UCLA has recorded two consecutive high 196s, and with all of the Bruins’ closest rivals consistently going into the 197s now, it is becoming more imperative that UCLA follow suit. I’m not sure it’s going to happen today, but it’s always a possibility. UCLA will need a 197.225 today to retain the #4 position in the rankings, and that score would be a victory, especially on the road. DeJesus will be missing the meet again this week after her concussion, so look for some lineup adjustment, especially if they hold the likes of Zamarripa off certain events to rest her for the coming weeks.
The Beavers started this season as poorly as is possible but have settled into a nice little low-mid 196 niche. Stambaugh is by far the scoring leader, but I have concerns about how many routines exist that can consistently score anywhere higher than 9.850. I’ll be counting that during this meet. If the Beavers are to be a top 12 Regionals seed, that number has to start increasing. There’s a pretty bit gap right now between the top 10 and the Beavers, but they’re also falling behind the likes of Auburn.
The meet begins at 10:00 ET/7:00 PT on the Pac-12 Network.
Soon to get underway in Corvallis. No lineups for either team yet, but that’s usual when not dealing with Georgia, LSU, or Arkansas. Of note in other action, Nebraska recorded just a 195.625 against Arizona — no counting falls, just a lot of 9.7s, most surprisingly on vault. Broadcast getting underway now, Zamarripa and Stambaugh featured. It is surprising that Zam is ranked #1 on floor, her weakest event. Stambaugh has to have a great meet every time out for OSU because there is no Mak or Vivian assistance anymore. Warmups underway now.
Oregon State vault
1. Tang – yfull, hop back, bad angle on the vault, from behind, pikes noticeably. (9.775)
2. Jones – needs more distance on her yfull, but a strong landing with just a minor hop in place. (9.825)
3. Harris – Didn’t look like she got anything off the block but hit the vault, didn’t maintain straight position and had little height, not her best and very piked. (9.725)
4. Gaspar – comes in low on her yfull landing, big step and very low body position. (9.725)
5. Stambaugh – much better height and landing on her yfull, by far their best vault, pikes a little and a minor step. (9.875)
6. Blalock – good height and a stuck landing as well. They have two vaulters who showed up today, but they both showed up to save the event. (9.900)
1. Francis – good shaposh, hits bail hs, nice flight on shoot, minor hop on double pike, her best bars routine of the season.Well done. They’ve needed her to work this routine out. (9.775)
2. MDLT -good first hs, hit bail, floppy legs on her hop full, but a difficult combo into the DLO, hop in place on DLO. Very sparse routine because all her difficulty is at the very end. (9.800)
3. Larson – slightly over on first hs but fine, and then has to straddle to hold onto her bail hs – good save but a big deduction, misses hs before dismount, step on DLO. Weak routine for her. UCLA starts slowly on bars in every road meet. (9.625)
4. Courtney – hits bail hs, not quite there on her cast handstands, but sticks her tuck full this time, which they needed from her. (9.825)
5. Wong -They need a hit from her this week, good first hs, absolutely lovely jaeger and bail hs, great so far, just the dismount, stuck/near-stuck DLO that was slightly Shayla-ed. Very nice. That’s what she is capable of. (9.900)
6. Zam -She needs to hit like her 9.9 self to take the lead over OSU, her handstands might be a religion, I still don’t love her leg separation on the bail hs, still not quite getting that DLO – hunching and a hop. Fine, but they need her to dismount better. (9.900)
Rotation 1 score: UCLA 49.200, Oregon State 49.100
Just an average first rotation from both teams. Oregon State lacked dynamics in the first four vaults, but the last two were strong and saved the score. UCLA started tight again on bars, but Danusia is improving and Wong hit very well, which are two crucial developments. Larson’s routine was a disappointment, and Courtney has shown better handstands in past seasons.
Bars isn’t the strength that it used to be for Oregon State, but they still have Stambaugh. It’s a similar story for UCLA on vault, but they still have Zam. UCLA needs these landings to get a highly positive score. UCLA can’t step for 9.875 through a rotation the way they have some years in the past. The likes of Baer, MDLT, and McDonald must stick to go into the high 9.8s.
Stambaugh fingertips her piked jaeger in the warmup, but it’s high and brilliant.Wong warming up on vault today, but she may be alternate/exhibition. Is Chris Waller having a psychotic episode? Oh, nevermind, he’s being that thing people call “excited.” I get those confused. Mattie is massaging our vaulters. Oh, remember when Mattie’s job during the vault rotation was competitor instead of massage expert?
