Saturday Live Blog – March 6, 2021

Saturday, March 6
Scores Stream
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT – North Carolina @ William & Mary LINK FREE
2:00pm ET/11:00am PT – [19] Illinois @ [17] Iowa LINK BTN+
4:00pm ET/1:00pm PT – NC State @ New Hampshire LINK FREE
5:00pm ET/2:00pm PT – [10] UCLA @ [9] Cal LINK FREE
6:00pm ET/3:00pm PT – Arizona @ [7] Arizona State LINK FREE

The main thing we learned about the code yesterday is that controlled landings are no longer required if your first pass is a full-in, so I expect that to be maintained throughout every meet today. All that matters is that you did it and we’re so proud of you for trying, so we want to give you a 10 to make us all feel warm and gooey. Who cares if someone else is doing the exact same thing for 9.875? She’s not in front of us right now and therefore does not exist.

Onward and upward to Illinois and Iowa. I mentioned in the rankings post this week that Iowa’s score-scape could really use some similar drugs right now because the solid 196s that got the team into the top 10 a few weeks ago are now basically garbage scores because anyone who’s anyone gets a 197 for every cough. Though it will be tough to improve the current setup this week because Iowa already has two strong home scores of 196.800 and 196.775. So today would have to be better than that to count. Illinois, meanwhile, has a 196.075 to get rid of and could even pass Iowa in the rankings with a huge score today.

Current pace: this meet will be starting in the year 2046.

Rotation 1

Tolan – VT – Iowa – good control on her Yfull landing, pikes down some to find the landing, some dynamics deductions – 9.750

Borden – UB – Illinois – jaeger to overshoot, hit, leg break on overshoot catch – short cast hs – blind to front 1.5, hop back, small. Solid, some verticals, some leg breaks. 9.750

Greenwald – VT – Iowa – medium hop back on yfull, better distance than Tolan and less piking, still not the hightest vaults. 9.750

Biondi – UB – Illinois – short first hs – blind to jaeger, hit – bail, good vertical – shorter on her cast handstands – DLO, good control chest down. 9.825

Kenlin – VT – Iowa – large bounce back on her yfull, best height and layout position so far. 9.825

O’Donnell – UB – Illinois – blind to jaeger, hit, good toes – better vertical positions here – small looseness in bail catch, hits vertical – giant full, late, into double tuck, stuck. 9.900

Guerin – VT – Iowa – they did not cut to her vault in time – good control on her full, small piking. 9.800

Takekawa – UB – Illinois – blind to piked jaeger, low but caught – bail, good vertical position – some hip angle in final cast – DLO, pikes a little, step back. 9.775

Killian – VT – Iowa – bounce back similar size to Kenlin, good amplitude and distance, biggest full of the group. 9.800

Ewald – UB – Illinois – short first hs – blind to jaeger, hit – pak, nice height there – late 1/2 turn on low bar – some short casts FTDT, step back, maybe another small step to meet it. 9.825

Henderson – VT – Iowa – medium bounce back on her yfull today – the rest of it is excellent – elegant layout position, great power. 9.875

Mizuki – UB – Illinois – blind to piked jaeger and falls. Damn. That piked jaeger was so lovely in the air. Took it too far.

So we’ll have Illinois at 49.075 to Iowa’s 49.050 after the first rotation.

Iowa had a fine collection of fulls, though the ones with the best form and dynamics didn’t stick, while the flatter vaults had good control, so everyone was sort of stuck in the same range. Illinois no major issues to count on bars, routines pretty clean, but a lot of short and borderline cast handstands that can take those scores down.

Amelia Knight did exhibition bars, a very viable routine that probably would have outscored some of the counters in the lineup.

Scores now say Illinois bars at 49.150. Not sure whose score got raised, or if they accidentally counted Knight’s exhibition score. Ah ha ha.

Rotation 2

Waight – VT – Illinois – y1/2, lands short, fairly large lunge back. 9.600

Tolan – UB – Iowa – jaeger to overshoot is hit – giant full to double tuck, struggles on double tuck, large bounce back. 9.650

Mueller – VT – Illinois – hits a full, bounces back, knees throughout, slightly flight, fine. I enjoy that they’re all announcing her as Takekawa. Like, look at her. 9.775

Greenwald – UB – Iowa – tkatchev, catches, some loose form – nice pak, legs together – 1/2 turn on low, a bit late – good final cast hs – DLO, stuck landing. 9.775

Biondi – VT – illinois – another Y1/2, hit but another large lunge forward – better form and distance than Waight though. 9.800

They’re doubling down on Mueller actually being Takekawa. OK. Good.

Henderson – UB – Iowa – toe on to maloney to bail, some leg breaks there – overbalances handstand on high bar and has to recorrect and recast and add some extra swings – good FTDT, hop back. Her overcast made Larissa do a little frustration twirl. 9.100

Townes – VT – Illinois – hits a very good Y1.5 – small shuffle back and some knees. 9.825. Accurate score. Would have been 9.925 last night.

