Feb. 13, 2013
UCLA Travels to Oregon State
Fourth-ranked UCLA (7-0) visits 13th-ranked Oregon State (7-5) on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 7 pm. This meet will kick off UCLA's three-game road swing during which the Bruins will face three Top 15 teams in back-to-back-to-back weekends.
Saturday's meet will be televised live nationally on the Pac-12 Networks at 7 pm. Jim Watson and Olympic gold medalist Amanda Borden will have the call. Live stats will be available at osubeavers.com. Follow @uclagymnastics on Twitter for in-meet updates.
In The Rankings
UCLA remained at No. 4 in the national rankings with a season average of 196.765. The Bruins rank first on floor, fifth on beam, sixth on bars and eighth on vault.
Vanessa Zamarripa ranks No. 1 in the nation in the all-around (39.613) and floor exercise (9.944), No. 4 on uneven bars (9.875) and No. 5 on vault (9.910) and balance beam (9.881). Olivia Courtney ranks 10th in the all-around (39.35), No. 18 on vault (9.885) and tied for No. 9 with Alyssa Pritchett on floor (9.890). Two Bruin freshmen rank in the Top 25 on beam - No. 6 Danusia Francis (9.880) and No. 22 Sophina DeJesus (9.838). Monique De La Torre makes her rankings debut this week on bars at No. 17 (9.850).
Last Time Out
The Bruins hit 24-for-24 routines for the first time this season and captured first place in a quad meet against Washington, UC Davis and Sacramento State with a score of 196.950. Vanessa Zamarripa led the charge once again, scoring 39.625 to win her fourth all-around title in as many attempts. She also took first-place honors on vault, bars and floor. Olivia Courtney also had a strong all-around showing, scoring a season-high 39.475 and tying for first on beam with Danusia Francis.
About The Beavers
Oregon State will be competing in its first home meet since Jan. 11. The Beavers have been on the road for a month and are coming off a 196.3-195.45 win at Arizona State on Feb. 8. Kelsi Blalock ranks eighth in the nation in the all-around (39.425) and 17th on bars (9.85). Makayla Stambaugh leads the Beavers with eight event titles. Oregon State head coach Tanya Chaplin recorded her 300th career win last week.
From Bruins to Beavers
Oregon State coaches Tanya and Michael Chaplin have extensive ties to the UCLA gymnastics program. The former Tanya Service was a six-time All-American and two-time (1987 and 1989) Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year at UCLA while current Bruin head coach Valorie Kondos Field was an assistant coach. OSU associate head coach Michael Chaplin won an NCAA title with the UCLA men's gymnastics team in 1987 and was teammates with current UCLA associate head coach Chris Waller.
UCLA owns a 45-18-1 series advantage over Oregon State. UCLA won the matchup at the Pac-12 Championships, and the two teams tied on Feb. 17, 2012 in Corvallis with identical scores of 196.775. The last four matchups at Oregon State have been close. In 2012, the Bruins came back from a 0.40 deficit at the halfway mark to tie the Beavers. In 2011, UCLA edged the Beavers by .05, 196.675-196.625, with a fourth rotation rally on the balance beam. The dual meet in 2009 came down to the last routine, with Aisha Gerber's 9.875 on beam clinching UCLA's 196.575-196.35 win. In 2007, Oregon State needed a hit routine from its last competitor on floor to seal the victory (196.65-196.375).
Zamarripa Ties Record with Fourth Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week Honor
Vanessa Zamarripa earned her second consecutive and fourth overall Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week award this season, tying the conference record held by UCLA's Kristen Maloney in 2005 for most Gymnast of the Week awards in one season. Zamarripa won the all-around for the fourth time this season and took first place honors on three events in UCLA's quad meet win over Washington, UC Davis and Sacramento State. Now ranked No. 1 in the nation, Zamarripa scored 39.625 in the all-around to boost her season average to 39.613. She also won vault for the third-straight meet, scoring 9.95, placed first on uneven bars with a 9.925 and remained undefeated on floor exercise, earning 9.925. With her three event victories last weekend, Zamarripa has now placed first on 12 of 18 routines this season, and she also has won the all-around in each of the four meets in which she has competed all four events.
Courtney Continues Consistent Effort
Junior Olivia Courtney has been one of the Bruins' most consistent gymnasts since her freshman season. Through her career, she has hit 95 of 98 routines (97%), with all three misses coming on balance beam, and is 17-for-17 this season. She averages 9.889 on vault, 9.828 on bars and 9.847 on floor in her career. Last weekend, she posted 39.475 in the all-around, just .025 shy of a personal-best, and tied for first on beam with a season-high 9.875.
Back On Bars
Senior Monique De La Torre made her season debut on uneven bars last weekend after sitting out the event the first four meets due to a shoulder injury. The 2011 first-team All-American showed no signs of rust with her new routine that featured a hop full to double layout dismount, scoring 9.85.
Francis Beaming as Anchor
Freshman Danusia Francis has flourished in the role of anchor on balance beam. Since being moved to that position vs. Utah on Jan. 12, she has placed first in every meet, scoring 9.925 twice and 9.875 two other times. Francis ranks sixth in the nation on the event with an average of 9.880. The 2012 British Olympic alternate made her debut in the floor lineup last weekend, scoring 9.725 after going out of bounds on her last tumbling pass.
DeJesus Sidelined Another Week
Freshman Sophina DeJesus is expected to sit out for a second-straight week after sustaining a concussion during practice last week. DeJesus has been a strong performer for the Bruins all season, earning Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Week honors twice and totaling two event wins and five Top 3 finishes. She is averaging over 9.825 on both beam and floor and has a high of 9.9 on uneven bars.
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 the duo combining to win six events in UCLA's five meets. DeJesus has one each on uneven bars and balance beam, while Francis has won beam in each of the last four meets. A pair of sophomores who did not compete due to injuries a year ago have also been strong competitors - Dana McDonald is averaging 9.810 on vault and 9.835 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 9.85 set last weekend. 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 two national rankings.
Super Seniors Leading the Way
The Bruins' three redshirt seniors - Kaelie Baer, Alyssa Pritchett and Vanessa Zamarripa - are making the most of their final season of competition. Baer, who sat out the 2010 season and most of 2011 due to injuries, has competed in every meet in 2012 and 2013. This season, she has scored a career-high on vault with a 9.875 and is averaging 9.845 and has been a consistent leadoff performer on beam with a high of 9.8. Pritchett enjoyed a breakout year in 2012 after missing 2011 with a stress fracture in her ankle and came back even better in 2013, averaging 9.89 on floor with Top 3 finishes in every meet and a new career-high of 9.925 set Jan. 12 vs. Utah. Zamarripa sat out 2011 with a ruptured Achilles and came back in 2012 to score two perfect 10s on vault and enjoy a dominating all-around performance at the NCAA Super Six, scoring a career-high 39.775. Dominating doesn't even begin to describe Zamarripa's 2013 campaign thus far. She has captured 16 out of a possible 22 event titles this year and has won the Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week award four out of six weeks. She currently ranks in the Top 5 nationally on all events, including No. 1 in the all-around and on floor.
UCLA to Host 2013 NCAA Championships
UCLA will host the 2013 NCAA Championships in Pauley Pavilion on Apr. 19-21. This will be UCLA's fourth time hosting the NCAAs. The Bruins won the national title the last time they hosted in 2004, scoring an NCAA record 198.125.
UCLA also previously hosted in 1998 and 1984. Tickets for the Championships are on sale now at uclabruins.com/tickets.