Oregon State bars
1. Blalock – piked jaeger could use a bit more lift, slightly short on her bail hs, sticks tuck full, good start but the handstands can improve. (9.800)
2. McGregor – good shaposh and bail hs to start, solid straight DLO with a stuck landing. OSU is starting well on bars. Clean, regular. (9.875)
3. Tang – late full turn early in the rotation, rushing a bit in her handstands, hop in place on the tuck full landing. Solid routine. (9.800)
4. Aufiero -good tkatchev, step on double back, a few very minor handstand issues, but a hit routine. (9.800)
5. Harris -good first hs and bail hs, clean, piked a little in her DLO saltos and a step forward. Strong routine overall. (9.850)
6. Stambaugh -fingertips her piked jaeger again but gets it, sticks her tuck full, very nice ending, and they should be easily in the lead after this event. (9.900)
1. McDonald – near-sticks her yfull but steps twice into the salute. Fine overall, but they needed a stick from her so they could drop Pritchett’s vault. (9.750)
2. Pritchett – still in the lineup – just the one step on landing this time, legs and lack of amplitude, piked landing. MDLT must have been struggling to come out of the lineup and has ice on her shoulder now. Oh boy. (9.725)
3. Wong – fine yfull, not the disaster it is every once in a while, needs more distance, pikes, takes a step. Just OK, but three lacking vaults to start. (9.825)
4. Baer – must get a bigger score to get this rotation into the acceptable range. Sticks her landing. Much better than the others in landing and much better than her vaults last year. Legs apart on landing and on block, pikes a little. (9.825)
5. Courtney – Good power on her yfull it appeared based on the height, but she comes in very unexpectedly short and takes a step forward. A weak vault from her. This is a very flat rotation, not just because of landings but because of flight as well. (9.650)
6. Zam – She has to do something to save this mess of a rotation, hop back worth .100 on her yfull. Wonderful as always, but they needed a stick from her. Nothing to take except for the landing, obviously. (9.900)
Rotation 2 score: Oregon State 98.325, UCLA 98.225 (Rotation 2: Oregon State 49.225, UCLA 49.025)
Chris Waller is giving UCLA a speech. They need it. That was a very weak vault rotation from UCLA except for Zamarripa. Something has to be done about the lineup, even though the vaults probably don’t exist, because this is not a nationally competitive rotation on account of the first few spots. Specific to this week, though, they gave away too much on landing, lacked dynamics, and had the mistake from Courtney. Oregon State really excelled in those landings on bars, which helped make up for a lot of the low amplitude and missed handstands in some of the early routines.
It’s a big test coming up for Oregon State on beam, and UCLA needs some of those Courtney and Zamarripa 9.9s on floor that they have been getting at home. Val is shaking her head. Me too.
Uh oh, Courtney is off floor. Something likely happened on that rough vault landing.
Oregon State beam
1. Blalock – bhs + loso + bhs, she was offline a bit but because she ended with a bhs it was fine. If that last bhs had been a loso it would have been a fall. Not a ton in this routine but she hits the gainer full. Low risk routine. (9.775)
2. Stambaugh – This has always been a struggle for Stambaugh, but this year has been better. Clean aerial, very deliberate work. Slight correction on full turn, again on the switch side, double full is good with a tiny hop. Some deductions but a hit. (9.825)
3. Ohlrich -hits loso series with some legs, wobble on her tuck jump full, getting it done but not quite solid, hits gainer full well. (9.800)
4. Harris -hits her front toss to bhs with a notable pause between the elements but whatever. Loso into gainer full with a step. Strong routine in places but will score close to what we’ve seen so far. (9.800)
5. Tang -Slight wobble on bhs at the end of her acro series, wolf turn, hitting securely now, sticks gainer full. This rotation is just OK with little difficulty.
6. Jones – Solid punch front with some cowboy action. So, everyone in the country has elected to be “this girl is on fire” for their beam routines. I don’t know who’s the most on fire. We need some kind of a fire chart. Hits layout full dismount. Strongest difficulty and by far the best routine. Competent rotation all considered. (9.900)
1. McDonald -good high double pike, flies far back on her loso out of the second pass but stays in, solid first two passes, that switch ring wasn’t there, a little ragged legs on the rudi but a fine hit for the first routine. (9.750)
2. Wong – bounces pretty far out of the mount, just saves the front layout after the front full but deductions aplenty. I’m glad she’s in this lineup, though. Hits her dance well, does some layout stepouts as choreography, good dismount at least. (9.725)
3. Bynum – hits the double pike, also slightly short on her front full front layout but better than Wong’s mistake, her dance elements are deduction-worthy, nowhere close on double back dismount again and takes a fall. That’s the third time that has happened, I think. Zam’s face is not in a good place right now. This is a poor meet for UCLA, and beam hasn’t even happened yet. (9.175)
4. Francis -She looks very nervous, coming into the lineup in the fourth position. At least the choreography is brilliant, so we can enjoy that part, low on double pike but very secure landing, Third routine in a low that has an underrotated front layout in the middle pass, somewhere in between Wong and Bynum in severity. Goes OOB on double back. This is the meet we’re going to decide to forget. Uh oh, Val is putting on her fake smile. We know it’s a problem when that comes out. I’m more scared of that than her angry face. (9.525)
5. Pritchett – Her usual 9.850 is going to seem like magic for this team today, hits her tuck full and has no problems with the front layout middle pass – the first one to hit that, low on double pike but it’s a hit that will score in the 9.8s. EHH is coaching her on the sideline. Can we get her a series of masks or something so that she can come in for at least four of these floor workers? (9.850)
6. Zam – bounces a little out of her double pike mount, she’s done that much better. Still, this should be a saving routine. Maybe it won’t quite be like UCLA is counting a fall if she hits the rest of this routine. Stuck rudi dismount. (9.875)
Rotation 3 score: Oregon State 147.500, UCLA 146.950 (Rotation 3: Oregon State 49.175, UCLA 48.700)
There’s not a whole lot to say about UCLA on floor, or at least that I want to say about UCLA on floor. It was a lack of proficient tumbling 1-4, and then adequate performances from Pritchett and Zamarripa that seemed world-changing by comparison. They need DeJesus and Courtney back on this event, for sure. Oregon State hit beam in a rotation that was very 9.800. Each routine had a few wobbles and a gainer full dismount and was just sort of there. For a team that has struggled on beam for years, though, that must be the strategy, and it worked for a 49.175.