Steffensmeier – UB – Iowa – good first hs – blind to jaeger piked, clean – pak, nice amplitude there – struggles on 1/2 turn on low bar, has to recast to get her 1/2 turn and then it was a little late – giant full to double tuck, chest down, hop.

Iowa giving this one away on bars.

Oh 9.750 for Steffensmeier is a gift for that mistake. Basically getting the same score as the hits.

O’Donnell – VT – Illinois – very large bounce back on yfull. 9.700

Kaji – UB – Iowa – blind to jaeger, hit – pak, good legs together, quite archy – solid final cast hs, earlier had a short one – DLO, slide back. Good. 9.800

Powe – VT – Illinois – has to pike down her yfull more than the others – gets a little soft on the vault – good height. 9.750

Kenlin – UB – Iowa – toe on to maloney to pak, great form, legs together – toe full to double tuck, stuck landing. Toe full was actually pretty solidly finished in vertical, better than most giant fulls we see. 9.875

48.850 for Illinois on vault. Some great work from Townes but the rest of the lineup was pretty flat with some large lunges.

Iowa does the same on bars, which is a daring escape as they had a fall from Henderson, a 9.650 from Tolan and a re-cast error from Steffensmeier. Still very much in the meet, though the hopes for a high score are dwindling.

After 2: Illinois 97.925, Iowa 97.900

Rotation 3

Henderson – BB – Iowa – good full turn – bhs loso series, leg-up check, pulls it back – cat leap to switch side, a little crooked on switch position – double tuck dismount, hit it, chest down with a hop forward. 9.700

Ewald -FX – Illinois – rudi to loso, control, some leg crossing in rudi – wolf jump 1.5 – split leap full to jump full, well short of 180 – front full to layout, just a tad short with a small slide – good control on tumbling, main thing will be dance element positions. 9.725

Castle – BB – Iowa – bhs loso, hit, small arm wave choreo to cover any checking – front tuck, deep landing but works through it into beat jump – cat hop to switch side, short switch side but major credit for actually trying on the element into it – 1.5 dismount, stuck. 9.725

Noonan – FX – Illinois – front 2/1, solid, legs slightly crossed – rudi, hit secure but a little shifty with that front foot – switch ring to split leap full, solid positions – back 1.5 to layout, hit but got quite flat on the layout. 9.800

Nick – BB – Iowa – bhs loso series, secure, good height, soft position on bhs though – cat leap to aerial to beat, smooth extended aerial – swtich to split, gets a little low on those – 1.5, stuck. Very solid work. 9.825

Biondi – FX – Illinois – double pike, show strong control – front lay to front full, slide forward out of it, some knees – switch side to wolf jump full, again good positions shown there – double tuck, chest farther down on that one but controlled. 9.825

Killian – BB – Iowa – bhs loso series, large break, bend at the hips to keep it on – front tuck, secure, higher landing position – switch to switch, gets a little low on second switch position, check – 2/1, small movement. 9.750

Townes – FX – Illinois – front 2/1, good height, crossover step but keeps it small – wolf jump 1.5, gets it around – 1.5 to front full, again shows the amplitude necessary to do it, some legs – split leap full to popa, nice rise on that popa, split leap a little short. Strong work. 9.825

Kaji – BB – Iowa – bhs loso, nailed, strong form – cat leap to side aerial, hit – split jump to split jump 3/4, arm wave correction – bhs gainer full. Good work. 9.900. I like that there was enough room to reward her superior form despite the balance check, while still taking for it.

Timothee Chalamet doing the timing behind beam with the shaky legs is making me tense.

Mueller – FX – Illinois – double pike, secure landing – front lay to front full, solid control shown, slightly soft – switch 1/2 to wolf full, nice positions there – double tuck, bounce back. 9.825

Kenlin – BB – Iowa – bhs loso series, strong work – switch to split, great 180s – cat leap to aerial to beat, good leg extension on aerial, smallllll lean adjustment – bhs bhs 1.5, rises up on toes to hold it. 9.925

Scott – FX – Illinois – front 2/1, crossover step – switch ring to split leap full, clear split and finishing positions shown on that full, very satisfying – 1.5 to layout, hit – rudi, controlled, some leg crossing. 9.850

Iowa and Illinois both go 49.125 in the third rotation to keep this thing very close. Pretty work from Kaji and Kenlin there, though Iowa did have some shakier routines earlier to keep the score from being huge.

Illinois leads 147.050 to 147.025 going to the final event, though major edge to Iowa now because Iowa’s final event is floor.

Meanwhile, North Carolina went just 194.875 today, which does not help the regionals qualification picture.

Rotation 4

So apparently this meet also doesn’t count toward the Big Ten standings for some reason. What is this life?

