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#13 UCLA Gymnastics Advances to NCAA Regional Final
The Bruins had a solid start to the postseason, earning a spot in the Morgantown Regional Final today.
This evening, the UCLA gymnastics team will compete in the NCAA Morgantown Regional Finals after finishing second in yesterday’s Regional Semifinals. The top two teams in tonight’s competition will head to the NCAA Championships in Fort Worth, Texas. Tonight’s meet will be streamed on ESPN3 at 4 pm PT.
Last Time Out
A second place finish was enough for the Bruins to advance to regional semifinals today, who scored a 197.050 behind Michigan’s 197.650. Scores on all four events were above 49.000, something UCLA has struggled to do all season.
UCLA began the meet on the uneven bars, kicking it off with Chae Campbell’s 9.85. Unfortunately, Frida Esparza had a fall after a handstand gone wrong, but Savannah Kooyman got the Bruins back on track with a 9.775. Sara Ulias and Norah Flatley both added 9.875s and Margzetta Frazier closed the event with a career-high tying 9.95. The first rotation saw UCLA in the lead, with a 49.325 over Kent State’s 49.175, Michigan’s 48.925, and West Virginia’s 48.725.
In the second rotation on balance beam, UCLA ran into trouble again with a fall, but had five solid scores to count. Kendal Poston opened with a 9.85, but Samantha Satki fell twice following. Frazier got the Bruins moving in a positive direction with a 9.8. Flatley followed with a 9.875, good enough to tie for the event title. Campbell also delivered a 9.8 and Nicole Shapiro closed with a 9.85 to give UCLA five solid scores. The beam total would be a 49.175, keeping the Bruins just in front of the Wolverines by .05.
The floor exercise was up next and Emma Andres started off strong with a 9.9. Nia Dennis and Frazier had too much power and were each deducted for stepping out, earning a 9.6 and 9.7, respectively. Sekai Wright added a career high with a 9.875. Campbell’s 9.85 and Pauline Tratz’s 9.825 ensured a score over 49.000. At this point, the Bruins were now in second place behind Michigan with a total of 49.15 after Michigan put up a near-perfect 49.65 on vault.
In the final rotation on vault, Tratz’s leadoff 9.850 set the tone with Campbell and Dennis each adding a 9.925 and Wright earning a solid 9.9. Frazier’s 9.8 ensured a second place finish with a team total of 197.05 behind first place Michigan’s 197.650.
Today’s Regional Finals
UCLA is now competing with #4 Michigan, #5 UC Berkeley and Ohio State for a spot in the NCAA Gymnastics Championships, which takes place April 16-17 in Fort Worth, Texas. The top two teams from tonight’s Regional Finals will advance.
Today’s competition will be tough, but anything can happen. UCLA fell to UC Berkeley in the regular season and at the conference championships, but if yesterday’s performance was any indication of what the team can do today, they have as good a chance as any other team to earn a berth in the NCAA Championships. Yesterday’s score was the third highest of the season and the team has good momentum going into today’s meet, but the team is going to have to have their best match of the year if they expect to finish in the top two today because they only had the third highest score among teams from both sessions yesterday. UC Berkeley’s 197.725 was the top score and Michigan’s score was second.
Morgantown Regional Finals