Arizona State at UCLA
|Full Results||UCLA: 196.150||Arizona State: 195.950|
|VT: Nia Dennis (UCLA), 9.900||UB: Frida Esparza (UCLA), 9.900||BB: Samantha Satki (UCLA), 9.900||FX: Nia Dennis (UCLA), 9.950||AA: Hannah Scharf (ASU), 39.475|
The Big Storyline: This was a much-anticipated meet, and it did not disappoint. It was a neck and neck until the very end, with both teams struggling with their floor landings but nailing the other events. For the Bruins, freshmen Chae Campbell and Frida Esparza impressed in their debuts, Margzetta Frazier competed in the all around for the first time since Jan. 18 of last year and a few gymnasts made their collegiate debuts—Sara Taubman and Paige Hogan competed for UCLA for the first time on bars and floor, respectively, Pauline Tratz debuted on bars and Savannah Kooyman on beam. Lineups are clearly not finalized, and the Bruins had to deal with a last-minute foot injury to Norah Flatley during warm-ups, which compromised the bars and beam rotations. Given that no team seems especially polished this year, who knows what can happen at the end of season. As for Arizona State, the Sun Devils are turning into a solid beam team. Cairo Leonard-Baker is still struggling with her ankle injury and was limited to bars. Sophomore Hannah Scharf has really taken ownership of her gymnastics this year. She continued to impress this week after last week’s stellar performance, winning the all around title and anchoring three out of four lineups.
At the meet, both teams kneeled in support of social justice.
Implications: As of Saturday night, the Bruins sit at No. 11 in the NCAA, behind Georgia and ahead of BYU while ASU remains stable at No. 15, tied with Arizona, which also debuted this week.
Records: This was UCLA’s 24th-straight victory over Arizona State, though the Bruins’ team score was the lowest since Feb. 20, 2017.
Current Rankings: No. 15 Arizona State at UCLA
Why You Should Clear Space on Your DVR: This meet will be UCLA’s season debut, as well as its first competition since the graduation of its exceptional senior class last summer. This year’s preseason coaches poll ranked the Bruins No. 7 in the nation, despite finishing third in the national rankings last year. It will be interesting to see whether the prediction is accurate or if the Bruins will defeat the odds and prove to be national title contenders. Unlike UCLA, this meet will be Arizona State’s third after competing against Oklahoma and BYU in the past two weeks. After struggling, especially on beam, in week one, ASU came back strong last week, outscoring its season opener by a point and a half and posting its first 196-plus of the season. Will the Sun Devils be able to keep up the good scores?
You Can Fast Forward, but not Through This: It will be hard to replace Kyla Ross, but don’t underestimate the potential of the UCLA freshman class. Watch out for the debuts of Chae Campbell, Frida Esparza and Sara Ulias; they will surprise you. UCLA is also known for its floor choreography. We look forward to finding out what BJ Das has in store for 2021. Will a Bruin go viral once again? ASU sophomore Hannah Scharf had a terrific meet last week, which included a 9.925 on beam and a 9.900 on floor. Hopefully she’ll replicate the performance in Pauley this weekend.
- Video Type: P12N
- Video: https://pac-12.com/womens-gymnastics/event/2021/01/23/arizona-state-ucla
- Scores: https://static.uclabruins.com/custompages/Stats/live/gym/20210123.htm
- Live Blog: http://collegegymnews.com/2021/01/22/live-blog-no-15-arizona-state-at-ucla/
- Live Blog Editor: Talitha