Townes – BB – Illinois – switch to straddle 1/4, short back leg on switch, arm wave on landing – kickover, another little arm wave – bhs loso series, small squeeze lean – cat leap to sdei aerial to tuck full, stuck. 9.800

Killian – FX – Iowa – “tall and bouncy” OK? – 3/1, some knees, controls the step – front full to front tuck – switch side to popa, a little tight on popa position – double tuck, chest up, controlled landing. 9.800

Borden – BB – Illinois – aerial to fhs to straddle 1/4, a small pause after the aerial today – full turn, nice – beat to sheep – punch front lay full dismount, short with a bounce back. 9.800

Castle – FX – Iowa – double pike, large bounce back right into the corner – wolf hop full to switch side to wolf full, under on some of those positions – rudi, control there – 1.5 to layout, hit. 9.750

Biondi – BB – Illinois – bhs loso series, secure, solid layout position – switch to stag ring, great actual ring positions shown there – side aerial, step back to control the landing – 1.5, a bit short, step back. 9.875

Greenwald – FX – Iowa – full-in, strong landing, keeps front foot down (he subtweets) – switch side to popa, a little short of position on her popa – 2.5 to front tuck, hit, some leg crossing in 2.5. Good. 9.875

Noonan – BB – Illinois – bhs loso series, hit, good toe point – full turn, overturned some with a small check – switch to gainer loso, sall check, good switch position – beat to stag ring, another check – none large but adding up – gainer full, stuck. 9.800

Kaji – FX – Iowa – 1.5 through to double tuck, secure landing – double pike, also solid landing, some foot flexing there – switch 1/2 to split full, nicely done – strong routine. 9.925

Takekawa – BB – Illinois – side aerial to bhs, smoothly done – switch, small hesitation into loso, good positions – full turn – bhs gainer full, shuffle back. 9.900

Henderson – FX – Iowa – full in, bounce back – switch side to popa to straddle, nice positions, good lift into them – front tuck through to double tuck, good control, chest up, nice. Good routine. 9.925.

Scott – BB – Illinois – kickover with a small check into bhs, a check afterward, a combination decision to make there – switch, another larger check, bend and arm wave – cat leap to aerial, good extension on aerial – switch to split to try to get her dance combo, another larger check – gainer full, stuck. Got through it but enough wobbles that that will be the drop score.

Guerin – FX – Iowa – full in, great height, controls landing – switch side to popa to straddle, clear finishing positions – front tuck through to double tuck, keeps front foot down. Good work. 9.900.

I’m not saying Henderson and Guerin’s routines were better than the 10s and 9.975s we saw last night but yes I am saying that.

FINAL: Iowa 196.450, Illinois 196.225.

Iowa won’t count that home score. That number will improve Illinois’s NQS by a smidge, enough to get into a tie with Missouri after this week.

There were a couple scores here and there where I went “huh?” which is normal, but if I could bottle that judging and apply it to every meet, everything would be so much better. Those scores made sense within the NCAA scoring construct that we’re allegedly supposed to be working.

Lineups: Cal has Watterson in the bars group instead of George and has Li on as floor anchor. UCLA is returning Wright to the vault lineup.

I hadn’t seen these family introductions for Cal.

The pronunciations of Schank and Byun are blowing my mind.

Kristen Smyth sighting.

Oh, Jiani didn’t really get the assignment did she?

Rotation 1

Schank – VT – Cal – good height and open on her full, medium slide back. 9.800

Campbell – UB – UCLA – maloney to bail, small leg breaks on both – solid final cast hs – blind to double front, cowboys it around, only a small hop. 9.875

Bordas – VT – Cal – bounce back on her full, larger bounce than Schank – some pike, good direction. 9.800

Kooyman – UB – UCLA – short first hs – maloney to pak, leg breaks – 1/2 turn on low bar, late turn this week – better final cast hs – DLO, a bit forward, hop. 9.825, pretty high

Clausi – VT – Cal – still going for the full, good one, clear layout position, small hop back. 9.800. I would have bumped that one a touch higher than the first two vaults.

Ulias – UB – UCLA – toe 1/2 to jaeger, lovely, some elbows on catch – hs look good – toe on – bail, gets to vertical – stalder to double tuck, good rhythm on stalder connection this week but double tuck was somewhat short with a hop forward. 9.875

George – VT – Cal – very strong control on her landing, smallest foot movement. 9.900

Esparza – UB – UCLA – maloney to pak, nice leg form – a little short on some of these casts – strong van leeuwen – DLO, tries to sell the landing but ends up with a pretty big hop back-salute. 9.850

DeSouza – VT – Cal – very solid landing on her Y1.5 – nearly shows the stick, hops out into salute, some knees. 9.925.

Dennis – UB – UCLA – good first hs – maloney to bail, gets to vertical on bail, a little pike in the process – cast positions best so far – DLO, a little flat this week, bounce back. 9.900

Li – VT – Cal – less control than the last couple times, pretty large bounce back and some piking. 9.800

Frazier – UB – UCLA – maloney to pak, pretty pak – good casts – van leeuwen, nice legs together – a little tight on final cast hs, lovely stick on DLO. Nice work. 9.950

After 1: UCLA 49.450, Cal 49.225

Cal had a couple strong vaults in there from DeSouza and George, didn’t really bring the landings on the remaining fulls to get them out of the 9.8 zone. A number of full tenth bounces there.

UCLA comes up with a big bars number, scoring there looks soft so far, especially for some of those early leg break and form issues. Handstands got better there toward the end of the lineup.

