UCLA's Hopfner-Hibbs, Arizona's Matusik Claim Weekly Gymnastics Awards
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- UCLA junior Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs and ARIZONA junior Katie Matusik have been awarded Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week and Pac-10 Special Performance of the Week honors, respectively, for the week of Feb. 21-27, Commissioner Larry Scott announced today.
Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs, a junior from Toronto, Ontario, won the all-around along with three other events to lead UCLA to a first-place finish in a tri-meet against No. 21 Minnesota and No. 12 Denver. Hopfner-Hibbs' all-around win was her second of the year, and her wins on beam (9.875) and floor (9.925) were her second consecutive and third overall. Her vault score of 9.875 set a new season-high and gave Hopfner-Hibbs her first vault victory of the year. On bars, her score of 9.825 helped the Bruins record a season-high of 49.325. Hopfner-Hibbs is the only gymnast in the Pac-10 to score 39.5 or better in the all-around this year, and she has now done it twice. Only six other gymnasts in the nation have scored 39.5 or better twice this year.
This is Hopfner-Hibbs's record-tying sixth career Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week honor and 32nd in UCLA history.
Going into the last event, the Wildcats trailed the BYU Cougars by 0.3 after struggling with an uncharacteristic floor performance. Despite having the beam in the final rotation, an event that has caused Arizona fits this season, the Wildcats rallied behind Katie Matusik. The junior maintained her concentration and earned a near perfect score of 9.925 allowing the Wildcats to jump ahead of BYU by 0.2. The 9.925 is Matusik's second performance that has earned a 9.90 or better this season, and it couldn't have come at a better time. Matusik's new career-high score also contributed to a new team season-high beam score of 49.200, marking the first time this season the Wildcats have scored above a 49 in the event.
The Special Performance of the Week nod is Matusik's first of her career and Arizona's fourth all-time.
Gymnast of the Week: Aliza Vaccher, WASH; Danielle Ikoma, STAN; Molly Quirk, ARIZ; Leslie Mak, OSU.
Special Performance of the Week: Britney Ranzy, OSU; Samantha Peszek, UCLA; Kristen Linton, WASH; Ashley Morgan, STAN.
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