Oregon State is in line for a strong score and just needs to hold on during floor. UCLA is in the pressure-filled situation of needing an amazing beam rotation to save even an adequate score like 196.
Oregon State floor
1. Witherby – opens with a tuck full, a little low but strong, slight lack of control on her front layout out of the second pass but nothing near the struggles of UCLA, low double pike to finish. (9.750)
2. Tang – front 1.5 to start, and it’s strong, slightly crunched in her double pike, 1.5 + layout to finish. Solid, fine, professional. (9.825)
3. Harris -back 2.5 mount, solid landing, double pike middle pass, she always looks like she’s coming into her tumbling too low, but she pulls it around. (9.800)
4. Blalock – crazy bounce out of her front 1.5 mount, flew about 150 feet in the air and fell on her back. That was bizarre. What was she trying to do out of that skill besides fly into space? Pretty strong after that. (9.350)
5. Jones -Great 2.5 + front 1/2 to open, and another floaty layout stepout later. She gained major cred in floor finals last year, and she’s building on it. She may have even earned the right to strut and call it choreo, which only the best floor workers are allowed to do. Great routine. (9.900)
6. Stambaugh -wonderful high 2.5, good landing, very nice work in these last two spots for Oregon State, strong rudi finish. (9.950)
1. Baer – (they showed a replay of her botched dismount in warmup – ouchie but she’s fine), good straddle and split positions, which are her strength, just barely hangs onto her side somi with a major check, hits her dismount with a stuck, low landing. (9.775)
2. Wong -good aerial, little correction on the bhs connected out of it, strong switch side, another little correction on the full turn, sticks 1.5. Good job. (9.850)
3. Larson -good switch split, but comes off on a back handspring out of her aerial. This poor girl. It’s like every fall devastates her just a little bit more and she looks just that much more drained and over it. Piked gainer dismount. (9.200)
4. Zamarripa -they need her usual clean hit. Wobble on the onodi, hits aerial and loso series perfectly, just the dismount left, almost sticks her double full but had to hop and step to salute. (9.850)
5. Francis – big check on her split jump (fall on a bhs from Larson, wobble on a split jump from Francis in this rotation so far), hits aerial well. Sticks her layout full dismount. Saved it well after the wobble early, so it should be a fine score. (9.850)
6. McDonald – So many people are out for UCLA that they’re just looking for a hit from someone who can do a routine in this final spot. Hits loso series, nice side somi. She’s looking secure, nice attitude turn, step forward on 1.5. Great job for a non-beamer coming on in an unexpected position. Good for her. (9.800)
Final scores: Oregon State 196.725 UCLA 196.075 The words of the day for UCLA are depleted and defeated. Looking at this team, if they were fully healthy (including Peszek and Lee), they would be a force. However, they are having to put in too many people who aren’t ready to be in lineups or shouldn’t be in lineups at all. Hopefully it’s nothing serious that took Courtney out of floor because otherwise that might be the final blow for UCLA. There was no doubt today that this team is just Zamarripa trying to carry all the weight. They can’t let her do that. She’s so frail. Note that we saw a grand total of ONE score over 9.850 from someone not named Zamarripa (Wong’s excellent bars routine). It’s disappointing to see because this team should be so much better than this.
Oregon State looked perfectly fine and had some good Stambaugh and Jones routines to bring each rotation into positive territory. Being clean enough and hitting was enough to win by a landslide today. We saw five 9.9s, which is important progress for them. Still, most of these other routines are just 9.800-y, which will not cut it down the road. If they can build on this, though, they can be a top 12 team.