Steele falls on her dismount in exhibition, so not busting her way back into that lineup.

Rotation 2

Tratz – VT – UCLA – good control this week, small hop back on full, some pike, good distance. 9.800. Every yfull is just 9.800 don’t worry.

DeSouza – UB – Cal – blidn to piked jaeger to overshoot, good height, nice final cast hs – FTDT, some legs, a bit chest forward with a slide-salute. 9.900. Softer bars than vault scoring trend looks to be continuing.

Poston – VT – UCLA – handspring pike 1/2, one of her better controlled landings, chest well down but solid, small movement. 9.875

Li – UB – small arch in first hs – pretty pak – great hs on low bar – van leeuwen, good legs – giant full to double tuck, stuck landing. VERY clean work. 9.925

Frazier – VT – UCLA – continues improving her control – smaller slide back on yfull – still clear piking throughout. 9.825

Schank – Ub – Cal – good first hs – blind to piked jaeger to overshoot, strong work – small arch on final cast, pulls it back – DLO, near stick, ends up with an arm wave and a little step. 9.950

It’s a 10.000/9.900 split. I think someone didn’t keep watching that dismount? Strategic jumping from Janelle to eclipse the judge? Because that was not a stick. Guys. Guys.

Wright – VT – UCLA – saves her Y1.5 – a short landing and a lunge back to control it – knee bending. 9.775

Bordas – UB – Cal – blind to jaeger to overshoot, huge – solid final cast hs – giant full to double tuck, stuck landing. Great. 9.975. Scores are a-flying todayyyy.

Dennis – VT – UCLA – greatttt yfull. Stuck landing. That’s the one. Leg form clearer from this angle, but nailed it. 9.925

Watterson – UB – Cal – pak, good, small leg break – good hs on low – toe on to van leeuwen, great leg positions – toe full to double tuck, stuck. Well, that was 80000x better than her touch warmup.

Campbell – VT – UCLA – FANTASTIC Yfull, huge, stuck. No problem with a 9.950 for that. (Which is why it’s a problem that one judge went 9.950 for Dennis because this one was better.) Yep. 9.950.

Celebrations lead me to believe that Watterson got a 10?

And she did. Well. So, I mean, these are really good routines, very clean, but these scores are also some fancyyyy times. I’m literally just sitting here cackling at this point. At least her 10 did not have an obvious landing deduction cough cough.

Kuc – UB – Cal – she’s back! Maloney to pak, good form – 1/2 turn on low, very precise – good cast hs on high – FTDT, stuck landing.

So basically, UCLA’s bar rotation was really softly evaluated, and then Cal did better, so they were like “HI I GUESS EVERY ROUTINE IS A 10”

Cal just did a very clean, well-executed, legitimate 49.5+ bars rotation with nailed handstands throughout. But it scored 49.775, so that was an experience.

After 2: Cal 99.050, UCLA 98.825

OK so everything is perfect. Although I have no problem with a perfect 9.950 for Campbell’s vault or scores over 9.9 for the bars routines from Li, Bordas, Watterson, and maybe Kuc. Really good stuff.

They’re re-showing Watterson’s 10. Yeah, it’s super clean. Vertical handstands. Great work. Best of the rotation. You also had to go 10 if you already gave Schank a 10 for a non-stick.

Ok now Cal’s bars score is 49.825 after Li got raised to 9.975. I CANNOT. That was one where I was like, “Yeah I can go with 9.925 for that…”

Rotation 3

Oh there’s still more.

Clausi – BB – Cal – kickover to beat, solidly worked through, a little deep on kickover – bhs los, small lean correction – cat leap to switch side, somewhat crooked position – side aerial to tuck full, stuck. 9.850. Oh, we’re back to earth now?

Andres – FX – UCLA – 2.5 to front tuck, lunge out – double tuck is a struggle, short landing, large lunge forward – switch 1/2 to popa, popa not quitte around, a little hop on landing – switch leap, nice position. 9.775.

I’m concerned about what 9.8 judge is going to do for the rest of the meet.

DeSouza – BB – Cal – aerial, check, brings her foot back behind her – bhs loso series, secure – beat to sheep, small pause to straddle jump, not quite the closure on sheep jump – 1.5, near stick, small slide back. 9.900. Oh dear it’s starting again.

Wright – FX – UCLA – back 2.5, some better control, slightly soft knees – rudi to double stag, double stag travels wellll back toward the corner – split leap full to popa, clear finish positions – 1.5 to front layout, solid pass. 9.875. Uh oh. Nia just got a 50.

Li – BB – Cal – aerial to beat jump, clean, pretty extension – bhs loso series, secure landing, a touch of knees in bhs, good extended loso – full turn, nice – switch ring, not good, didn’t hit her ring position and a large break to keep herself on the beam – gainer pike, hop back. I’d give switch split instead of switch ring there, so we’ll see what happens. 9.625.

Tratz – FX – UCLA – double pike, secure landing – switch ring to split leap full – back 1.5 to layout, crisp extended layout shape there – double tuck, solid, chest just a bit down – 9.950 SURE WHY NOT.

