UCLA Wins Regular Season Finale Against Michigan State, Cal State Fullerton
March 14, 2010
Los Angeles, Calif. - Third-ranked UCLA won its regular season finale with a score of 196.525, defeating second-place Michigan State (195.95) and third-place Cal State Fullerton (193.875) despite competing without senior star Anna Li, who was out for her senior day meet with an ankle injury. Both opponents recorded season-high totals. UCLA sophomore Vanessa Zamarripa earned a career-high 39.7 to win the all-around and also captured event wins on bars and beam. Zamarripa has won the all-around in each of the last five meets in which she has competed on all four events.
UCLA opened the meet with a vault total of 49.425 to take the early lead. The Bruins got back-to-back career-high 9.95s from Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs on a stuck Yurchenko layout full and Tauny Frattone on a stuck Yurchenko half-on, front pike off vault. Hopfner-Hibbs received a perfect 10 from one of the two judges. Brittani McCullough followed with a 9.85 on a Yurchenko 1.5, and Vanessa Zamarripa closed the rotation with a 9.925. Michigan State kept it close with a strong balance beam rotation, scoring 49.075, led by a 9.875 from Kelsey Morley. Cal State Fullerton tied its season-high on uneven bars, scoring 48.775.
On uneven bars in rotation two, Aisha Gerber led off with a season-high tying 9.8. McCullough earned a 9.85, followed by a 9.875 from Monique De La Torre. To close the rotation, Lichelle Wong tied her career-high with a 9.9, as did Vanessa Zamarripa with a 9.95, giving the Bruins a 49.375 event total and a 98.8 team total at the halfway mark.
The Bruins had a rough go on balance beam in the third rotation, counting two falls and totaling just 48.35. UCLA had top marks from Zamarripa (9.925), Niki Tom (9.9 in the leadoff position), and Gerber (season-high tying 9.875). Michigan State pulled to within .25 of the Bruins after scoring 48.95 on vault.
Up 147.15-146.9, the Bruins needed a strong final event score on floor exercise to hold off Michigan State. Frattone started the rotation well with a 9.8. Tom, competing on floor for just the third time this year, earned 9.825. Wong followed with a 9.85, and Zamarripa recorded a 9.9. McCullough and Hopfner-Hibbs finished things out with a 9.875 and 9.925, respectively, to ensure the Bruin victory with a 49.375 floor score.
The Bruins (11-3) begin postseason competition on Mar. 27 at the Pac-10 Championships in Tucson, AZ at 4 pm.