Norah Flatley Beam

LIVE BLOG: No. 15 UCLA at No. 20 Arizona State

The Pac-12’s lone Sunday meet should be a good one, with Arizona State hosting UCLA in what should be a close battle. The Sun Devils will be looking to stay alive in the hunt for the evening session of the conference championship meet, while the Bruins will aiming for their first road dual meet win of the season.

After finishing in the top 10 last season and barely missing out on a trip to nationals, the Sun Devils have been a little underwhelming through the first half of the 2022 season. Having yet to hit 197, Arizona State has been struggling getting multiple gymnasts to both earn 9.9s and do so in the same meet. If you combined all the Sun Devils’ top scores from this year, their max would be a 197.425, a score last year’s team actually scored higher than last February. Hannah Scharf has been great, per usual, as Arizona State’s top gymnast and could use a bit more consistency from freshman Alex Theodorou to increase the team total and potential. Scharf has scored a 9.9 on every event this season, with only two other Sun Devils having scored that mark on one event each (Theodorou on vault, Jasmine Gutierrez on beam).

So far, the Bruins’ season has also fallen short of expectations after a season that fell short of expectations. With an away meet average a point lower than its home meet average, the road has not been kind to UCLA this year. Health is also now an issue, with Sara Ulias out for the season, Margzetta Frazier still absent, Norah Flatley tweaking her leg, and Frida Esparza in a boot. You could make half a lineup with the injury squad. Now, a lot of responsibility is falling on the freshmen class of Jordan Chiles, Emma Malabuyo, Ana Padurariu, and Brooklyn Moors to win meets. They’re more than capable, but relying on NCAA newcomers is never a breeze.

Follow along with scores and video! (Pac-12 Network)

Chiles and Malabuyo all arounders today. Floor debut from Sakti. Taubman on bars and two routines from McNamara indicate UCLA is still planning on resting athletes to preserve health today.

Rotation 1: Arizona State Vault, UCLA Bars

Jaslow (ASU): Yfull. Piked through the air, a slide back on the landing. 9.800

Campbell (UCLA): Maloney to bail, gets the handstand, jumps to high, good handstand again, giant half to stuck double front. Great start. 9.850

Reeves (ASU): Y1.5 tucked. Comes in way short and stumbles back but doesn’t sit it down. 9.650

Padurariu (UCLA): Toe on to Maloney, doesn’t get her grips around and falls, remounts to the high bar, swings into a nice bail, jumps up to high, hits the handstand and giant full before falling on her double tuck. 8.375, only 9.6 SV it appears.

White (ASU): Yfull. Clean in the air, gets to flair it out a tiny bit and sticks it! 9.925!

Malabuyo (UCLA): Needs a hit routine to get UCLA back on track. Maloney to pak, floaty, hits the half pirouette and final handstand on the high bar, double layout and fights for the stick by putting her chest down and some arm waves. 9.800

Mangahas (ASU): Yfull. Almost identical to White in the air but takes a big hop back. 9.850

Chiles (UCLA): Falls over on her first handstand, swings around a few times to get back to a giant swing, falls on her piked Tkatchev, remounts, way close on her pak but fights through, good Maloney to Geinger, FTDT and a small hop. 9.300 on live scores, 9.350 on the broadcast.

Scharf (ASU): Yfull. So high and floaty, pikes it down but gets the stick. Had to squat to hold it. 9.800

Flatley (UCLA): Giant, L grip into great Jager, toe on to bail, good lines, nice final handstand, double layout and gets the stick! 9.925

Theodorou (ASU): Yhalf-on tucked half-off. Chest a bit down but good height and distance. 9.925

To make things worse they show us a clip of Frida Esparza falling in warmups and getting rattled/hurt enough to be pulled from lineups…

Taubman (UCLA): Jager, taps her hands on the bar but falls, remounts, toe on, wacky archy bail, dismounts double layout, very whipped around. 8.950

Rotation 1: Arizona State 49.300, UCLA 47.825

A dream start for the Sun Devils and absolute disaster for UCLA. Arizona State should be thrilled with a new season-high on vault to open things up, especially now with loads of pressure off with the Bruins immediately taking themselves out of contention (most likely). UCLA was in desperate need of a big road score and it’s already clear it will not get it.

The only criticism of Arizona State in the first rotation could be their 10.0 start values, and lack thereof. Theodorou’s was great as it always is, but Reeves had major issues and with only two the Sun Devils are at a difficulty lack to some teams.