George – BB – Cal – aerial to back tuck, pretty smoothly connected, some knees in aerial – wolf double, solid – hitch kick, good – beat to split ring jump, nice and solid, hit position – gainer full, can’t hold the stick, small step. But good one. 9.900

Frazier – FX – UCLA – whip through to double tuck, controls her step back – double pike, just a tad short, covers on landing – split leap full to popa to popa is still not my favorite composition choice because it makes her look like she’s bad at leaps. She’s not bad at them. Some short positions there. 9.925

Bordas – BB – Cal – hitch kick to aerial to split jump, small hesitation before split jump but probably close enough – bhs loso, small check – switch to split, nice 180 on split jump – bhs gainer full, a leannnnn-squeeze to try to hold that stick but looks like she does it. 9.900

Campbell – FX – UCLA – front 2/1, very solid control on that pass, unusual for a front 2/1, nice – split leap full to popa, good height – double tuck, pretty much under control, maybe small movement – front lay to front full, strong. Well, that was the best so far for me. 9.925. Alright?

Watterson – BB – Cal – wolf turn double, nice – bhs loso series, nicely done – switch to split leap, great back leg positions shown there – cat leap to side aerial to full, slide back. Really nice. Confident beam. She’s having a day. 9.950.

A 49.500 for Cal on beam. I’m beyond language.

Dennis – FX – UCLA – front loso through to double tuck, a little short, step – front lay to front full and a lunge forward OOB – NIAAAAA you were set up for that 10…. – You could see her trying to think of ways to fake control that landing but there was no way to avoiud the OOB – rudi to a straddle jump and travels. Not a strong one for her.

Dennis goes 9.625, so UCLA will be at 49.450 on floor to Cal’s 49.500 on beam.

After 3: Cal 148.550, UCLA 148.275

Current status: Cal needs to score 49.150 on floor to set an all-time program record.

Cal turned into Oklahoma so gradually we didn’t even notice

Rotation 4

Poston – BB – UCLA – beat to straddle jump 3/4, solid – bhs loso loso and falls. Kendal didn’t get the memo that everyone’s supposed to get 199s today – 1.5, stuck. Good finish. 9.075

Quinn – FX – Cal – front lay to rudi, very well controlled landing, just some knees – switch side to popa, good straddles, overturns switch side position – double back, good, a little steppy. Solid. 9.900

Sakti – BB – UCLA – “Samantha Sekai” – nice loso loso combo today – leaps, solid 180 positions – side somi, holds it – side aerial to full, holds the stick with a somewhat deep squat. Nice work. 9.925

DeSouza – FX – Cal – double pike, controls front foot, chest somewhat down – switch side to popa, nice straddle positions – back 1.5 to front full, pretty solid leg positions – rudi, small slide back. 9.875

Esparza – BB – UCLA – full turn with a check – bhs loso series, solid, good leg positions – switch to straddle 1/4 – aerial and checks out of it, cannot connect into beat jump, huh, looked like she had it but then checked trying to beat – side aerial to full, low but stuck. I assume she needed that combo for SV. 9.675 will have to count.

Clausi – FX – Cal – double pike, a little deep, slide back – switch side to wolf full, to beat – 1.5 to layout, nice rise in layout – double tuck, hit under control, chest somewhat down. Secure routine, some chest position and knee things. 9.900

Dennis – BB – UCLA – bhs loso series and falls – oof, UCLA was going to have a strong road score today but has fallen apart on beam – lunge forward on 1.5 dismount. Still gets 9.350, because the judging of this meet had to keep up its reputation even with falls.

Bordas – FX – Cal – double tuck, very solid landing – 1.5 to front lay, whips aroudn the front lay a little with a slide – switch to ring 1/2 to wolf, pretty good – rudi, secure landing. 9.875

Frazier – BB – UCLA – switch to switch, hits her switch positions – aerial, leannn into back tuck but they’ll probably give her acro series because today and also college gymnastics – side aerial, hit – gainer front full, small hop. A hit. Frazier has evolved into someone who can get the beam rotation back on track, which wouldn’t have always been the case. 9.825

George – FX – Cal – front 2/1 to front tuck, keeps back foot down – switch ring to split leap full, very strong positions as always – rudi, another secure landing, chest a little forward – good work. 9.950. Obviously.

Campbell – BB – UCLA – wolf double, hit – bhs loso series, nice extension, hit – switch with a check before split jump, broken combination – switch 1/2 to beat, hit – gaienr full, stuck.

Cal will be over 198 with George’s score.

Li – Cal – FX – pike full in attempt and does it right to all fours and rolls around for a while afterward. That was a “WE ALREADY GOT A 198” anchor routine. Front full to layout.

Campbell’s 9.825 means UCLA goes to 196.875, and this will still be a counting score for them, though it should have been a season high based on how the everything was going.

FINAL: Cal 198.050, UCLA 196.875

A Nicki Shapiro beam exhibition is what I needed right now. And she hits her series and a lovely switch switch combination and dribbles a basketball in the middle of her routine. Side aerial with a large break.

