Emma Malabuyo UCLA

LIVE BLOG: No. 20 Arizona State at No. 6 UCLA

For the first time in more than 20 years, UCLA fell to Arizona State in a two-point margin during the 2022 regular season. Now, a new energy seizes the Bruins as their season has gotten off to its best start in 18 years. Arizona State is breaking its consistency curse and making steady improvement in its team scores while looking to repeat last season’s win.

Going against Utah last week, McDonald tested out freshmen Maddie Anyimi and Clara Wren after Chae Campbell was out due to a family emergency. Despite the loss, it looks like the Bruins are prepared for a long postseason run with those new faces able to fill the gaps where needed. On the other side, the roster has taken a heavy hit with five injuries, the most recent being Katie McNamara with a torn ACL. Frida Esparza is out of her arm sling and was seen on Instagram training beam. While she’ll likely not compete today, keep an eye out for the future. 

Arizona State tied its season high of a 196.800 last week against California, its first time going 49-plus on all four events this season. The Sun Devils have big potential this year, but an upperclassman-heavy lineup could end up biting the Sun Devils in the butt should the need for depth routines arise. Luckily, unlike UCLA, Arizona State has no gymnasts (that we know of at least) on the injury list, which leaves many questions for why it isn’t using more gymnasts in the lineups.  

It’s past 5PM and they’re showing volleyball. WE WANT TO SEE GYMNASTICS.

A response from UCLA has been released about the delay.

Rotation 1: UCLA vault, Arizona State bars

Pac12 Network has been delayed from showing the meet.

Frazier (UCLA): 9.775

Reeves (ASU): 9.800

Anyimi (UCLA): 9.725, will be dropped.

Samiley (ASU): 9.875

Lee (UCLA): 9.75

Mangahas (ASU): 9.925

Campbell (UCLA):

Scharf (ASU): 9.875

Harris (UCLA): 9.800

White (ASU): 9.9

Chiles (UCLA): And, we’re back! Yurchenko double full and holds on to it for a a stick! She did the same thing last week but it wasn’t 10 material. 9.95

Clark (ASU): Good handstand to blind half to straddled jaegar. Bit of leg separation on the Pak salto and covers up on missing the handstand on her pirouette nicely by going straight into a squat on.  Double layout dismount and steps out of it. 9.85

Theodorou Exhibition (ASU): Toe shoot blind half to straddled jaegar. Shootover, double layout dismount with a large leg separation and major shape change throughout. That will be a large deduction but clean handstands and overall a solid routine that could be inserted into the lineups with some tweaking.

After 1: Arizona State 49.425, UCLA 49.125

A season-high event score for the Sun Devils.

Rotation 2: UCLA bars, Arizona State vault

Reeves (ASU): Yurchenko full with some nice amplitude but pikes down at the end and has a hop on the landing. 9.725

Campbell (UCLA): Short of her first handstand. Maloney directly connected to a shootover. Hits that high bar handstand and finishes with a double front dismount which is incredibly dismount to lock into the landing but she pulls it off well with just a small step back. 9.85

White (ASU): Another Yurchenko full and this one is beautiful. Flares for the landing and just a small hop back. 9.775

Steele (UCLA): Good handstand, leg separation on her Maloney. Pak salto directly out of that skill. Double layout to to finish with a little form issues in the air, tries to hold on to the stick but can’t and hops forward. 9.825

Mangahas (ASU): Really nice vault but the Sun Devils can’t seem to get these landings. Hops back on her Yurchenko full. 9.825

Padurariu (UCLA): Beautiful handstand, toe shoot to Maloney right to a shootover. This is amazing, hits her last handstand and does a full twisting double back with a small hop back. 9.9

Smith (ASU): Yesss! This is what I’ve been looking for in this vault lineup. Yurchenko one and a half and she sticks it! 9.85, dang. Compared to some of the scoring we’ve been seeing outside of the Pac12 this should be higher. But a couple deductions the judges could’ve taken was bent knees, arms, and poor shoulder angle on the pre-flight/on the table. Other than that I don’t see anything else in the air or the landing.

Harris (UCLA): Perfect handstand to Ray and another perfect handstand going into her shootover. High bar consists of a full pirouette right into a double layout dismount and wow, that was flawless. Only thing to take is being short of handstand out of her full pirouette. 9.95

Theodorou (ASU): Yurchenko half on, tuck half out. Has some leg separation at the end of the flight portion and hops back on the landing. 9.825

Chiles (UCLA): Handstand to piked Tkatchev right into a pak salto. Handstand to maloney then a geinger. I’m getting tired just watching this. Sticks her full out dismount which looks like this could give her a 10. But, she falls short, 9.975.

