Jan. 30, 2013
UCLA at Stanford
Fourth-ranked UCLA (3-0) travels to 11th-ranked Stanford (7-1) for a Saturday, Feb. 2 dual meet that will take place at Burnham Pavilion at 4 pm.
Saturday's meet was previously scheduled to be televised live on the Pac-12 Network but will no longer be televised. Stanford will have live scoring at gostanford.com. Follow @uclagymnastics on Twitter for updates during the meet.
In The Rankings
UCLA remained at No. 4 in the national rankings with a season average of 196.650. The Bruins rank No. 3 on floor, No. 6 on uneven bars and balance beam and No. 8 on vault.
Vanessa Zamarripa ranks in the Top 15 in the all-around (2nd, 39.575 average), bars (T-13th, 9.867), beam (T-2nd, 9.900) and floor (1st, 9.963). Olivia Courtney ranks in the Top 20 in the all-around (T-20th, 39.225), vault (T-17th, 9.883) and floor (T-5th, 9.900). The Bruins have three ranked in the Top 5 on floor (No. 1 Zamarripa, No. 5 Courtney and Alyssa Pritchett). Danusia Francis ranks 14th on beam (9.867).
Last Time Out
Competing on the road for the first time this season, the Bruins made themselves at home at Arizona State, defeating the Sun Devils, 196.375-195.600 on Jan. 25. UCLA scored a season-high 49.35 on vault and set four season-highs on balance beam, recording a team total of 49.175. Vanessa Zamarripa won both events in which she competed (vault with a season-high 9.95 and bars with a 9.825), and freshmen Sophina DeJesus and Danusia Francis tied for first on beam with scores of 9.875.
Rookie Performers Shine
With UCLA needing to replace 12 routines from last year's NCAA Championships, many new faces are emerging to play key roles in 2013. Freshmen Sophina DeJesus and Danusia Francis have jumped right into competition, with each winning two events in the Bruins' three meets. DeJesus tied for first on uneven bars with a 9.9 in her collegiate debut against Southern Utah, and Francis was moved to the anchor position on balance beam vs. Utah and tied for first with a 9.925. They tied for first place on beam at Arizona State with scores of 9.875. A pair of sophomores who did not compete due to injuries a year ago have also been strong competitors - Dana McDonald is averaging 9.825 on vault and 9.85 on floor in the leadoff position and scored 9.7 on her first career beam routine at ASU, and Sadiqua Bynum has competed in each meet on floor, with a high of 9.8 against Utah. Additionally, two other athletes who missed most of last season with injuries, are back - junior Sydney Sawa scored 9.8 on vault vs. Utah and scored on floor at ASU, and senior Lichelle Wong has a pair of 9.9s on bars and a 9.85 on beam to her credit. Wong ranked No. 1 on bars in the first national rankings.
About The Cardinal
Stanford is coming off a dual meet road win at Cal, 196.450-195.775. The Cardinal ranks 11th in the nation with a season average of 195.825. Senior Ashley Morgan ranks 24th in the nation in the all-around with an average of 39.192 and earned Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week honors this week after winning the all-around both at Georgia and at Cal. The Cardinal have five returning All-Americans on its squad - Morgan, Ivana Hong, Shona Morgan, Amanda Spinner and Samantha Shapiro.
The Series With Stanford
UCLA holds a 45-15-1 overall regular season record against Stanford and went 2-0 against the Cardinal last year, with a 197.25-196.45 dual meet win in Los Angeles and a first-place finish at the Pac-12 Championships. The Bruins will be seeking their first dual meet win at Stanford since the 2005 season.
Bay Area Bruins
Three of the four members of the UCLA sophomore class are from the Bay Area and will be enjoying a hometown visit - Sadiqua Bynum (Berkeley, Calif.), Ellette Craddock (San Francisco, Calif.) and Dana McDonald (Piedmont, Calif.). Bynum and McDonald have competed in every meet this season, with Bynum seeing action on floor exercise and McDonald consistently drawing high marks as the leadoff on both vault and floor. She also made her collegiate debut on beam last weekend. Craddock had strong exhibition performances in the season opener but is out for the rest of the year after undergoing surgery on her finger after an accident.
Former Heathrow Gymnastics Club teammates Danusia Francis and Rebecca Wing will reunite on Saturday when Francis' Bruins visit Wing's Cardinal. Francis was a member of Great Britain's World Championship team in 2011 and was a reserve on the 2012 Olympic squad. Wing competed at the 2008 Olympic Games and 2007 and 2009 World Championships.
DeJesus Honored by Pac-12
For the second time in four weeks, Sophina DeJesus earned Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Week honors. DeJesus, who won the season's first award, was honored again this week after she placed first on beam and second on bars and floor in the Bruins' road win at Arizona State. DeJesus posted career-bests of 9.875 on beam and floor.