The UCLA Gymnastics team traveled to Seattle on Sunday to take on the GymDogs. While the GymDogs tried their best, they just could not overtake the Bruins, as the Bruins won by a little over a point.
However, do not let that margin fool you. In the final rotation, with UCLA on the beam and UW on the floor, the Bruins were faltering, and at one point, were only up by 0.150 points. (Math is terrible, for at this point it was counting a score that had a fall. As long as we didn't fall again, we would be ok.) It was up to Senior Sydney Sawa to save the Bruins, and that she did, with a spectacular 9.925 on the beam to clinch the meet.
Congratulations go to Sawa, who won the all-around with a score of 39.450, capping her day off with a 9.925 on the beam to win the event, and tying for first on the floor with a 9.900.
The Bruins started the day well, scoring a 49.40 on the uneven bars, their second highest score of the season. Sam Peszek and Olivia Courtney led the way with 9.925s. In the second rotation, UCLA was solid but still left some points out there on the mat, scoring a 49.075, which is actually UCLA's lowest team score on the apparatus all season. However, UCLA only went with five vaulters - Coach Val was satisfied with the team score after Sadiqua Bynum and Courtney both put up 9.9's and scratched Mikaela Gerber - she hasn't vaulted all year, and it was doubtful she would score above a 9.725, UCLA's lowest score.
In the third rotation, everything seemed to be going UCLA's way. UCLA was on the floor, and posted a 49.40, their second highest team floor score of the season. It was going so well that the Bruins only competed five gymnasts again, scratching Hallie Mossett, after Courtney, Bynum and Sawa scored 9.90 on the floor, and Sophina DeJesus contributed her highest floor score of the season with a 9.875. Meanwhile, UW was having problems on the beam, after one fall and a second gymnast nearly falling, combining for a team score of 48.50, which will not cut if you want to beat UCLA on a not-perfect-UCLA-Gym Day.
However, the Bruin wobbles on the beam showed up again in the final rotation. Ellette Craddock, who did not compete on the bars this week after a series of sub-par routines, opened the beam with a fall and putting the pressure on the Bruins. I had posted in the thread we needed 49.125 to hit the 197 mark - not even close. The Bruins closed with a 48.80, after having to count a wobbly routine by DeJesus and a what I felt was underscored but whatever 9.625 by Jennifer Pinches (she probably had a lower start value than I realized), but Pesek and Sawa saved the Bruins from a near disaster and a UW comeback on the floor.
The gymnast of the meet was undeniably Sawa, but also let's recognize Jennifer Pinches, who competed in three of the four events. She hadn't competed since the 2012 Olympics, so it looks like she is finally up to speed.
The Bruins will need to have their routines back in tip top condition, as Stanford comes to Pauley this weekend. Stanford just dropped to #12 in the polls (they were at #10 but somehow dropped even after posting a 197?! The score might not have been added in time for this weeks' rankings) and they just beat Utah, whom the Bruins lost to earlier in the season. The meet starts at 6pm in Pauley, and for some psychotic reason, will only be live streamed on the Pac-12 Website. Ridiculous.
A meeting of two top Pac-12 teams, each showcasing national and international gymnasts, and it won't be on TV? Terrible.
Still, Go Bruins.