Utah Rallies To Defeat UCLA In Gymnastics, 194.875-193.85

Jan. 7, 2006

Los Angeles, Calif. - Second-ranked Utah defeated third-ranked UCLA in a dual meet at Pauley Pavilion Saturday evening, 194.875-193.85. The Utes (1-0)rallied in the final rotation to overtake the Bruins (5-1), who had led throughout each of the first three rotations.

UCLA took an early lead after scoring a 48.625 on vault in rotation one. The Bruins received high marks from Richardson (season-high 9.9), junior Ashley Peckett (9.75) and freshman Ariana Berlin (9.725). Utah had some early struggles on bars but rebounded nicely with three 9.8+ scores from Jessica Duke (9.8), Kristina Baskett (9.875) and Nicolle Ford (9.875) to total 48.275.

The Bruins maintained their lead in the second rotation by scoring a 48.675 on bars. Peckett led off bars in the second rotation with a strong score of 9.775. Richardson unleashed a new routine in her senior year, adding a Pak salto to her already difficult routine, and nailed her double layout dismount to record a season-high 9.95. Kristina Comforte followed with a season-best 9.85. Utah trimmed the deficit to just .15 after totalling 48.875 on vault. All six Utah vaulters scored 9.7 or better, with Nina Kim earning a 9.825 and Baskett and Duke each scoring 9.8.

On beam, the Bruins raised their level of performance up a notch, scoring their first 49 score of the year, a 49.0 to increase their lead to .325, 146.3-145.975. Berlin and Jalynne Dantzscher led off with solid and steady routines that scored 9.5 and 9.575, respectively. Janelle Dantzscher hit a season-best 9.775. Melissa Chan packed in the difficulty in her routine, which merited a 9.85, another season-high. Comforte followed with another 9.85, and Richardson closed the rotation with yet another 9.95. Utah scored a 48.825, led by a pair of 9.825s from Gritt HOfmann and Baskett.

The meet went down to the wire with UCLA on floor and Utah on beam. Each team had at least one fall, but it was the veteran leadership from the Utes that made the difference. Senior Gariella Onodi led off with a 9.675, Hoffman added a 9.775, Ford a 9.85, and Ashley Postell's anchor score of 9.75 clinched the victory for the Utes. The Bruins suffered a few mental mistakes and a few falls, with Maranda Smith's 9.775 being the team's top score. Comforte scored a 9.7, the Bruins' only other mark above 9.475.

Richardson won the all-around with a score of 39.275. She also placed first on vault (9.9), bars (9.95) and beam (9.95). Utah's Baskett and HOfmann tied for first on floor with scores of 9.825.

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