UCLA Gymnasts Bedevil Arizona State In 196.225-193.075 Dual Meet Win

Jan. 30, 2009

The third-ranked UCLA gymnastics team posted a 196.225-193.075 victory over 16th-ranked Arizona State on Friday evening in Tempe, AZ. The Bruins were led by senior Ariana Berlin, who was competing in the all-around for the first time this season. Berlin won the all-around with a 39.3 and tied her career-high on vault with a 9.9 to tie for first on that event.

The Bruins began the meet on uneven bars and had all six routines score 9.775 or better. Aisha Gerber led all competitors with a 9.875. Anna Li contributed a 9.85, and Berlin and Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs had 9.825s. Brittani McCullough's 9.8 was the Bruins' fifth counting score, leading to a 49.175, four-tenths higher than Arizona State's 48.775 on vault.

UCLA had two career-highs on vault in rotation two, with Berlin tying her all-time best with a 9.9 to tie for first place and freshman Tauny Frattone hitting her career-high in competition with a 9.825. Vanessa Zamarripa, ranked No. 1 in the nation on the apparatus, had a tiny hop on her Yurchenko full and was rewarded with a 9.95 from one judge but a 9.8 from the other for a final score of 9.875. The Bruins earned a 49.125 team score on the event, bringing their team total at the halfway mark to 98.3, well ahead of Arizona State's 96.025.

Floor exercise scoring was a little tight, and the Bruins had just one routine - Berlin's - score 9.8. The Bruin senior competed an Arabian double front for the first time in her career and hit it in her first floor routine of the season. Hopfner-Hibbs scored 9.775 after receiving an out of bounds dedution. Niki Tom also scored 9.775, and Kaelie Baer and Gerber added 9.75s for a floor total of 48.85. Arizona State scored 48.45 on beam but still remained over two and a half points behind the Bruins, 147.15-144.475.

In the final rotation, the Bruins received five solid routines on balance beam, scoring 49.075. UCLA was led by a career-high 9.9 from Tom that earned her a tie for first place on the event and a pair of 9.85s from Hopfner-Hibbs and Gerber. Berlin's 9.775 leadoff score gave her enough for the all-around victory.

UCLA is expected to move into second in the national rankings behind Utah at the end of the weekend with a season average of 196.48.

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