On the surface, this one virtually couldn’t be any closer. While Cal’s average is a little over a tenth lower this season, the Golden Bears do have home field advantage. Cal is relatively weaker on the leg events, while UCLA is forced to finish on beam, its weakest event, by the rotation order. Both teams are bars powerhouses, so don’t take running scores too seriously until the midpoint when both teams have completed that event.
Don’t forget, either, that this will be a homecoming for new UCLA head coach Janelle McDonald. While there’s no indication that she left any hard feelings behind in Berkeley, it certainly raises the emotional stakes of this critical matchup.
Rotation 1: Cal VT, UCLA UB
Li (Cal): Solid FTY, flexed feet on the way down and a medium hop back. 9.825
Campbell (UCLA): Maloney, little leg sep, to solid bail. Touch of feet throughout. Maybe a TOUCH short on that cast handstand, tidy blind, double front cowboyed with flexed feet but stuck. 9.85
Williams (Cal): A touch soft on the table on her FTY, nice body line, medium hop back. 9.825
Steele (UCLA): Missed the first handstand, Maloney with leg separation to Pak. Nice half pirouette, not sure about that last cast handstand, double lay whippy but stuck. 9.825
Brown (Cal): Her only event. Twisting on, lots of distance, FTY with a big hop back. 9.8
Padurariu (UCLA): Toe on to Maloney, a little soft in the backswing, bail caught a low and awkward but makes it work. FTDB, chest down and a hop to the side. 9.8
DeSouza (Cal): Huge leg separation on the table, it’s really egregious and totally is visible from the side, wish we’d see that penalized more. Soft knees, small hop forward on her one and a half. 9.925 I hate it
Harris (UCLA): Pretty Ray, bail arched but gets through it. Super precise cast handstands. Full turn to double lay, pretty, scoot back. 9.875
Lauzon (Cal): Nice one and a half, not immaculate but just worlds cleaner than DeSouza, tiny hop forward. 9.95, deserved but it’s just so unfair that the difference between those two is just a quarter tenth.
Chiles (UCLA): Not sure about that first handstand. Piked Tkachev to Pak, Maloney to Gienger close with bent arms. FTDB stuck. 9.95
E. Frazier (Cal): DTY, soft on the table and form throughout, big step back. Touch overrotated. 9.875
M. Frazier (UCLA): Commentators made sure to point out that she wasn’t watching eMjae, lol. Don’t make it weird. Maloney, big leg separation, pretty Pak. Borderline cast handstand, double layout fake-stuck. Forward on her toes. 9.9
After 1: California 49.400, UCLA 49.400
Nice close start! Potentially advantage Cal at this point, doing well on a weak event, but both teams have to feel pretty good. Whether UCLA can keep up in rotation 2 will be telling.
Rotation 2: UCLA VT, California UB
Lee (UCLA): Nice clean FTY, small hop back. Not the most repulsion off the table, but nice straight body line. 9.775
DeSouza (Cal): Jaeger to overshoot, solid, borderline handstand on the high bar, FTDB with messy legs and stuck-ish. 9.925
Anyimi (UCLA): FTY, wide arms on the table, lots of distance but a touch of pike throughout, hop back. 9.825
E. Frazier (Cal): Maloney, touch of form, to Pak caught low. Double layout stuck dead. 9.95
M. Frazier (UCLA): FTY, piked throughout, medium-large bounce out. 9.825
Perea (Cal): Nice Pak. Toe on to van Leeuwen, nice and clean. Double layout CLOSE to the bar with a big hop back and off the mat. 9.85
Campbell (UCLA): Huge clean FTY, basically stuck. Just pulled the heels together. On replay there was a little bit of pike down, so that’s what the deduction was. 9.9
Williams (Cal): Maloney to Pak, SO clean. Pretty half turn, borderline cast handstand, drilled a double layout. Really nice. 9.975
Harris (UCLA): One and a half twist, some soft knees, hop to the side. 9.9
Li (Cal): Pak, baby leg separation that is not a real deduction, nice van Leeuwen. Blind full, superb, to double back stuck. Just reached forward a touch. 9.95
Chiles (UCLA): DTY, powerful with a bit of knees, big big hop back. 9.85
Lauzon (Cal): Major arch on the first handstand, Maloney with leg sep to Pak. Missed a handstand badly, recast to half turn, this is a drop score. FTDB stuck. 9.825 is too high but it’s a drop score so I don’t particularly care.
After 2: Cal 99.050, UCLA 98.700
It’s hard to do anything about Cal catching fire on bars like that, but UCLA put together a completely fine vault rotation to stay in the game. Time to turn the heat on on floor. This rotation could be the best of the whole meet, with both teams heading to strengths.
Rotation 3: Cal BB, UCLA FX
DeSouza (Cal): Front aerial, a little tentative, BHS LOSO solid. Beat to sheep, OK position for college. Full turn, one and a half twist stuck absolutely dead. 9.925
Lee (UCLA): Double back, solid. Front lay front full, controlled well. Double pike way short, big step forward.
