No one’s quite sure exactly why UCLA’s senior night is on a Tuesday this year, but here we are wrapping up the Bruins’ regular season anyway. (Guys, yes I know that it’s because of Pauley scheduling.) San Jose State doesn’t pose a major threat to the Bruins, whose focus is now firmly on postseason, so expect some lineup shuffling to rest major players and accommodate seniors. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Sonya Meraz get some play time outside of bars, and Janay Honest’s awesome floor routine has showed up in social media this week. We’ll also be hoping that Pac-12 Networks takes pity on us and shows exhibitions, since UCLA has been known to bring gymnasts who don’t even train certain events out for senior night. SJSU has a great chance for a season high in this meet if it mostly stays on beam and has some incredibly entertaining floor routines that are guaranteed to be hits in Pauley (don’t miss Taylor Chan’s Uptown Funk routine). The Spartans are an incredibly capable team who have struggled with inconsistency this season, but they’re more than capable of putting up a 196 under good scoring conditions.
So, SJSU basically couldn’t fit in better in Pauley.
And watch Pac-12 Twitter and Facebook after the meet for a stream of the Bruins’ senior night celebration – which includes a dance performance to music from the Greatest Showman starring Peng-Peng Lee. Probably don’t miss that.
ROTATION 1: UCLA VAULT, SJSU BARS
Normal lineup for the Bruins. Watch for Taylor Chan’s Markelov in the lead on bars!
Seven minutes in and we’re still in the montages and interviews stage of the broadcast. UCLA in the light blue crisscross back, SJSU in yellow ombre sleeves.
DENNIS – UCLA: Flared and stuck FTY, pulls heels together but no question on that landing. Chest maybe a tiny bit low?
CHAN – SJSU: A bit short on bail, touch of dead hang out of the Markelov, slow on full turn to double back, underrotated with a step forward.
A. GLENN – UCLA: Late twist is so beautiful, and STUCK. Doesn’t move her feet and I think her amplitude is improving too.
NADONZA – SJSU: Teammates call her Kappy. She’s in a pressure wrap on her calf. True shap, misses a handstand. Blind change to beautiful straddle back, double lay with the tiniest leg sep and stuck!
TRATZ – UCLA: FTY, big distance, up on her toes but holds the stick. This rotation is FLAMES so far.
RELOVA – SJSU: She is just so beautiful, blind change to Jaeger, loses her legs a bit on overshoot. 1/2 to 1/2 to toe on, front tuck with a step. Love that dismount series.
ROSS – UCLA: FTY, slowmo shows a baby scoot back but it’s basically nothing. Absolutely beaming walking back.
WON – SJSU: Blind change to quick Jaeger, tiny bit shy on some handstands, killer straddle back. Full twisting DLO with a little shuffle back! That dismount is so impressive, no question on the position there.
HANO – UCLA: Back in pigtails today, I’m obsessed. STICKS IT. THIS IS INSANITY. Up on her toes to salute, but who cares. Her body position is so great, too – knees don’t go until the last second.
PROBST – SJSU: Madi is a Gold Medal girl, so Borden (who’s commentating tonight) knows her well. Grip not quite over the bar on her Tkachev, drops to her knees. Toe on to bail, feet just a bit soft. 1/2 to 1/2 to double back with a little step to the side.
HALL – UCLA: Um, absolutely dead stick. No question whatsoever. There’s always a slight question of body position for this one but I think it was better than usual too.
PASCOE-LONG – SJSU: Blind change to pike Jaeger, absolutely flies. She likes to arch up a bit in cast handstand, but makes it in the end. Full turn, double pike with a little step. Nice secure end to the rotation there.
UCLA 49.625 – SJSU 48.325
So, that wasn’t a crack score. If anything it could have gone higher – I’d have been fine with a half tenth more for Hano and Dennis. That was craziness. Pua Hall cried a bunch after getting a 9.975 to likely close out her home career, and Miss Val looked misty-eyed too.
SJSU just a bit too sloppy to capitalize on the energy there, but nothing too catastrophic. Getting to see Katie Won’s FTDLO on a big television network is always a joy.
ROTATION 2: SJSU VAULT, UCLA BARS
Anna Glenn out of bars in favor of Meraz. Not a shocking choice for senior day.
RAY – SJSU: FTY, a bit crunched in the air with a controlled step back.
