Bruins Battle Beavers On Sunday In Pac-10 Showdown

Feb. 18, 2010

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Weekly Update

UCLA Hosts Oregon State -- Ninth-ranked UCLA (6-2) remains at home for the second consecutive week, hosting third-ranked Oregon State (9-0) on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 2 pm. The Beavers are undefeated in six meets and are coming off a season-high mark of 196.725 in a home win against Arizona.

Tickets -- Lower-level tickets cost $12 for adults/$10 for youth (16 and under). Mid-level seating is $8 for adults/$6 for youth. UCLA students are free with ID.Live Coverage -- UCLA will host a free live video and audio broadcast, in addition to live scoring, at UCLABruins.com.

In The Rankings -- UCLA dropped down to ninth in the national rankings with a season average of 195.982. The Bruins maintain the No. 1 position on bars with a 49.254 average and are ranked third on vault (49.168), 11th on beam (48.704) and 12th on floor (48.857).

Individually, the Bruins have three gymnasts ranked in the Top 7 in the all-around - No. 2 Vanessa Zamarripa (39.475), No. 5 Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs (39.375) and No. 7 Anna Li (39.340). Hopfner-Hibbs is the nation's top-ranked gymnasts on floor for the fifth-straight week with a 9.919 average. Zamarripa moved into a tie for first on uneven bars with a 9.925 average and ranks fourth on beam with a 9.871 average and 12th on vault with a 9.871 average. Hopfner-Hibbs ranks fifth on beam (9.858) and lost her No. 1 spot on floor for the first time all season, dropping down to 16th (9.860). Brittani McCullough ranks on two events - vault (15th, 9.865) and floor (T-21st, 9.846). Also ranked individually are Li on bars (3rd, 9.913), Monique De La Torre on bars (9th, 9.869), Lichelle Wong on bars (T-17th, 9.842) and Tauny Frattone on vault (19th, 9.854).

Friendly Rivalry -- Pac-10 competitors UCLA and Oregon State have enjoyed a friendly rivalry for years as two of the top teams in the Pac-10 each year. The friendliness no doubt is aided by the relationship between the UCLA and Oregon State coaches. Beaver head coach Tanya Chaplin was a six-time All-American at UCLA, where one of her coaches was current UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. UCLA assistant head coach Chris Waller and Oregon State associate head coach Michael Chaplin were teammates on UCLA's 1987 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championship team.The Bruin and Beaver gymnasts also have ties. UCLA's Tauny Frattone and Courtney Shannon trained with Oregon State's Leilani Alferos at Olympica Gymnastics. UCLA's Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs and Oregon State's Leslie Mak trained together at Sport Seneca, as did UCLA's Alyssa Pritchett and Oregon State's Whitney Watson at Wildfire Gymnastics.

Scouting The Beavers -- Oregon State has had a perfect season so far, winning all six meets and holding a season record of 9-0. The Beavers have achieved season-highs in three-straight meets, most recently last weekend with a 196.725 vs. Arizona. Oregon State's No. 3 ranking this week is its highest since being ranked third the week of March 30, 1992. Several Beavers are also ranked in the top 10 in various events: Mandi Rodriguez is No. 5 on vault, tied for No. 3 on floor exercise and tied for No. 9 in the all-around; Leslie Mak is tied for No. 1 on bars; Melanie Jones is tied for No. 3 on floor; Makayla Stambaugh is No. 7 on floor; Becky Colvin is No. 8 on vault; and Laura-Ann Chong is No. 10 on bars.

The Series With Oregon State -- UCLA holds a 40-15 regular season record against Oregon State. The Bruins have won nine of the last 10 meetings, including both a year ago - on the road and at the Pac-10 Championships.

Last Time Vs. Oregon State -- In the teams' last head-to-head competition, the Bruins used a clutch beam routine by Aisha Gerber to seal a 196.575-196.350 win over the Beavers in Corvallis on Feb. 27, 2009. Needing to score at least a 9.775 on balance beam in the final rotation for UCLA to clinch the victory, Gerber came through with a 9.875.

