April 15, 2013
Sixth-seeded and six-time NCAA Champion UCLA (16-5) hosts the 2013 National Collegiate Women's Gymnastics Championships in Pauley Pavilion on Apr. 19-21.
The competition begins on Friday, Apr. 19 with two semifinal sessions at 12 pm and 6 pm. No. 6 seed UCLA competes in the second semifinal at 6 pm, along with No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Alabama, No. 7 Michigan, No. 10 Utah and No. 11 Arkansas. Competing in the first semifinal at 12 pm are No. 1 seed Florida, No. 4 Georgia, No. 5 LSU, No. 8 Minnesota, No. 9 Stanford and No. 12 Illinois. The top three teams from each semifinal will advance to the Super Six Team Finals on Saturday, Apr. 20 at 4 pm. Individual event finals will take place on Sunday, Apr. 21 at 1 pm. The all-around champion and individual event finalists will be determined during Friday's semifinals. Individuals qualify for event finals by placing in the Top 4 (including ties) of that particular event during their own semifinal session.
Live scoring for all sessions will be available at uclabruins.com. Also follow @UCLAGymnastics on Twitter for updates. NCAA.com will broadcast Thursday's semifinals live, and ESPN3 will broadcast both the Super Six Team Finals on Saturday and the Individual Event Finals on Sunday. The team finals will be televised by ESPNU on Apr. 30 at 5 pm PT. Calling the action for ESPN will be two-time Olympic gold medalist Bart Conner and two-time Olympic medalist Kathy Johnson Clarke.
The rotation order for the NCAA semifinals was determined by blind draw. In the second semifinal, UCLA will begin on balance beam in rotation one. After a bye, the Bruins resume competition in the third rotation on floor, then vault, another bye and then uneven bars to finish.
UCLA's NCAA Championship History
The Bruins have won six NCAA gymnastics titles - in 1997 at Florida, 2000 at Boise State, 2001 at Georgia, 2003 at Nebraska, 2004 at UCLA and 2010 at Florida. This is UCLA's 29th overall appearance in the 32 NCAA Championships.
Individual NCAA History
A total of 16 Bruins have won 31 NCAA titles to rank second behind only Georgia (40) in individual NCAA titles. UCLA's NCAA champions are: Kim Hamilton (1987-88-89 floor, 1989 vault), Jill Andrews (1988 vault, 1989 beam), Stella Umeh (1995 and 1998 floor), Heidi Moneymaker (1988 bars, 1999 vault), Kiralee Hayashi (1999 beam), Mohini Bhardwaj (2000 bars, 2001 floor), Lena Degteva (2000 beam), Onnie Willis (2001 all-around), Yvonne Tousek (2001 bars), Jamie Dantzscher (2002 all-around, vault and floor; 2003 bars), Kate Richardson (2003 bars and beam, 2006 floor), Kristen Maloney (2005 vault and beam), Tasha Schwikert (2005 all-around, 2008 all-around and bars), Vanessa Zamarripa (2010 vault), Brittani McCullough (2010 floor) and Samantha Peszek (2011 beam). Two other Bruins won AIAW national titles - Sharon Shapiro (1980 sweep of all all-around and all four events, 1981 all-around and vault) and Diane Dovas (1981 bars). Shapiro remains the only gymnast ever to sweep the all-around and all four events in one year at a national championship. Hamilton is the only woman to win three consecutive floor titles. UCLA has won at least two individual titles in nine of the last 15 years and a team or individual title in 12 of the last 15 years. Since 2000, the Bruins have captured 19 individual titles, the most of any school during that time period.
Last Year At NCAAs
In the closest competition in NCAA Super Six history, UCLA earned its third-highest NCAA Championships score ever with a mark of 197.750, but it wasn't enough at the 2012 NCAA Championships, which went to Alabama for the second-straight year. The Crimson Tide scored a tenth higher than the Bruins, 197.850, clinching the victory with a 9.95 on beam by its last competitor, Ashley Priess. Florida finished .025 ahead of the Bruins in second place with a score of 197.775. The competition went down to the wire in the final rotation. The luck of the draw had UCLA in the locker room in the last rotation after finishing up with a final score of 197.75. Florida needed to score 49.4 on floor exercise to overtake the Bruins, and Alabama needed 49.425 on balance beam to move ahead of UCLA. It came down to the last competitor for both the Gators and Crimson Tide to decide UCLA's final placement, and they each scored enough to move ahead of the Bruins. UCLA received monster performances from Vanessa Zamarripa, who scored a career-high 39.775 in the all-around and a perfect 10 on vault, and Samantha Peszek, who earned a career-high 39.675 in the all-around and career-bests on bars (9.925) and beam (9.95).
