UCLA Gymnastics Posts Road Season-High 197.2 at Oklahoma
Feb. 22, 2013
Fifth-ranked UCLA recorded its best score on the road this season, 197.2, but second-ranked Oklahoma flexed its muscle with a school-record 198.375. The Bruins drop to 7-2 on the year, while the Sooners improve to 15-0.
Several career and season high marks were set by Bruin gymnasts. Freshman Sophina DeJesus returned to competition after sitting out two meets with a concussion and tied her career-bests on beam and floor with 9.875s. Her classmate Danusia Francis also set new career-bests, scoring 9.8s on bars and floor. Senior Kaelie Baer matched her career-best on vault with a 9.875 and tied her season-high on beam with a 9.8. Season-highs were achieved by Mattie Larson on beam (9.9) and Lichelle Wong on vault (9.825) and beam (9.85).
Vanessa Zamarripa scored 39.65 in the all-around to tie for second place and took home UCLA's only individual victory, winning uneven bars with a 9.95.
The Bruins began the meet on uneven bars and scored 49.25. Francis and Olivia Courtney started out with two straight routines with stuck dismounts, with Francis scoring a career-best 9.8 and Courtney scoring 9.825. Larson had a fall on her dismount and scored 9.15, but DeJesus rallied back with a 9.85 after a stuck dismount. After Wong's 9.825, Zamarripa hit a beauty of a routine, hitting and holding every handstand and sticking her double layout dismount to score 9.95. The Bruins earned 49.25 but trailed Oklahoma, which scored 49.525 after producing four 9.9+ vaults.
UCLA had a good showing on vault in rotation two, scoring 49.3 on the strength of 9.9s from Courtney and Zamarripa, who blasted huge vaults with unparalleled distance. Baer tied her career-high with a 9.875, Wong tied her season-best with a 9.825, and Dana McDonald earned a leadoff 9.8. The Bruins were unable to make up ground, however, as the Sooners scored 49.575 on bars thanks to five 9.9+ scores.
Floor exercise saw five Bruins score 9.8 or higher. McDonald started with a 9.825. Sadiqua Bynum fell on her middle pass and scored 9.15, but DeJesus once again followed a fall with a big score of 9.875, which tied her career-best. Alyssa Pritchett produced a 9.9, Zamarripa earned a 9.95, and Francis scored a career-best 9.8 to give UCLA a 49.35 team score.
With Oklahoma ahead by 0.75 heading into the last rotation, the Bruins were looking to finish strong on beam and achieve a 197 score. Needing at least a 49.1 team total to do that, the Bruins tied their season-high on the beam with 49.3 to surpass the mark. Baer did her part by leading off with a season-high 9.8. Wong scored a season-best 9.875, and DeJesus tied her career-best with a 9.875. Larson rebounded from her earlier fall on bars to hit a season-high 9.9. Zamarripa scored 9.85, and Francis finished with a 9.625.
"Everybody on the team and coaching staff feels that this is the best meet we've had all year. Not because of the scores but because of the team chemistry and the team dynamic," said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. "I've been open about saying that we need to mature emotionally as a team, and the work we did this week really came through tonight."
UCLA goes back on the road once again next week, facing two-time defending NCAA champion and fourth-ranked Alabama on Friday, Mar. 1 in Tuscaloosa.
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