Oh also Cal set a program record beam score. That got lost in all of this.

Basically, Cal had an excellent meet. We’ve also seen them do this same thing before (maybe not QUITE so strong on bars) for like a 197.2 or 197.3. The difference here was that they got famous-team scoring.

UCLA was doing pretty well through most fo the meet. Had some highlights like Campbell’s vault. Was enjoying the score-scape. And then beam happened, and it wasn’t good. Chalk UCLA up as a team that may end up as a #3 regionals seed that no one wants to have to be around because UCLA.

150 thoughts on “Saturday Live Blog – March 6, 2021”

  1. I love that Iowa is mediocre on 3 events and then the second coming on FX.

  2. Iowa is going to get robbed of a seeded spot at regionals, their floor and the back half of bars and beam is amazing. I swear to god if Georgia makes it instead…

    1. The Georgia hate has completely gotten out of hand. Do people honestly think a team with Magee, Oakley, Baumann, De Jong, Roberts, Nguyen, and Hawthorne can’t score well? If Georgia is healthy and consistent, they can compete with just about anyone outside of maybe the top 3-4 teams. They are certainly a team capable of legitimately going 197.

      I’m a Bama fan and hate to admit it, but I just don’t get why people hate college athletes so much in a sport like gymnastics. It used to be Utah and now it’s Georgia. And Georgia athletes haven’t even done or said anything crazy to create hate (unlike athletes on social media for other teams).

      1. I totally agree, I think Georgia has been underperforming but they have some solid lineups.

      2. Out of hand?


        What is out of hand is the constant ridiculous over scoring of a mediocre team.

        People are tired of it.

        They were not a 198 team at the 2019 regionals but because of host bonus points they placed ahead of Cal and Kentucky who were both better teams that day, robbing Cal of their rightful place at Nationals.

        It’s not the athletes who have done anything wrong and we don’t hate them. We hate the program itself for what it has become.

        Also thanks for the laugh. How many years has it been that I keep hearing “IF Georgia is healthy AND consistent.” HA!

  3. CAL Lineup Announcement 3/6/21:

    VAULT: Nina Schank, Maya Bordas, Milan Clausi, Kyana George, Nevaeh DeSouza, Andi Li.
    BARS: Nevaeh DeSouza, Maya Green, Andi Li, Nina Schank, Maya Bordas, Emi Watterson.
    BEAM: Milan Clausi, Nevaeh DeSouza, Andi Li, Kyana George, Maya Bordas, Emi Watterson.
    FLOOR: Grace Quinn, Nevaeh DeSouza, Milan Clausi, Maya Bordas, Kyana George, Andi Li.
    ALL-AROUNDERS: Maya Bordas, Nevaeh DeSouza, Andi Li.

    Any surprises?


    UCLA Lineup Announcement 3/6/21:

    VAULT: Pauline Tratz, Kendal Poston, Marz Frazier, Sekai Wright, Nia Dennis, Chae Campbell.
    BARS: Chae Campbell, Savannah Kooyman, Sara Ulias, Frida Esparza, Nia Dennis, Marz Frazier.
    BEAM: Kendal Poston, Samantha Sakti, Frida Esparza, Nia Dennis, Marz Frazier, Chae Campbell.
    FLOOR: Emma Andres, Sekai Wright, Pauline Tratz, Marz Frazier, Chae Campbell, Nia Dennis.
    ALL-AROUNDERS: Nia Dennis, Marz Frazier, Chae Campbell.

    Any surprises?

  4. Kooyman’s UB scores can only have a value in dollars. She swings a 9.6 that goes 9.8. Ugh. Daddy must buy a lot of things for schools and judges.

    1. I had asked about her family and money a few weeks back and didn’t get an answer. So what is the deal with them?

    2. That’s a bit unnecessary. I agree that she is overscored, but to go so far as to say her father buy’s her scores is too far.

  5. Nice touch with the Cal gymnasts being introduced via videos from families.

    Andi Li was introduced by her mother, 1984 Olympic medalist gymnast Wu Jiani. (Andi’s father Li Yuejiu is also a 1984 Olympic medalist gymnast.) Her parents trained Nia Dennis before UCLA.

      1. I have no idea what currently may be happening re: investigation, but both her mom & her sister Anna we reported to USA Gymnastics for being abusive.

      2. Eventually ALL elite coaches will be under investigation by USAG and SafeSport.

    1. You mean that Miss Val didnt outfake Anna from being abusive?! Shocking, I though Miss Val was the saviour of ALL GYMNASTICS! /s

  6. it’s not like UCLA doesn’t have options so i will never understand why kooyman still is in that lineup

      1. Bit confused with whatever is going on with Norah – she been seen multiple times dancing around and looking totally fine – is her ankle really the problem here?

      2. Maybe dancing around and landing a bars dismount are different levels of impact.

    1. Kaly just fell on her dismount in exhibition, but I dont get why they dont use Taubman.

      1. I would rather watch Steele fall on her dismount than Kooyman any day. I know it may not be the best strategically, but whatever.

