Top-Ranked UCLA Visits 19th-Ranked Washington
Jan. 14, 2010
Bruins Begin Conference Play Friday -- The top-ranked UCLA gymnastics team (1-0) will begin Pac-10 Conference play on Friday, Jan. 15 with a 7 pm dual meet against 19th-ranked Washington at Bank of America Arena in Seattle. GoHuskies.com will host a free live video broadcast, in addition to live scoring.
In The Rankings -- UCLA went from No. 5 in the pre-season coaches poll to No. 1 in the first regular season poll, which is based on total season average. The Bruins' score of 196.6 in the season opener was the highest in the nation. UCLA is also ranked No. 1 on floor exercise, No. 2 on vault, No. 3 on uneven bars and tied for seventh on balance beam.
Individually, Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs is the top-ranked gymnast in the nation in the all-around (39.375) and floor (9.925) and tied for fourth on beam (9.875). Anna Li ranks first on uneven bars (9.95) and third in the all-around (39.325). Vanessa Zamarripa is first on vault (9.925), tied for fourth on beam (9.875) and tied for 14th on floor (9.85). Brittani McCullough is tied for third on floor (9.9), and Lichelle Wong is tied for ninth on bars (9.85).
About The Huskies -- Washington opened its 2010 season with a 195.7-193.45 loss to Nebraska. The Huskies' score was the 17th-highest of the weekend, however, lifting Washington into the Top 20 in the national rankings. Washington ranks 12th nationally on balance beam with a 48.475 mark and 13th on floor exercise with a 48.85 score. Hatsune Akaogi ranks 21st in the all-around (38.95), and Samantha Walior is tied for 14th on floor with a 9.85.
The Series With Washington -- UCLA holds a 49-2 advantage in the regular season series with Washington. The Bruins have won 13 straight matchups, with Washington's last victory coming in a dual meet in Seattle on Feb. 27, 2004.
Bruins Blast Utah In Season Opener -- UCLA went 24-for-24 in its first meet of the 2010 season to record a 196.600-195.125 victory over second-ranked Utah in front of 5,128 fans in Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 9. The Bruins looked strong to start the year, recording five scores of 9.9 or higher and 15 scores of 9.8 or higher. Sophomore Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs won the all-around with a 39.375. Senior Anna Li was a close second with 39.325 in her first all-around appearance since 2008. UCLA won all four events, scoring 49+ on vault, bars and floor, and swept the individual titles, with Vanessa Zamarripa winning vault and tying with Hopfner-Hibbs for first on beam, Hopfner-Hibbs taking first on floor, and Li winning uneven bars.
Starting Strong -- The Bruins' team score of 196.6 was their highest in a season opener since scoring 197.3 at Utah in 2005 and ranks as the third-best season opening score in school history.
Hopfner-Hibbs Honored -- Sophomore Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs earned multiple honors this week, being named the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week for the fourth time in her short career and being selected the UCLA/Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week after her all-around, beam and vault victories against Utah. Hopfner-Hibbs currently ranks No. 1 in the nation in the all-around and floor exercise.
Li Back In All-Around -- Competing in the all-around for the first time since 2008, senior Anna Li made a triumphant return, scoring 39.325 to place second overall. Last season, Li competed mainly on uneven bars, with three go-rounds on balance beam. She had scores of 9.85 on vault and 9.825 on floor on her first competitive routines on those events in nearly two years. Her uneven bars score of 9.95 earned her first place in the meet and is also the highest score in the nation on any event so far this season. Li ranks third nationally in the all-around and first on uneven bars.
Frattone Has Successful Return -- Sophomore Tauny Frattone, who missed most of last season with injuries, made a successful return to competition last weekend, hitting all three of her events for career-high marks. Frattone took second place on vault with a career-best 9.9 and then earned a 9.8 on bars and a 9.75 on floor on her competition debut on those events.
Wong Makes NCAA Debut -- Freshman Lichelle Wong made her collegiate debut on Saturday with a 9.85 on bars and a 9.75 on floor, where she was a last-minute substitute. Wong's 9.85 on bars was good for second place on the event and moved her into ninth in the national rankings. The reigning Dutch national champion was eighth on uneven bars at the 2007 European Championships.
Zamarripa Fights Through Injury -- Sophomore Vanessa Zamarripa's status for last weekend's meet was in question after suffering an elbow sprain in practice, but she rebounded to compete near-flawlessly on three events, placing first on vault (9.925) and beam (9.875) and tying for fourth on floor (9.85).