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UCLA Gymnastics Takes Second at NCAA Regionals

The Quest for #109 continues as the UCLA Gymnastics team moves on to the NCAA Championship weekend 4/19-4/21 at Pauley Pavilion.

It could have been a disaster.

Vanessa Zamarripa's foot slipped on her dismount from the beam, causing her to miss.

Monique de la Torre missed her mount on the uneven bars, causing her routine to also be considered a miss.

Yet as one person fell, another Bruin picked up the team and the Bruins took second in the regional with a team score of 196.950, and moves on to NCAA Championship weekend (or nationals as a lot of the Bruins have been calling it) at home 4/19-4/21 along with LSU (team score of 197.275.) Olivia Courtney tied for first in the all-around with a score of 39.450 with Jessie Jordan of LSU. Courtney also tied for first on the vault with a score of 9.925.

For complete results, click here.

The Bruins started the day on the vault. After a quick lineup change with Monique de la Torre subbing for Sydney Sawa, the team scored 49.225 on the event. Courtney led the way with her 9.925, and Zamarripa contributed a 9.90. Meanwhile, CMU scored 49.650 on bars, NCSU scored 48.825 on beam, and tOSU scored 49.00 on the floor. After the first rotation, the Bruins led by 0.225.

UCLA sat out the second rotation with a bye, and watched Ohio State score 48.90 on vault, LSU open their meet with 48.975 on bars (with an uncharacteristic low score for Rheagan Courville), CMU score 48.350 on beam, and Arizona with a 49.10 on the floor.

In the third rotation, UCLA moved to the uneven bars and scored 49.050 as a team, led by Zamarripa's 9.875 and a 9.85 by Sophina DeJesus. Meanwhile, Arizona was on the vault, scoring a 49.10, LSU started to dominate putting up a 49.350 on balance beam with a 9.950 from Jessie Jordan, and a 48.725 on floor by NCSU. After three rotations, LSU led with a 98.325 and UCLA was close behind with a 98.275.

As the Bruins moved to balance beam, LSU had a bye, so this was the chance to dominate on the beam with the Tigers watching. It started well, with Kaelie Bear leading off and hitting a career high 9.875. Sophina DeJesus applied a little more heat with a career high of her own with a 9.90. Unfortunately Zamarripa, going second to last, misses her foot on her dismount and scores only a 9.30. Needing a nails performance from their beam closer, All-American on the beam and freshman Danusia Francis, she delivers, and scores 9.85. The team scores 49.150 on the event. NC State on the vault scored 49.00, Ohio State scored 48.975 on bars, and Central Michigan scores 49.10 on the floor. After four rotations, UCLA took the lead with a 147.525.

Now it was time for the Bruins to watch, as they took their last bye. Central Michigan moved to the vault, scoring 48.825. Arizona scored 48.70 on the bars, Ohio State scored 49.175 on the beam, and LSU took to the floor, scoring a crowd pleasing 49.50, led by a 9.950 from Lloiminicia Hall. After five rotations, UCLA found themselves behind LSU by 0.300, 147.825 to 147.525.

In the final rotation, UCLA found themselves on the floor. However, LSU was on the vault - and they are currently the top ranked team in the country on the vault. UCLA would have to be perfect on the floor to come closer to LSU to win the regional, but as long as they avoided major mistakes and scored over a 48.55, they would take second. Coach Val tweaked the lineup again and again, as DeJesus led off for the Bruins, with a 9.85. Zamarripa, Courtney and Pritchett led the way for UCLA with a trio of 9.90's. Sydney Sawa, who has only competed one other time on floor this season, contributed a 9.875. The team scored 49.425, for a total score of 196.950. LSU refused to surrender, and continued their domination of the vault, led by Courville's 9.925 and scored 49.450 as a team.

Congratulations to LSU on their Regionals win, and we'll see you at Pauley in two weeks.

The final standings:
1. LSU 197.275
2. UCLA 196.950
3. Arizona 196.100
4. Ohio State 196.050
5. North Carolina State 195.275
6. Central Michigan 194.925

Great job again, ladies!

The NCAA Gymnastics Championships begins April 19th with the Semi Finals at Pauley Pavilion. The pairings will be announced in the next week. From the semi-finals, the top three teams in each session will move onto the Super Six on April 20th, and the NCAA Champion will be crowned there. April 21st is for individual event finals. You can buy tickets here.

The teams that will be at the NCAA Championships: Florida, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, LSU, UCLA, Michigan, Minnesota, Stanford, Utah, Arkansas, Illinois.