Scharf (ASU): Another stick to add to this lineup. Yurchenko full with awesome height and gets a 9.85

Frazier (UCLA): Little short on her first handstand and leg separation on her maloney. Solid Pak salto and pirouette. Double layout dismount with a hop back. Reliable anchor for UCLA. 9.9 is a little overscored given her hop back, short of handstand on her first one and pirouette, plus the leg separation on her Maloney (but I doubt the judges could see it from their angle).

After 2: UCLA 98.700, Arizona State 98.550

Rotation 3: UCLA beam, Arizona State floor

Lee (UCLA): Full turn. So calm and looks confident. Perfect BHS layout step out. Switch leap to straddle jump. Front aerial connected into a split jump, her back leg is a little short of making the jump 180 degrees. BHS to geinger full and the first stick of the beam rotation, surely more to come. Third straight 9.9 for Lee.

Lee (ASU): Front handspring to front double full. Round off to back 1.5 straight into a front layout and dances out of her landing. Switch ring to switch half. Rudi to finish off and a solid and elegant routine to get a 9.8

Alipio (UCLA): Full turn. A unique series of front aerial to back tuck. Loving this dance. Split leap to Tor jete half. Wobbles on her dance after her leap series. Side aerial to split jump. Dismounts with a geinger full off the end of the beam. 9.825

Clark (ASU): High and controlled double pike to start. Super high back 1.5 going into a front layout. Big power and it’s shown through her dance too. Great double tuck to end. Nicely done and gets a 9.85

Padurairu (UCLA): Candlestick mount. Double wolf turn. Aerial to BHS and just right on. Switch leap and wobbles on her beat jump but continues into her sheep jump. Round off back 1.5 and a big step forward. 9.65, the landing got her.

Jaslow (ASU): Open double pike and a controlled landing. Switch side to straddle full. Front layout to front full for her second pass. Double tuck to finish, flexes her feet in the air but another strong routine for ASU. 9.875

Chiles (UCLA): Steve Lacy playing in the background for a routine nothing short of stunning. Front aerial to BHS layout step out. Switch leap to split jump. And can we talk about her confidence?! Holds her shape on her aerial and a round off double pike to top it off. Hops back and has a bit of flexed feet on the dismount, but they say sometimes with risk comes reward. 9.9

White (ASU): Front handspring to front double full and pretty form throughout. Round off back 1.5 to front layout. Switch ring leap to switch half. Front handspring to front full then a front layout and shines the “Forks up” symbol representing the Sun Devils well. 9.825

Harris (UCLA): BHS layout to BHS and just perfect. This series is very difficult considering she has to slow down her momentum from the first two skills for the last BHS. Switch leap to regular leap right into a full turn, very unique combination. Solid front toss. Dismounts with a round off back 1.5 and it’s a stuck one! 9.950, the only thing I see they could’ve taken was flexed foot on her series.

Mangahas (ASU): Full-in and her chest is really down on the landing. Combo pass includes a punch front to round off BHS and a double back. Love this routine but flexed feet were everywhere. 9.85

Malabuyo (UCLA): Solid wolf turn. BHS to layout step out and the tope point is immaculate. Front aerial to beat jump and a small wobble. BHS gainer full and a matches Harris with a stick. 9.875

Scharf (ASU): Very impressive one arm Valdez. It may look easy, but get down on your living room floor and try it. It will feel like your arm is going to pop out. Front through to double tuck to begin. Front handspring front full to front tuck and great control. Double pike to end a veteran routine for Scharf. 9.9

Reeves Exhibition (ASU): Round off to back 2.5. This is some pumped up music. Unique second pass: Round off whip half to front full. Switch ring to switch half, short of a full split. Front handspring to Rudi, a bit of crossed legs and comes up a little short so has to hop into her lunge. Nice routine just a couple of form errors.

After 3: UCLA 148.125, Arizona State 147.850

Rotation 4: UCLA floor, Arizona State beam

Lee (ASU): Gorgeous mount. BHS, BHS, layout step and a pretty large balance check. Round off back 1.5 with a bit of soft knees and a step on landing. 9.7

Lee (UCLA): I’m ready for this UCLA reign on floor! Round off BHS double tuck, super high, pretty toes, I could go on forever. Front layout to front full. Switch ring to switch half. Last pass is a double pike and super close to that line but stays in bounds. Locked in start for UCLA. 9.9

Harper (ASU): Front toss to BHS for her series. Full turn. Cat jump to switch half and a wobble. BHS gainer full and takes a step. 9.725

Malabuyo (UCLA): Double tuck with some small front foot movement back. Back 1.5 to front layout and dances right out of it. I love this routine! Switch ring to switch half, exceeding the 180 split, just amazing. Double pike with flexed feet and lunges forward. Grabs a 9.9, which is a little generous considering her landings.