All five Bruins who qualified for event finals made the podium, with Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs tying for second on floor, Olivia Courtney placing third on bars, Zamarripa recording a fifth-place finish on bars and sixth-place on floor, Aisha Gerber finishing sixth on bars, and Peszek placing seventh on beam.
NCAA Championship Notes
*Only four teams have ever won the NCAA title in the 31 years of the Championships - Georgia (10), Utah (9), UCLA (6) and Alabama (6). For the first 15 years of the Championship, only Utah, Georgia and Alabama had ever won the team title. UCLA broke the stranglehold in 1997. Fifteen championships later, there still has not been a team outside of UCLA, Alabama, Georgia and Utah to win a title.
*Nine schools return from the 2012 NCAA Championships, including all six Super Six teams. Returning teams are Alabama (1st place), Florida (2nd), UCLA (3rd), Stanford (4th), Utah (5th), Arkansas (6th), Oklahoma (7th), LSU (9th) and Georgia (11th). Michigan and Illinois are back after one-year absences, and Minnesota is making its first appearance since 2002. Absent from last year's field are Nebraska (8th), Ohio State (10th) and Oregon State (12th).
*No. 12 Auburn is the only Top 12 team that did not qualify for the NCAA Championships.
*UCLA ranks second among all schools with 31 individual titles. Georgia leads all teams with 40. Utah is third with 24.
*UCLA has won either a team or an individual NCAA title in 12 of the last 15 years.
UCLA vs. 2013 NCAA Field
The Bruins have matched up against seven of the 11 other teams in the NCAA field this season, including all five opponents in the semifinals. UCLA is 1-0 against Arkansas, 2-0 against both Stanford and Utah, and 0-1 against Oklahoma, Alabama, Michigan and LSU.
Redemption Time for Bruins in Semifinals
UCLA will get another shot at three teams it lost to in consecutive weeks during the regular season - Oklahoma, Alabama and Michigan. The Bruins lost to Oklahoma and Alabama on the road in back-to-back dual meets in Feb. 22 and Mar. 1 and placed second to the Wolverines at home Mar. 10.
Championships Return to New Pauley
This is the fourth time UCLA has hosted the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships. The last time the Championships were held in Pauley Pavilion, in 2004, UCLA set a NCAA Super Six record with a winning score of 198.125. The Bruins also previously hosted in 1998 (UCLA placed fifth, Georgia first) and 1984 (UCLA finished second, Utah first).
This championship marks the first held in New Pauley Pavilion. The arena underwent a 33-month, $136 million dollar renovation, reopening in November 2012. In Pauley Pavilion's history, UCLA teams have won 13 NCAA titles in the arena, with the 2004 gymnastics title the most recent.
In the Rankings
UCLA closed the regular season strong, scoring its season-high on the road at the Pac-12 Championships (197.375) to jump up two spots to No. 6 nationally with a RQS of 197.2. The Bruins rank sixth on beam (49.220) and floor (49.430) and ninth on vault (49.375) and bars (49.280).
Vanessa Zamarripa remains ranked No. 1 in the nation in the all-around (39.660) for the seventh consecutive week and jumped up to No. 1 on vault (9.970). Her No. 1 ranking on vault gives her the distinction of finishing each of her four seasons ranked No. 1 in the nation on that event. Zamarripa also ranks in the Top 25 on the other three events, checking in at No. 4 on bars (9.935), No. 7 on floor (9.925) and No. 22 on beam (9.880). Olivia Courtney ranks eighth on vault (9.920) and 17th on floor (9.910), Alyssa Pritchett is 17th on floor (9.910).
Bruins Qualify for NCAAs after Second-Place Finish at Regionals
With a second-place showing at the NCAA Columbus Regional, UCLA qualified for its 29th NCAA Championship. The Bruins scored 196.95 to finish behind first-place LSU (197.275). The Bruins took the lead after the first rotation thanks to a team vault score of 49.225. LSU claimed the lead after the third rotation, and Arizona crept up to third place just two-tenths behind the Bruins. UCLA took control of its destiny by producing a strong balance beam set in rotation four, taking a 9.875 leadoff score by Olivia Courtney tied for first in the all-around and on vault to claim her second NCAA Regional all-around title in three years.
Zamarripa, Courtney, Francis Earn Regular Season All-America Honors
As announced by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches (NACGC/W), three Bruins earned regular season All-America honors. The regular-season All-Americans are selected by national ranking prior to NCAA competition. Onnie Willis, who had 16 (all post-season awards). Olivia Courtney added a sixth All-America honor to her career stash, earning first-team honors on vault. Freshman Danusia Francis received her first-ever award, second-team honors on beam.