DENNIS – UCLA: Maloney to bail, no problem today. Nailing handstands, double layout and college stick… weight JUST in front of her feet but salutes and runs away.
ANDRADA – SJSU: Y arabian, arches it down and just tucks her feet a bit too far under her, two steps forward.
HONEST – UCLA: Great first handstand, one of the ones they have to shift their hands to drop out of. Normal Tkachev, straddle back is rocking, full out with a little hop back. Big team huddle for that one.
WON – SJSU: Lowish on FTY, step back and drops her head back. She basically doesn’t block but she doesn’t lack flair.
MERAZ – UCLA: Awesome bail, great handstands. Tkachev is big, had to reach to get it, and double layout stuck! That was fabulous, basically as good as I’ve ever seen her do.
NADONZA – SJSU: Great layout position on FTY, hop back! Really pretty.
OHASHI – UCLA: Ever so slightly over on the first handstands, good bail, normal lowish but secure Tkachev, double lay stuck dead. UCLA is just ROLLING tonight. This is nuts.
PASCOE-LONG – SJSU: She just flies, hop back on FTY but it’s glorious in the air, one of my absolute faves.
LEE – UCLA: Great Ray, Bhardwaj rocks, toe on to van Leeuwen basically the best I’ve seen it, double lay and stuck. It’s hard to see handstands from this angle, but I thought that’d be better than 9.925.
CHAN – SJSU: FTY, beautiful and stuck. That’s what you want anchoring. She’s only a sophomore, they’ll get so much mileage out of her the next few years.
ROSS – UCLA: Maloney to bail, no arch this time. Shifts one foot the TINIEST amount on the landing for the DLO. Better than last week’s for sure.
UCLA 99.25 – SJSU 97.25
Great vault rotation from the Spartans, highlighted by Taylor Chan! Watching coach Wayne’s reaction as she landed that was brilliant.
UCLA could be an absolutely massive total with its weakest (“””weakest”””) events out of the way. And there’s not that much crack happening. Fire emojis everywhere.
ROTATION 3: UCLA BEAM, SJSU FLOOR
Lineups for Rotation 3. UCLA is on beam, SJSU is on floor. pic.twitter.com/2buvAxL5sA
— UCLA Gymnastics (@uclagymnastics) March 14, 2018
Anna Glenn in beam over Brielle Nguyen today.
G. GLENN – UCLA: Ranked 4 in the country on beam, ahhh. Acro series great, maybe a tiiiiny adjustment in the front aerial-split? Switch-switch is great, hop back on gainer full dismount.
RAY – SJSU: Double back, scoots back. Nails the leap series, perfect landing on Rudi. She looks so casual throughout, hardly even running into these passes.
KOCIAN – UCLA: Switch to sheep with an adjustment in the middle and a check at the end. Nice flic loso, good full turn. She has several routines in her pocket, if you’re wondering what happened to the front aerial-bhs, good double twist dismount.
ANDRADA – SJSU: Her teammates call her Bean and it absolutely kills me. Scoot to the side on an underrotated Rudi, teammate (could be Chan?) is crawling along the back of the floor to try and stay out of the shot and blatantly failing. We’ll gif that later. 3/2 – front lay is a bit underrotated but she pulls it back.
GLENN – UCLA: Big smile coming out of her mount sequence. Side aerial – bhs, pulls her front leg up but pretends it’s not happening. Nails the switch-split, great full turn. Flic loso back full, tiny scoot back.
WON – SJSU: Great double pike, she’s got a killer college salute. SJSU is so great about leap passes, never ever hops out of those and I love it. Misses punch on her FHS-Rudi, lands with her chest down but makes it work. Adorable wink choreo before the third pass, whip 1/2 front 1/1 a bit underrotated.
OHASHI – UCLA: Full turn to shoulder wiggle should count for CV. Front aerial, connection a bit slow into flic loso, but obviously doesn’t need that for acro series. Nice dance series, flic loso WAY off to one side, somehow sticks it anyway. She missed her back foot totally.
PASCOE-LONG – SJSU: Drilled that double pike, no question on the stick. She is so much fun to watch on floor, presence for days. Front lay front 1/2 and then some combo pass nonsense that I lost track of but it was great. Maybe a question on split positions, flieeees on her double back and barely keeps the front foot down.
