The fourth ranked (don't worry, it's based on the average of team meet scores, it will fluctuate throughout the season) UCLA Gymnastics team traveled to Arizona State to take on the Sun Devils in their first road meet of the season. The meet wasn't as perfect as their last meet against Utah, but the Bruins held off ASU and took the meet with a score of 196.375-195.600. We did not have an all-around winner this meet, as no gymnast competed on all four events. Normally Vanessa Zamarripa competes on all four, but Coach Valerie Kondos-Field decided to give her some rest at this meet, as they could afford not having her compete on beam and floor.
For full meet scores, check it out here.
As the road team, UCLA opened the meet on uneven bars. UCLA took the event overall, with a team score of 48.925 and posting three of the highest individual scores, led by Zamarripa's 9.825, followed closely by Olivia Courtney and Sophina DeJesus at 9.8. Lichelle Wong had some problems in her routine, scoring only a 9.00, but everyone else remained solid, and her score was dropped. Meanwhile, the Sun Devils started on the vault, posting a 48.725 led by Erin Hamster's 9.80. After the first rotation, UCLA had a slim 0.200 lead.
In the second rotation, UCLA moved to vault, and started to widen their lead, posting a 49.350 team score. Zamarripa led the meet with a 9.950, and the lowest score was a 9.8 by Alyssa Pritchett. I only mention this because ASU's highest score on vault was a 9.800 - complete domination by UCLA on the event. Meanwhile, ASU moved to bars, led by a 9.775 by Carissa Kraus and an overall team score of 48.8, fortunate to not have to count a 8.75 as the remaining gymnasts all scored in the 9.7 range. Halfway through the meet UCLA led 98.275 to 97.525.
UCLA then moved on to the floor, where Sadiqua Bynum had a few problems (why doesn't Pac-12 Networks make the stream available to watch later?) but her score wound up not counting as her teammates picked her up. Alyssa Pritchett and DeJesus led the Bruins with a 9.875, and an overall team score of 48.925, which is lower than the season average, but resting Zamarripa brought the score down a bit, plus with Sydney Sawa scoring a 9.500 that was counted. Floor was the one event of the night where UCLA actually lost the head to head matchup to ASU. While UCLA was on the floor, ASU was on the beam, and posted a team score of 48.925. Risa Perez led the Sun Devils with a 9.85. After three rotations, UCLA maintained their lead, 147.20 to 146.45.
In the final rotation, UCLA moved on to the balance beam, as UCLA went 6 for 6 again, led by freshmen DeJesus and Danusia Francis, both posting a 9.875, and Lichelle Wong right behind them at 9.85. The team score was 49.175. Meanwhile, ASU was finishing on floor and delighted their fans, posting a 49.150, led by Natasha Sundby's 9.9, winning the event overall.
At the end of the meet, UCLA improved it's record to 3-0. The team remains the #4 team in the country, as per the just released and updated rankings, with an average score of 196.650. Florida remains #1 and an average score of 197.025 (I just glanced at their scores from their last meet, they are obscenely high...)
The Bruins next take on Stanford at Stanford on Saturday, February 2nd at 4pm. The meet will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks. Stanford is currently ranked 11th, and they are currently 3-1, coming off of a victory over Cal. This is the first home meet for Stanford, so they should be ready to compete.