Williams (Cal): Front aerial to split is pretty. BHS LOSO. Nice and pretty so far. Switch, adjustment, beat to split. BHS gainer full, chest a little low but hangs onto the landing. 9.9
Malabuyo (UCLA): Double tuck solid. One and a half front lay maybe a touch overpowered but disguises it in dance, no drama. I always get a kick out of the pique turns. Switch ring, front leg looked low, to switch half. Double pike, a touch overrotated, minimizes front foot movement. 9.925
Li (Cal): Front aerial to split, a touch unsteady. Very nice BHS LOSO, full turn, not the most emphatic but not really deductible either. Beat to sheep, again not the most solid. Gainer tuck full nice. I have absolutely no idea how much of that they’re going to call balance checks because they… weren’t really, it just felt a touch tentative the whole way. 9.875 okay I can live with that.
Harris (UCLA): Full in, nice landing, close to the line and keeps the lunge short. On replay, her chest was fully horizontal when she landed that. Great control on her double tuck but chest again low. One and a half to Barani to double stag, pretty. Good one. 9.925
E. Frazier (Cal): Front aerial to BHS, lean. Switch ring to split, okay. One and a half twist with a hop forward. 9.9
Okay, who planned these rotations to make the Frazier sisters consecutive in every rotation.
M. Frazier (UCLA): Whip to double back, overrotated, big slide back. Tour jete half to Popa Popa, underrotated and landed awkwardly. Side somi for the requirements, double pike a little overrotated, front foot shift is pretty subtle but it exists.
Lauzon (Cal): Solid wolf turn, switch to split, steady triple series. Nice so far. Double full, medium hop back. 9.925
Chiles (UCLA): Double layout, BADLY underrotated and stuck. I said OW out loud. Front through double back, solid. Double pike, underrotated, big hop forward. Not a great day for Bruin ankles so far. 9.925 wh at
Perea (Cal): Kickover front, low with a knee swivel, to back tuck. Awkward but she did keep it moving. BACK FULLLLLLLL with a check. Clean through dance. Side somi to back tuck, big hop forward. 9.875
Campbell (UCLA): Full in, a little squatty but lunges out fine. Tour jete half Popa nice and clean. Front lay front full, steady, great double back. 9.95… Fine score on paper, drastically fails to account for the differences between her routine and the last three.
After 3: Cal 148.575, UCLA 148.350
The judges are on drugs and I need a break.
Rotation 4: UCLA BB, Cal FX
Lee (UCLA): Full turn, BHS LOSO nice and steady with a big smile. Split to straddle, front aerial to split, BHS gainer full stuck. Great start. 9.9 (or maybe 9.925? broadcast and live score disagree)
Perea (Cal): O U C H she badly underrotated her double tuck, seemed to fail to grab her legs, crashed and basically all her weight landed on her front knee. That could have been a major injury. Short on double pike, big step forward, one and a half front lay OK. She’s physically fine I think but looks shaken. 9.025
Alipio (UCLA): Full turn, front aerial with soft knees to back tuck. Split to switch half, side aerial to split, gainer tuck full stuck. Super steady so far for the Bruins. 9.9
DeSouza (Cal): Rudi to double stag, flies back like six feet on that. Double back, rebounds back OOB. Switch side wolf full. One and a half front full. Well, Cal had a look at a program record but that’s gone. 9.675
Padurariu (UCLA): Candle mount, nice, double wolf. Side aerial BHS steady. Switch, tentative, beat to sheep nice. One and a half twist, big hop forward. 9.9
Williams (Cal): Front lay to Rudi, overrotated with a scoot back. Might have tried to get a leap off there, not sure. Switch half to split. One and a half front lay, really nice.
Chiles (UCLA): Front aerial BHS LOSO, super steady. Switch to wolf, uncertain about that split. Side aerial, double pike is one of her better but still low chest and a big hop back. Yeah, her head was below the height of the beam when she landed that. 9.95 SWEETIE
Li (Cal): Front double full, lovely. Step out maybe a LITTLE long. Nice front full front lay, switch ring to switch half. Nice one. I find this choreography so charming. 9.9
Harris (UCLA): BHS LOSO BHS, bit of knees. Switch to split to full turn, really nice. Kickover front, a little awkward but no obvious check. One and a half twist stuck. 9.95
Lauzon (Cal): Front double full to front tuck, gorgeous control. Very nice switch side Popa, touch of feet but that’s not a real NCAA deduction, one and a half front full STUCK. Wow. 9.975 awwww I love that.
Malabuyo (UCLA): BHS LOSO, a touch off but works it out with her arms. Split to ring leap, lean. BHS gainer full, hop back. 9.85
E. Frazier (Cal): 9.975 ties. 10 wins. Double lay, overrotated, scoot back. Nope. Honestly really nice precise leaps. Front through double back, stuck. 9.975 cracking tf up
FINAL: UCLA 197.975, California 197.975.
WHY NOT. WHY NOT HAVE A TIE.
UCLA, Cal, OSU all have two ties against conference opponents now. The Pac-12 regular season title is going to be so freaking funny.
The real winner is the Frazier parents.
VT: Mya Lauzon 9.950
UB: Madelyn Williams 9.975
BB: Jordan Chiles, Selena Harris 9.950
FX: Mya Lauzon, eMjae Frazier 9.975
AA: eMjae Frazier 39.700
READ THIS NEXT: CGN Roundtable: On UCLA, Janelle McDonald and Cal
Live blog by Rebecca Scally
Like what you see? Consider donating to support our efforts throughout the year! [wpedon id=”13158″]