UCLA Edged By Arizona, 195.175-195.1
Jan. 25, 2002
Tucson, Ariz. - The third-ranked UCLA gymnastics team was edged out by the smallest of margins Friday night, falling to sixth-ranked Arizona, 195.175-195.1.
The Bruins led by three-tenths of a point after the first rotation but fell behind by nearly a full point after scoring just 47.425 on vault. UCLA mounted a comeback in the third rotation, taking a .025 lead after scoring a 49.1 on floor to Arizona's 48.1 on beam. The Bruins did well to protect the lead on beam in the final rotation, scoring a 49.3 thanks to five 9.8+ scores from Michelle Conway (9.8), Valerie Velasco (9.85), Malia Jones (9.875), Yvonne Tousek (9.9) and Onnie Willis (9.85). However, a 9.975 from Katie Johnson and a 9.95 from Randi Liljenquist on floor clinched the victory for the Wildcats, which totaled 49.375.
Bruin head coach Valorie Kondos Field was forced to shuffle the lineup quite a bit due to injuries. During the first warmup rotation, junior All-American Kristin Parker hit her head while dismounting from the uneven bars. As a precaution, she was held out of the competition. In addition, a hamstring injury limited Doni Thompson to bars only and Tousek to just bars and beam.
However, the Bruin reserves once again stepped up big, filling in for their teammates with impressive performances. The highlight of the competition for the Bruin team came from sophomore Jamie Williams on the floor exercise. Competing in front of a hometown crowd, Williams recorded a career-high 9.775. Velasco competed in the all-around and placed second with a season-best 38.5. Included amongst her scores were a career-high tying 9.85 on beam, which tied for third place, and a pair of 9.75s on bars and floor. In addition, Conway's 9.8 in the lead-off position on beam was a career high.
The Bruin regulars also competed well. Sophomore Jamie Dantzscher recorded her third consecutive perfect 10 on floor to extend her school record to 11 career 10s. Dantzscher won every event on which she competed, scoring a 9.925 on vault and a 9.975 on bars. Tousek placed first on beam with a 9.9. Jones returned to the beam lineup after battling an ankle injury and earned second place on that event. Willis took first place in the all-around with a 39.55.
UCLA's next meet will be at home on Sunday, Feb. 10 against Stanford at 2:00 pm.