Rotation 2: UCLA Vault, Arizona State Bars

Wright (UCLA): Yfull. Big height, drops it down for the stick! 9.875

Mangahas (ASU): Giant half to piked Jager to overshoot, tiny bit short on handstands, sticks her FTDT. 9.875

Poston (UCLA): Front handspring front pike. Chest down on her knees on the landing, huge lunge and stumble back and to the side. 9.650

Reeves (ASU): Giant half to Jager to overshoot, nice form, hits the handstands, double layout, legs apart in the air but pulls them together for the stick! 9.900

Flatley (late sub for McNamara) (UCLA): Yfull. Clean in the air, good distance, not a ton of height, small slide back. 9.850

Theodorou (ASU): Toe half to Jager, great height, nice handstand, toe on, bail, good hip angles, dismounts double layout and gets another stick! 9.850

Moors (UCLA): Front handspring front pike. Chest a little forward and a small hop back. 9.825

White (ASU): Maloney half, tiny feet separation, giant half to bail, dismounts double layout, one foot slides back. 9.900

Malabuyo (UCLA): Yfull. Beautiful form, not a ton of distance, small hop. 9.875

Scharf (ASU): Maloney to pak, great, tiny bit short on the half pirouette, good final handstand, FTDT and sticks it! 9.900

Chiles (UCLA): Tsuk full, a little low and chest forward, only a small hop in place. 9.900

Clark (ASU): Giant half to Jager, solid, pak maybe a little close, all good handstands, double layout, actually keeps her legs together and sticks! 9.950! (9.0/10.0 judges split)

Rotation 2: UCLA 49.325, Arizona State 49.525

After Rotation 2: Arizona State 98.825, UCLA 97.150

A new season-high on vault was a good response for UCLA after its opening rotation. The next two events have spelled trouble for the Bruins in the past, so hitting now with depleted lineups and already on track for a bad score adds even more pressure.

A news season-high on bars continued Arizona States ideal start to this meet! A slew of new career-best propelled them to a massive 49.5-plus score and for a team in need of a huge team total, that will go a long way. Now, the Sun Devils must hit the back half of the meet to capitalize on their PHENOMENAL start.

Rotation 3: Arizona State Beam, UCLA Floor

Thompson (ASU): Opens up with a BHS BHS LOSO, big check to the side, bends at the hips completely over, switch leap switch side, shy of 180, full turn, easy, side aerial layout full, sticks it. 9.725

McNamara (UCLA): Mounts with a Rudi to straddle jump, not a lot of height, switch ring half, solid ring position, switch ring to switch half, ends with a RO 1.5 front layout, a step forward, nothing major. 9.775

Reeves (ASU): BHS BHS LOSO, no issues, switch leap to split jump, full turn, front aerial, RO 1.5, bent knees in the air but gets the stick. 9.875

Sakti (UCLA): RO double tuck to start, didn’t grab her legs in the tuck, bouncy leap series, tiny bit off balance, front full front layout, good layout positions, closes with a nice double pike. 9.850

Gutierrez (ASU): Gets going with a BHS LOSO, small arm wave to the side, Rulfova, slightly low, front walkover, beat jump to switch side, RO 1.5 and gets the stick! 9.900

Moors (UCLA): Changed up her first pass from the double front, now does front double full front tuck, solid today, almost tripped when they pull the sting mat out from under her – distracting us from her beautiful performance, good leap series, nice ring position, FHS Rudi to close, slightly legs apart on the landing. 9.900!

White (ASU): Starts with BHS LOSO, great legs, smooth full turn, front aerial, squeezes her core to cover being slightly off, split jump to double stag, nice, side aerial layout full, small slide back. 9.900!

Wright (UCLA): Mounts with RO 2.5 front tuck, misses the punch and sits it down, front full layout half, great, super high in her leaps, ends with a RO 1.5 front layout. 9.225

Clark (ASU): A hit here could allow Scharf to go off. Easy full turn to open, BHS LOSO, small adjustment, split jump double stag, a bit hesitant, front aerial, BHS 1.5, messy legs but sticks it! 9.875

A long wait for Wright’s score.

