The #2 UCLA Gymnastics team will compete tonight in session two of the Ann Arbor Regional against #15 Nebraska, West Virginia, and Illinois with the top two teams from the session advancing to the Regional Finals tomorrow. The top two teams from tomorrow’s Regional Finals will advance to the NCAA Championships starting on April 19 in Fort Worth, Texas.
NCAA gymnastics regionals have seen some changes this year. The regional competitions used to be one day with six teams competing. This year, there are only four regional sites, instead of six, beginning with a dual meet, with the top team advancing to the semifinals comprised of eight teams. From there, the top two teams from each semifinal session will move onto Regional Finals and each Regional Final will send two teams to the NCAA Championships.
The NCAA Championship competition will begin with two sessions of four teams each and what used to be referred to as the Super Six will now be a Final Four. The updated bracket for this year is as follows:
Today’s Regional Semifinals
Session One is already in the books. Alabama and Michigan were the top two teams in Session One. The Crimson Tide had the high team score from the session with 197.225 while the Wolverines scored 196.950. These two teams will face the top two teams from the evening session.
UCLA will face three other teams tonight. The Bruins will face Nebraska, West Virginia and Illinois.
The #15 Nebraska Cornhuskers opened the season against UCLA at Pauley Pavilion and the Bruins won the meet, 197.250-195.700. The Cornhuskers finished the regular season 12-5 overall, including wins over #22 Ohio State and #24 Penn State and they finished third in the Big Ten Conference Championships. Four Huskers were named to first and second All-Big Ten teams, including senior Sienna Crouse and juniors Taylor Houchin and Sierra Hassel with First Team All-Big Ten honors while freshman Adnerys De Jesus was named to the second team.
West Virginia finished their season 19-9 overall and took fourth place in the Big 12 Championship just behind Nebraska. They are ranked 13th in the country on the floor with a score of 49.28 and 20th on the vault with a 49.025. Senior Kirah Koshinski is their star, ranking sixth on the vault with an average of 9.925. She also ranks #23 on the floor exercise with an NQS of 9.915.
Finally, Illinois was the winning team in yesterday’s dual meet against Central Michigan. It was a close one, 195.275-195.325. Four members of the Illinois women’s gymnastics team were selected to the 2019 All-Big Ten teams, including redshirt senior Mary Jane Otto earning First Team All-Big Ten honors, while junior Karen Howell and sophomores Kasey Meeks and Kylie Noonan were selected for the Second Team All Big Ten.
Looking at the NQS for the three teams UCLA will face, tonight’s session looks to be a bit of a warm up for Saturday’s Regional Finals. With as strong of a season as UCLA had this year, the Bruins should have an exceptional postseason as a final farewell gift to Miss Val.