UCLA Scores Season-High 197.100 in Narrow Loss at Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah – No. 14 UCLA put together its strongest meet of the season, scoring 49+ on all four events and recording a season-high team total of 197.100, but it wasn't enough to defeat No. 3 Utah, who edged out the Bruins with a 197.225.
The Bruins (4-1, 3-1 in the Pac-12) scored 49.4+ on their final two events, earning 49.400 on floor exercise and a season-high 49.425 on balance beam to nearly catch the Utes (7-1, 4-0).
"Really, really inspired by the team tonight," said UCLA head coach Chris Waller. A whole bunch of fierce competitors were reawakened in this meet, and you could feel them battle. It was fun, but they were fierce, and they wanted to win. They wanted to fight to the very end, and it was great. This is what Bruins are about. It was so fun to see everybody just bring it all."
UCLA freshman Chae Campbell won the all-around with a career-high-tying 39.425 and also captured first place on floor exercise with another career-best of 9.950. Campbell's all-around total just edged out her teammate Margzetta Frazier, who scored a season-high 39.400 and won balance beam for the first time in her collegiate career with a career-high 9.925. Frazier also claimed a new career-high on vault with a 9.875.
— espnW (@espnW) February 20, 2021
The Bruins got off to a solid start in the first rotation, scoring 49.100 on uneven bars, led by a season-high and meet-winning 9.900 from Nia Dennis and a career-high 9.875 from freshman Sara Ulias. Utah, meanwhile, totaled 49.300 on vault, led by Alexia Burch's 9.975.
UCLA hit five solid 9.8+ vaults to score 49.175 in the second rotation. Frazier's 9.875 was the Bruins' top mark, and Campbell contributed a 9.850, while Pauline Tratz and Kendal Poston added 9.825s and Dennis a 9.800. The Utes upped their advantage to 98.525-98.275 after scoring 49.225 on uneven bars.
The Bruins came roaring back on floor exercise in the third rotation, trimming the lead to just one-tenth of a point after a 49.400 team performance. Emma Andres kicked off the rotation with her second-straight 9.825 mark. Sekai Wright followed with a career-high 9.875, and Tratz tied her season-best with a 9.900. After a 9.850 from Frazier, Campbell came through with a 9.950. After Utah scored 49.250 on beam, the stage was set for another tight battle in the final rotation, with the Utes on floor and the Bruins on beam.
Things looked a little precarious before the rotation started when Dennis was replaced in the lineup after suffering dehydration. But each Bruin who came through the lineup delivered in a big way. Poston led off with one of her strongest beam routines ever, scoring a season-high 9.875. Samantha Sakti, who had fallen on beam in her last two meets, hit a terrific set in the No. 2 spot, scoring 9.900. Frazier dazzled with a career-high and meet-winning 9.925. Dennis' replacement, Nicole Shapiro, gave the Bruins a clutch season debut performance, scoring 9.725. A pair of freshmen closed it out and showed nerves of steel, as Frida Esparza dropped a 9.875, and Campbell closed with a 9.850 to put the pressure on Utah's Sydney Soloski to hit on the final routine, and the senior's 9.925 solidified the win for the home squad.
UCLA will be back in action at home on Saturday, Feb 27, facing Oregon State in the Bruins' Black Excellence meet at 11am PT. The meet will be televised live on Pac-12 Network.