Pac-10 Sweep -- UCLA swept the Pac-10 weekly gymnastics honors this week, with sophomore Vanessa Zamarripa being selected the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week and senior Anna Li being honored with the Pac-10 Special Performance of the Week award. Zamarripa won the all-around (39.55), balance beam (9.9) and floor exercise (9.9), and was second on uneven bars (9.95) in the Bruins' dual meet vs. Stanford. Zamarripa's score on bars tied a career-high, and her performance on the floor tied a season-high. Li was honored for her 9.975 on uneven bars, which tied her career-high. Her score helped the Bruins record a team total of 49.55 on bars, the highest score in the nation to date and the ninth-highest score on the apparatus in UCLA history.

Setting The Bar -- The Bruins have been ranked No. 1 in the nation on the uneven bars since Jan. 25, no doubt due to their extreme consistency on the event. In six meets, the Bruins have hit 41 of 42 bar routines, with 28 routines scoring 9.8 or higher and 12 routines scoring 9.9 or higher. Two Bruins are averaging 9.9 or higher - Vanessa Zamarripa (9.925) and Anna Li (9.913). UCLA averages 49.254 on the event, with a high of 49.55 set last weekend vs. Stanford. The 49.55 was the ninth-best bars score in UCLA history.

High-Scoring Zamarripa -- Sophomore Vanessa Zamarripa has been racking up some big scores this season for the Bruins. Twelve of her 22 routines have scored 9.9 or higher. Remarkably, her highest marks have come on balance beam, where the margin of error is much greater than on any other event. Zamarripa has a 9.975, a 9.95 and a 9.9 to her credit this year, with the two highest scores coming on the road (9.975 at Stanford, 9.95 at Arizona). Zamarripa is nationally ranked in the all-around (2nd) and on three events (1st on bars, 4th on beam, 12th on vault).

Models Of Consistency -- Sophomore Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs and redshirt junior Brittani McCullough have been amongst UCLA's most consistent gymnasts the past two seasons. Hopfner-Hibbs is a perfect 17-for-17, with 12 scores at 9.8 or above and six at 9.9 or above, and has hit 34 consecutive routines without a fall. McCullough is 18-for-19 this year and has hit 48 of her last 49 routines without a fall. Fifteen of her 19 routines have scored 9.8 or above.

Li's All-Around Excellence -- Senior Anna Li has made a triumphant return to all-around competition, ranking seventh in the nation and posting one of the top scores this season, 39.575. Li, who had not gone all-around since 2008 due to injuries, has three all-around wins in five meets. She is averaging 39.340 with a season-high mark of 39.575 at Stanford. Li ranks second on the team with 10 individual victories this season and has won bars in five of the six meets in which she has competed, with a 9.975, two 9.95s and two 9.925s to her credit.

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 a month 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.

Dutch Treat -- Freshman Lichelle Wong had her best performance of her brief collegiate career three weeks ago against Arizona State, recording a pair of career-high 9.9s on bars and floor to place second and third, respectively, on those events. She is currently ranked No. 17 in the nation on bars with an average of 9.842. 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.

De La Torre Delights In Debut -- Freshman Monique De La Torre's first ever collegiate routine was one to remember, as she scored a 9.9 on the uneven bars to win the event at Cal on Jan. 22. De La Torre totaled 38.5 in her first all-around attempt to place in the Top 5. She had a strong meet at Stanford two days later, scoring 9.85 on vault, 9.825 on bars and 9.775 as the leadoff performer on beam. De La Torre had another solid performance at Arizona, placing second on bars with a 9.875 and earning marks of 9.775 on vault and 9.575 on beam. She currently ranks ninth in the nation on uneven bars with a season average of 9.869.

Bruins Honored By Pac-10 -- UCLA has had four Pac-10 Special Performance of the Week honors in the past five weeks - 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, Brittani McCullough in Week 4 for her 9.925 vault vs. ASU, and Anna Li for her 9.975 on bars against Stanford. Additionally, the Bruins have had two Pac-10 Gymnasts of the week - Hopfner-Hibbs in Week 2 and Zamarripa last week.

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.

Looking Ahead -- UCLA will face Cal State Fullerton and Utah State on Friday, Feb. 26 at Titan Gym in Fullerton.

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