UCLA Gymnastics Team Defeats Arizona, 196.375-193.675
Jan. 18, 2009
Los Angeles, Calif. - With career-high marks on 16 of 24 routines, the third-ranked UCLA gymnastics team defeated Arizona in Pauley Pavilion on Sunday, 196.375-193.675. Freshman Vanessa Zamarripa led all competitors with a career-high 39.4 in the all-around, and sophomore Mizuki Sato posted wins on vault and floor with career-best marks of 9.9 on each event.
UCLA got off to a good start on vault, scoring a season-high 49.2. Sophomore Niki Tom hit a 9.775 on her first vault of the season. After freshman Kaelie Baer's 9.7, Sato hit a career-high 9.9, and freshman Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs earned a 9.75 on her first vault of the season. Aisha Gerber scored 9.875, and Zamarripa closed the rotation with a 9.9. The Bruins' high-quality performance even extended to their exhibition performances, as freshman Tauny Frattone hit a 9.825 on a Yurchenko half on, piked front off. Arizona, meanwhile, scored 48.325 on bars, led by Coleen Fisher's 9.725.
The Bruins moved to uneven bars in the second rotation, where sophomore Marci Bernholtz led off with a career-high 9.75. Senior Ariana Berlin, in her only event of the competition, recorded a season-high 9.85, which was matched by Zamarripa for her season-best. The Bruins had some troubles in the back half of the lineup, however, as both Gerber and Hopfner-Hibbs had falls on difficult dismounts. Junior Anna Li, however, righted the ship with a strong routine punctuated by a perfect stuck double layout landing that scored a season-high 9.875. UCLA's final bars score of 48.625 gave the Bruins a two-event total of 97.825. Arizona cut into the lead a bit on vault, scoring a 48.65 for a two-event total of 96.975. Breanne Workman led the Wildcats with a meet-high tying 9.9 on a stuck Yurchenko laid-out Arabian.
Tom and Bernholtz gave the Bruins big leadoff performances on balance beam in the third rotation, scoring season-bests of 9.85 and 9.8, respectively. A fall by Baer put some pressure on, but the three freshmen who closed the rotation were unperturbed, scoring season-highs. Zamarripa earned a 9.825, Hopfner-Hibbs a 9.875, and Gerber a 9.925, bringing UCLA's beam total to 49.275. Arizona had five strong floor sets, scoring 48.875, with highs of 9.825 from Deanna Graham and Sarah Tomczyk.
With over a one point lead headed into the final rotation, the Bruins headed to floor exercise to try to seal the victory, and they did so with a season-high 49.275. All six competitors earned career-high marks. Tom led off with a 9.875, followed by a 9.8 from Baer, 9.9 from Sato, 9.825 from Zamarripa, 9.75 from Gerber and 9.875 from Hopfner-Hibbs. Arizona totaled 47.825 on beam and finished with a season-high 193.675.
Zamarripa captured her first all-around victory with a career-high 39.4 and tied for first on vault with a 9.9. Gerber was second in the all-around with a career-high 38.85 and first on beam with a career-high 9.925. Sato had first-place showings on vault and floor with career-highs of 9.9, and Li won the uneven bars with a season-best 9.875.
The Bruins (1-1) will next compete at Cal State Fullerton on Friday, Jan. 23 before returning home for a dual meet against California on Sunday, Jan. 25 at 2 pm.