ROSS – UCLA: Flic loso is great, switch split… huh that’s new, nice full turn, little hip bend check on front aerial second week in a row, side aerial back full stuck. Second time with that check on her aerial
CHAN – SJSU: The uptown funk floor is my Entire Life. Nailed the pike full in, stunning on leap series. Teammates singing along. 3/2 front pike stuck, great double pike to close. Pauley is living. 9.9 is the minimum acceptable for that.
LEE – UCLA: Looks a bit emotional. Lovely Homma, someday I want someone to try that and fall just to remind us that it’s actually hard. Nails the pikeout with a big grin, I think she has a new bit of choreo there. Off line on the double turn, uses her arms to work through it and connect. Side aerial back full stuck. Team lifting her up and she’s crying and blowing kisses to the crowd. UGH.
Macy Toronjo is doing some serious crying. Same girl same.
WATTS – SJSU: A bit of Bridgeying here, big lunge on double back, works beautifully out of front pass, good leap series too.
UCLA 148.725 – SJSU 146.1
We’re just crying for Peng. That’s everything that happened there. Just a little wobblier than UCLA likes to be and actually got deducted for it, shockingly.
ROTATION 4: SJSU BEAM, UCLA FLOOR
— UCLA Gymnastics (@uclagymnastics) March 14, 2018
Kramer and Meraz in floor over Kocian and Ross.
Just kidding, Miss Val changed it again, Kocian back in over Dennis.
Corrected lineup for the Bruins on floor. pic.twitter.com/jlUmL0IW0I
— UCLA Gymnastics (@uclagymnastics) March 14, 2018
WON – SJSU: Flic loso looks way off line but works through it okay. Cat leap side aerial is solid, cartwheel gainer full is good and stuck.
KOCIAN – UCLA: Great control on 2/1, 3/2 front lay is super. Beautiful switch side-Popa, I’m more convinced by the performance here every week. Rudi – double stag, whoa, her weight is forward on that and she dive roll choreos out of it. All right, channeling Yao Jinnan here, I wonder if that’s a fall or not.
CHAN – SJSU: Beauuuutiful handstand choreo mount sequence, great side somi, flic loso with a little check. Good leap series, side aerial back full
KRAMER – UCLA: Front 2/1 punch front, the most control I’ve seen there. 3/2 front lay is awesome, Rudi to straddle jump, good one! I love the performance in that one too, so creepy awesome.
Is Janay wearing Ugg slippers on the floor?
ANDRADA – SJSU: Flic loso is a little off line but works through it, really pretty leap series. Good full turn, 3/2 dismount with a step forward.
MERAZ – UCLA: Great control on the double back, lovely switch side Popa series. Front lay front full punch front stuck! And stuck double pike. That was pretty bomb.
RELOVA – SJSU: My favorite. Standing LOSO is awesome, great flic loso. Straddle leap series is gorgeous, step forward on 3/2 dismount, aah so pretty.
TRATZ – UCLA: Quick step out of full in, close to the line but not over it and she kept her front foot down. 3/2 front full is just a bit underrotated, steps back. Good leap series, sticks double back!
SHALIT – SJSU: Great flic loso, shaky on standing loso with a leg up but stays on. Switch to straddle 3/4 with another big check. Check on a full turn, 3/2 dismount with a step forward.
HANO – UCLA: Rocking double layout, close to sticking it, amazing on the second pass with the amazing running jump, the rest of the team is making a chain in the background to dance along? I love. Kyla has big bags of ice strapped to her ankles, probably just resting those today. Aaaalmost stuck on the double pike, that was stellar.
RAY – SJSU: Flic loso with a bit of legs, side aerial a bit shaky, missed a foot but makes it work, switch to split 3/4 with a check. BHS to 3/2 dismount with a step. SJSU went 6/6 on beam!!
OHASHI – UCLA: Awesome double layout, this is so amazing and should go viral, front full front 1/2 with a switch drop AHH AMAZING. Serious ten chants from the team, and there it is!!
UCLA 198.275 – SJSU 194.85
Deservedly UCLA’s season high – and also the highest score since that insane 2004 season. Really only a handful of aggressively generous scores there, it was genuinely insanity through the first two rotations. Good day for SJSU too, going 6/6 on beam is such an accomplishment for them!
Vault: Hall 9.975
Bars: Ohashi, Ross 9.95
Beam: Lee 9.95
Floor: Ohashi 10.0
AA: Chan 39.125
Live blog by Rebecca Scally