        Obviously the best option is just to get Flatley back.

    1. She’s baby Zam to me. Small stature, deliberate pace, gorgeous form.

  7. “Cal Berkeley” is misspelled on the scoreboard in the livestream and it is driving me crazy! You’d think they could spell the name of the home team.

    1. This year does not count for student athletes in terms of eligibility or time to complete eligibility so as far as I know they aren’t accepting red-shirts for that reason.

      1. Just popping in to note how mad it makes me that everyone competing this year gets an extra year, but not the 2020 seniors

    1. I don’t think it was that bad. Only Kooyman was blatantly overscored. The rest were even mild/normal in comparison to the LSU scoring yesterday

      1. Lsu was pretty evenly scored yesterday except for the non 10. Scores overall were pretty accurate. Today the scores in this meet are beyond wild

    2. Or, you know, PAC 12 scoring. I think PAC scoring has actually been a bit worse this year.

  8. Where is Taubman? If Steele isn’t going to make the lineup I don’t get why she isn’t there instead of Kooyman.

    Also any update on Flatley? I’m not expecting a FX at this point from her but even just getting in on UB would be incredible for their lineup. Campbell/Ulias/Flatley/Esparza/Dennis/Frazier would be competitive with the top bars lineups in the country.

    1. Taubman fell on her exhibition a few meets ago and Steele fell in her exhibition today. I suspect they’re just not ready, while Kooyman at least hits a routine, albeit with weak form.

  9. This Cal bars rotation is legit. If we’re going invoke SEC comparisons they look better top to bottom than anything I saw from the SEC recently.

    1. Agree that was a beautiful bars rotation! If they bring that to championships it could push them over Utah who is weaker on bars!

    2. I’d say the best lineups in the country are

      Vault: Oklahoma and Michigan

      Bars: Cal and Minnesota

      Beam: Utah and Florida

      Floor: LSU and Iowa

      1. Agree but I’d add Alabama for vault. They have at least 5 10.0 vaults.

      2. LSU on vault with kamryn included in line up is the best IMO. Their Vaults are crazy good

  10. UCLA’s Campbell and Cal’s Watterson get perfect scores back to back!

  11. scores on bars a bit inflated (though no worse than anything in the SEC) but Cal really is fantastic on bars!

  12. Cal dropped a 9.900 on bars in a rotation where 3 routines received at least one 10.000 from a judge. Wow a tad bit of loose scoring, but they are crisp and clean and ready to compete UB.

  13. Where did these bar judges come from . . . Oklahoma? They are insanely high. Compared to the meets last night these scores are way over the top. Kooeyman had 5 leg steps. Nevia didn’t even stop her vault ulius had big movement on dismount. Right now both teams are about .3 overscored

    1. It seems like the “everything you can score, we can score higher” meet today. (Not complaining, tho. SEC started this cluster. )

  14. That bars rotation is not only a program record for Cal (a whole 2 tenths more than the previous one) but also triumphes Florida’s, LSU’s, Oklahoma’s, Utah’s program records on bars which is crazy (it matches Geogia’s and trails behind UCLA’s records). It was a brilliant but it was a bit overscored.

  15. Andy Li’s bar score just changed to a 9.975 on the live scores so now a 49.825? Anyone know why?

  16. the bar lineup for Cal was amazing but one judge giving four different girls 10’s is not right

    1. The judge backed herself into a corner when she scored the UCLA UB rotation much higher than she should have. The Cal rotation is that much better than UCLA that she had no choice.

  17. Emma Andres purposely unpoints her toes I guess. And walks in a tucked position.

  18. y’all were ready to crucify kiya johnson yesterday for her 10 but your okay with one judge giving 4 10’s for Cal’s bar lineup

    1. No one crucified Kiya Johnson. They complained about a blatant over scoring. You seem to feel its fair for it to be pointed out against Cal but not LSU.. Drama much?

      1. They are also pointing out the hypocrisy in some gym fans. There are a lot of commentators on this site always throwing out “SEC scoring” and either refusing to acknowledge that scoring is high everywhere this year (even in the B1G) or comment that it’s ok in the PAC because SEC is too high.

      2. You’re full of your own crap. They bitched incessantly about Johnson’s score, which was nothing much compared to the outrageous Cal scores. False equivalency BULLSHIT much?????

  19. Do you guys like hearing the floor music directly piped into the streaming feed as Cal streaming is doing? Or should they use more of an acoustic level that you’d hear if seated in the stadium?

    1. I’m fine with the music being piped to the stream, but I don’t have a strong opinion about it in general.

      I’ve actually thought the floor music played through the venue’s sound system at a bunch of meets has been unusually soft this season, including in at least one meet broadcast on tv. I assume it’s that schools aren’t blaring it at the same volume since they don’t need to worry about fan noise (or to worry about the music reaching every single audience seat).

  20. I saw the California bars rotation in their last meet and though they were underscored compared to the other high level teams I have watched.