Reeves (ASU): BHS, BHS, layout step out with a bend in her back leg. Switch leap to split jump. Front aerial. Round off back 1.5 with crossed legs but sticks it! 9.725

Harris (UCLA): Being slightly underrotated allows Harris to stick her full-in and double back but it’s nothing short of spectacular. Round off back 1.5 to front half bounding out of it with a stag jump. Incredible, as always. 9.875, Judge 1: 9.8, Judge 2: 9.95. Side eye. I think the score can be justifiably accurate but the split is just astonishing. Her chest was very low in her first two passes and while they allowed her to stick it, those should be a good 0.05-0.1 deduction. She also had leg separation in her full-in.

Clark (ASU): Solid BHS layout step out to start. Split jump short of 180 to stag jump. Beautiful front aerial with some nice height. BHS back 1.5, feet crossed but another stick for the Sun Devils. 9.85

Frazier (UCLA): Round off, whip, double BHS to double back. Tor jete full to straddle full and another straddle full. Last pass is a double pike and perfect control on the landing, but has flexed feet. Finishing with a death drop just screams UCLA. 9.95

White (ASU): BHS layout step out, full turn. Split jump to stag jump. Missed the leap connection but I’m sure it was great. I fully enjoy watching White on beam. BHS back 1.5 and leans too forward with her chest, causing her to take a step forward. 9.825

Chiles (UCLA): Double layout and it’s flawless. Want to get up out of my chair and start dancing. Huge second pass: front through to double back. Tor jete half to straddle full. Double pike and ANOTHER amazing landing. 10.0 and well deserved.

Scharf (ASU): Double wolf turn. BHS layout step out. Side-somi, such a difficult Acro. Switch leap to split jump and the crowd is going crazy for Chiles. Round off back 1.5. If anyone would be put into this spot with a couple low scores in the lineup and a screaming crowd, it would be Scharf. 9.875

Campbell (UCLA): Chest is a little low on her full-in and she was trying to stick it but is forced to lunge. Tor jete half to straddle full. Front handspring to front full to front layout. Double tuck and confetti goes up in the air from the student section. Fierce and powerful are the best two superlatives to describe this routine. 9.925

Lashbrooke Exhibition (UCLA): Solid double tuck, chest is a little down. Round off back 1.5 to front layout and clean. Switch side to straddle full. Double pike and I am questioning how she made that around. Pulls so much that she has to take a couple steps back and goes out of bounds.

FINAL: UCLA 197.800, Arizona State 196.900

UCLA answers back to the loss from last year with a performance nothing short of spectacular almost reaching their season-high of a 197.85. Arizona State tops their season-high but it’s clear that improvement is on the horizon for Sun Devils.

Jordan Chiles notches her first perfect 10 of the season along with a career-high all around score tying her with Sunisa Lee for the highest score nationally. UCLA sweeps the event winners as Selena Harris matches her career-high beam score. For the team, vault was the Bruins lowest scoring event with only one score over 9.85 despite a few stuck landings. Bars is continually getting better and better topping with a season-high 49.575. Plus, there’s still room for improvement specifically in landings. On an event that seemed cursed for the Bruins last season, beam is one of their strongest events and improvement on landings and mistaken wobbles could put the event over their team bar score. Saving the best for last is of course the UCLA floor. And, is there really much to say? I mean it was amazing, showstopping, exciting, artistic, it was everything and beyond. Counting five scores that were all equal to or higher than 9.9 gave the Bruins the highest floor score nationally with a 49.675 topping Michigan by one tenth. There’s so much more gymnastics to go and UCLA is at the top with areas to improve. I don’t know about you but I’m already getting giddy about post season.

Let’s not forget about Arizona State forking at a season-high team score, season-high bar score of 49.525, and career-highs handed out like Oprah. Like last season, this meet was a stellar one for Arizona State and one of the best match-ups of the Pac12. Scharf is undoubtedly the MVP of the Sun Devils, performing the highest scoring routines of the team, being clutch when the pressure is hot, and maintaining consistency every year. White and freshman, Kayla Lee are making their mark in the lineups both competing 3 or more events and Lee being the only freshman to compete all season. Clark is also heavy hitter as a strong and reliable scorer getting 9.85 on bars, beam, and floor. Optimism should strike the Sun Devils as they’ve hit their highest team score and they still have potential. Beam was their worst event this meet due to wobbles and form deductions. Placing second to last is vault. For a team that was set to have four 10.0 start values, seeing only two in the lineup coupled with Yurchenko fulls with large hops is disappointing to see. Floor and bars are a sweet spot for the Sun Devils with improvement on landings likely to give them an extra umph on their best events.

VT: Jordan Chiles, 9.95
UB: Jordan Chiles, 9.975
BB: Selena Harris, 9.95
FX: Jordan Chiles, 10
AA: Jordan Chiles, 39.825

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Live blog by Sydney Seabrooks

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