Malabuyo (UCLA): Finally gets to start, opens with a great double tuck, RO 1.5 front layout right into choreo, good switch ring to switch half, double pike, step forward, slightly short. 9.900

Scharf (ASU): Already a team season-high. Nice double wolf turn, BHS LOSO, confident, side somi, moving aggressively, switch leap to split jump, tiniest of foot adjustments, RO 1.5, small step forward. 9.900

Chiles (UCLA): Huge double layout to get going, front tuck through to double tuck, no problems, tour jete half to wolf 1.5, a little off balance if anything, double pike, big lunge back. 9.975!

Rotation 3: Arizona State 49.450, UCLA 49.400

After Rotation 3: Arizona State 148.275, UCLA 196.550

Another massive rotation for Arizona State, who can nab a wild score with a hit floor rotation. That hasn’t been the Sun Devil’s best event this year, floating around the 49 mark, so hopefully with the momentum they’re currently carrying they can convert that into bigger numbers.

Chiles’ near-perfect score in the anchor spot helped cap off the Bruins’ best rotation of the day thus far. The normally reserve routines were able to hit, and UCLA was able to put up a respectable total that would’ve kept them in contention in most situations. Beam has had troubles at times this year, so making sure the reserves can hit again with be crucial.

Rotation 4: UCLA Beam, Arizona State Floor

Flatley (UCLA): Was scheduled to be Padurariu. Front aerial BHS LOSO, solid, GREAT L turn to split jump, switch ring, tiny check, BHS 1.5, small slide to the side. 9.875

Jaslow (ASU): Starts things off with a high double pike, front layout front full, solid landings so far, switch side Popa, very bouncy, closes with a double tuck, no problems. 9.875

Chiles (UCLA): New series, side aerial LOSO, great, switch leap wolf jump, excellent height, small wobble on her full turn, front aerial, dismounts RO double pike, chest down hop back. 9.875

White (ASU): Mounts with a solid front double full, switch leap, RO LOSO, such pretty toe point, switch ring switch ring half, funky step on the landing, closes with a front full front pike. 9.875

Malabuyo (UCLA): Wolf turn, smooth, BHS LOSO, steady, front aerial beat jump, split jump ring jump, BHS LOSO layout full with a hop back. 9.900

Clark (ASU): Clean double pike to begin, RO 1.5 front layout, good height, switch ring switch half/side, definitely not fully rotated, double tuck, short and a lunge forward. 9.750

Moors (UCLA): Valdez, switch leap split jump, front aerial and hesitates, doesn’t make the connection to the walkover and falls, full turn, side aerial, big check to the side, FHS Rudi, slide to the side. No flight series should lower the SV. 8.900

Theodorou (ASU): Full-in to open, chest a little down, great toe point in her leaps, my feed cut-out for her 2nd pass and I apologize. 9.900 – so it went well!

Poston (UCLA): Beat jump to straddle 3/4, BHS BHS LOSO, good, RO 1.5 dismount, sticks! 9.900

Mangahas (ASU): Big full-in to open, well controlled step, front tuck to double tuck, another good landing, switch half to wolf full x2. 9.950!

Sakti (UCLA): Switch leap BHS LOSO, underrotated and falls, cat leap to switch half to beat jump, good full turn, side aerial layout full, sticks. 9.375

Scharf (ASU): Front tuck through to double tuck, so high, front full front tuck, easy, her teammates blocked the shot of her leaps haha, another sky high double pike to close! 9.925

Rotation 4: UCLA 48.925, Arizona State 49.525

Final: Arizona State 197.800, UCLA 195.475

What a night for the Sun Devils! They improve upon their season-best by over a point with numerous team and individual bests and remain in contention in a tightly contested Pac-12 for a spot in the evening session of the championship meet. Everybody stepped up today, with Scharf contributing her normal amazingness on her birthday, and the rest of her team stepped-up their game as her present.

The Bruins had another meet to forget this year, dropping another road meet and missing an opportunity to put up an important high road score with home meets to finish out the regular season. With UCLA’s top athletes injured and the reserves not capable of putting together performances under pressure, the Bruins continue to struggle despite having a very capable and dangerous roster.

Event Winners

Vault: Theodorou (ASU), White (ASU), 9.925

Bars: Clark (ASU), 9.950

Beam: Gutierrez (ASU), Malabuyo (UCLA), Poston (UCLA), Scharf (ASU), White (ASU), 9.900

Floor: Chiles (UCLA), 9.975

All Around: White (ASU), 39.600

Live blog by Brandis Heffner

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