is expected to return this week.
Conference of Champions
The Pac-12 Conference leads the nation with all eight teams ranked in the Top 25. Utah is 4th, UCLA 9th, Oregon State 11th, Stanford 12th, Arizona 17th, California 21st, Arizona State 22nd and Washington 24th. All eight Pac-12 teams were also ranked in the preseason Top 25.
UCLA travels to Arizona on Saturday, Mar. 1 for a 4 pm MT meet.