Bruins Travel To Tucson For Pac-10 Dual Meet

Feb. 4, 2010

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UCLA Travels To Arizona -- The sixth-ranked UCLA gymnastics team (5-1) continues Pac-10 dual meet action on Friday, Jan. 5 at 18th-ranked Arizona (2-2). The meet, which will be held at the McKale Center at 7 pm MT, is Arizona's 'Flip for the Fight' Breast Cancer Awareness meet.

Live Coverage -- Check ArizonaWildcats.com for links to live coverage of the meet.

In The Rankings -- UCLA moved up one to sixth in the national rankings with a season average of 195.905. The Bruins maintain the No. 1 position on bars with a 49.19 average and are ranked third on vault (49.175), ninth on beam (48.7) and 13th on floor (48.84).

Individually, the Bruins have top-ranked gymnasts on two events - Anna Li on uneven bars for the fourth consecutive week (9.937) and Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs on floor for the fourth-straight week (9.917). UCLA has three gymnasts ranked in the Top 13 in the all-around - No. 3 Li (39.381), No. 5 Hopfner-Hibbs (39.375), and No. 13 Vanessa Zamarripa (39.2). Four Bruins are ranked in the Top 20 on bars - Li at No. 1, Zamarripa at No. 3 (9.9), Monique De La Torre at No. 10 (9.862) and Lichelle Wong at No. 22 (9.831). Three are ranked in the Top 20 on vault - Zamarripa at No. 5 (9.885), Tauny Frattone at No. 18 (9.860) and Brittani McCullough at No. 19 (9.856). Three Bruins are also ranked on beam - Hopfner Hibbs at No. 6 (9.856), Zamarripa at No. 7 (9.85) and Li at No. 25 (9.812). On floor, McCullough joins Hopfner-Hibbs in the Top 20 at No. 16 (9.85).

Scouting The Wildcats -- Arizona has won two straight dual meets and holds a season-best team score of 195.675. The Wildcats rank 18th overall, 19th on beam and 21st on vault and bars. Britnie Jones is the only Wildcat in the Top 25, checking in at No. 17 on beam with a 9.825 average. Jones was the Pac-10 Special Performance of the Week honoree for Week One after winning the beam with a 9.85 in the team's season opener. UCLA is 55-10 all-time in the regular season against Arizona and has won six in a row in the series. Arizona's last win came in 2006 in Tucson.

Bruins Near Season-High Against ASU -- UCLA recorded season-high marks on three events and came within .05 of its season-high team total in a 196.55-193.475 victory over Arizona State on Jan. 31. The Bruins had nine scores of 9.9 or better and earned season-highs of 49.475 on floor and 49.35 on vault and bars. Bruin senior Anna Li won the all-around with a 39.45 and took the uneven bars (9.925) and floor exercise (career-high 9.95) crowns. Junior Brittani McCullough placed first on vault with a season-high 9.925, and sophomore Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs took first place on balance beam with a season-high 9.9.

McCullough Honored By Pac-10 -- Redshirt junior Brittani McCullough was honored with the Pac-10 Special Performance of the Week after her winning vault against Arizona State. McCullough helped UCLA achieve a season-high mark of 49.35 on vault in the team's 196.55-193.475 win over the Sun Devils. She scored a season-high 9.925 with a stuck Yurchenko layout full vault to claim her first individual victory of the season.

UCLA has had three consecutive Pac-10 Special Performance of the Week honors - Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs in Week 2 for her 9.9 on floor at Washington, Vanessa Zamarripa in Week 3 for her 9.975 on beam at Stanford, and McCullough in Week 4 for her 9.925 vault vs. ASU. In Week 1, Hopfner-Hibbs was named the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week.

De La Torre Returns To Home State -- Freshman Monique De La Torre will make the first of two trips this season to her native state of Arizona. De La Torre, who is from Glendale, Ariz., attended Ironwood HS and trained at Carter's Gymnastics Academy. She was Arizona's Junior Olympic Gymnast of the Year in 2008 after placing fourth in the all-around and second on floor at the Level 10 National Championships. De La Torre made a big splash two weeks ago at Cal, winning the uneven bars with a 9.9 on her first collegiate routine. She has also proven to be a consistent competitor, averaging over 9.725 on vault, bars and beam.

Li's All-Around Excellence -- Senior Anna Li has made a triumphant return to all-around competition, ranking third in the nation and posting one of the top scores in the nation this season, 39.575. Li, who had not gone all-around since 2008 due to injuries, has three all-around wins and a second-place finish in four meets. She is averaging 39.381 with a season-high mark of 39.575 at Stanford. Li leads the Bruins with nine individual victories this season and has won bars in all four meets in which she has competed, with two 9.95s and two 9.925s to her credit.

Models Of Consistency -- Sophomore Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs and redshirt junior Brittani McCullough have been amongst UCLA's most consistent gymnasts the past two seasons. McCullough is a perfect 13-for-13 this year, with 11 of her 13 marks at 9.8 or above. Hopfner-Hibbs is 11-for-11, with eight scores at 9.8 or above. McCullough has 43 routines in a row without a fall, while Hopfner-Hibbs has hit 31 in a row.

Dutch Treat -- Freshman Lichelle Wong had her best performance of her brief collegiate career last weekend, recording a pair of career-high 9.9s on bars and floor to place second and third, respectively, on those events. She is ranked No. 22 in the nation on bars with an average of 9.831. Wong is the reigning Dutch national all-around champion and a two-time World Championships competitor. She placed eighth on uneven bars at the 2007 European Championships.

Frattone Has Successful Return -- Sophomore Tauny Frattone, who missed most of last season with injuries, has made a successful return to competition, ranking in the Top 20 nationally on vault and as high as No. 1 two weeks ago. Frattone has career-highs of 9.925 on vault, 9.825 on bars, 9.85 on floor and 38.725 in the all-around. She has picked up two first-place showings on vault and one on floor this season.

Looking Ahead -- UCLA hosts Oregon State on Valentine's Day - Sunday, Feb. 14 - at 2 pm.

NCAA West Regionals Coming To Pauley Pavilion In April -- UCLA will be hosting the NCAA West Regionals in Pauley Pavilion on Saturday, April 10 at 6 pm. The NCAA Regional meet is the qualifying meet for the NCAA Championships. The top two teams, as well as the top two all-around competitors not on an advancing team, from each of the six regionals around the country will receive an automatic berth to the 2010 National Collegiate Women's Gymnastics Championships, being held April 22-24, at the University of Florida in Gainesville. In addition, the event winners at the regional championships will advance to the national championships in that event only, if they are not part of a qualifying team or the all-around competition.

Lower-level reserved tickets cost $14 for adults and $12 for youth. Mid-level general admission seats are $10 for adults and $8 for youth. Regional tickets are included in the UCLA Gymnastics season ticket package, which costs just $45 and includes the remaining four regular season meets.

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