    The scoring might have been a tad loose but I am happy with all them routines going 9.9 plus they are a fantastic team

    1. Of note, Cal was at Utah last week. Bars were a little off but scoring in Utah has generally been normal this year. Or, at least lower than other parts of the country. That evening session at Pac12’s is going to be something. May look up the judges for this meet on Road to Nationals to see if any will be at Pac12’s. Carol was there for sure today.

    2. Cal is routinely underscored (on bars at least) and although their scores were too high they’re nowhere near the insanity of LSU and Bama getting 10s for non-stuck landings or Alyona Shchennikova ever getting over a 9.8 on bars. Etc. Etc. All the SEC fans now incensed that Cal dare get overscored… are you kidding me?

  21. How much extra points would you give for competing with a mask on? 😉

  22. WTF on this scoring??? Spencer’s right, Nia should get a 50 on floor.

    1. Well, not even the SEC judges could ignore that OOB from her. She unfortunately almost ended up in Oregon.

  23. QUICK: Post your Cal team floor score prediction before the final rotation!

    1. 49.6 (or anything above 49.45 because they are definitely going to be given a cracky 198 today).

    2. I mean, floor is definitely their worst event, so I don’t see them going above 49.3 or so.

    3. I’ll go with a 49.45 which would give them a leisurely 198… But I can’t hate them for it as so many other teams have received major crack this season, I hope for a judging crack down before next season. If most of these judges are capable of taking deductions in L10 there is no reason they couldn’t at an NCAA meet.

  24. don’t kill me but if chae campbell got a 10 for that floor i wouldn’t be mad

    1. I wouldn’t be mad either. I love Chae Campbell and think she is probably the most underrated on UCLA.

  25. Rumor has it that (before this meet) some SEC judges were seen arriving at the Oakland Cal airport (near Berkeley).

  26. i don’t know why we’re calling it SEC judging UCLA has been being overscored for years

  27. I remain deeply amused that they left the word throb in Marz’s floor music. It’s even more obvious without announcers talking over it.

  28. Honestly, I think that as more non-big name teams get SEC scoring, the NCAA will finally wake up and realize that needs to be a scoring reform. And I’m a Cal fan, so if Cal gets a program record in the progress it’s pretty much a win-win haha

  29. Love Cal’s mount sequences. Hate the 1 judge who keeps looking down at her sheet while they’re in the middle of a skill sequence. No wonder scores are so high.

    1. I wondered if ANYONE ELSE noticed that. BUT BUT BUT LSU and SEC SCORING ARE THE ONLY PROBLEMS IN NCAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. I mean, they’re way, way way way way way bigger problems? LSU and the SEC in general get this kind of scoring, or worse, nearly every single week.

        Also, LOTS of people are complaining about this scoring, Spencer included, so not sure why you think it’s being ignored.

  30. I LOVE this stream! I’ve never been able to hear floor music this clearly and no one talking over it. Can it always be like this??

  31. I don’t know when, if ever, this has happened but Cal is a better team than UCLA this year! I know both are getting some friendly scoring but watching routines alone they are the better team!

  32. Note to Cal Berkeley stadium announcer: Read the (free) pronunciation guide to get names correct. I won’t list all of his mistakes since I think there is a number of characters limit in these comment posts.

  33. CAL is beating UCLA in team cohesion and sportsmanship by a lot, I gotta say. From the intros and warm-ups, all the way through UCLA’s exhibition on floor, CAL has really been setting the example.

    UCLA ignored their own bars exhibition (except for the Kyla and the coaches). CAL looked like they were cheering for UCLA’s floor exhibition more than her teammates were. CAL also seems more excited for their teammates after a good routine. Maybe UCLA is harder to impress, IDK. But good for CAL, honestly.

    1. I agree but that has been all season. The only athletes who get any recognition from UCLA this year are Frazier, Dennis and to a lesser degree Campbell. Nia and Marz have become totally obnoxious The rest of the team are treated like their back up singers. They need to remember it’s a team sport. The next most obnoxious person visible is their choreographer BJ. Always dancing in the camera view. Even with the over scores Cal is looking great and as a Utah fan I feel a bit concerned but thrilled that the main competition is not an over scored UCLA

      1. That kind of seems like a common theme at UCLA. I remember Ohashi’s and Lee’s senior nights basically being just about them.

      2. Absolutely agree with Kammie. The attention to Marz and Nia has been completely disproportionate, and no matter how popular they are, it doesn’t foster a great team environment. And yes, Marz’s behavior has been rather obnoxious this season. (Although she and Norah were always a little ……extra?!) I mean, UCLA milked Kyla too, but I don’t recall it being to this extent? Maybe it was less obvious because Kyla always behaved with class, and her performances justified the attention. Anyway, sad to see UCLA have such a quality drop this year, but hopefully they’ll be back on track next season!

      3. Yeah, with Kyla and Maddie last year, I think it was in large part that they just had less showy personalities, even after they got the college gymnastics treatment

      4. Yep. Marz is now DIVABITCH #1 in NCAA. Not a title to aspire to. LOL!

      5. I don’t have a problem with Marz’s public personality but I want to throw out an I told you so to all the people who thought she’d be the second coming of Kyla – or better – for UCLA. She was a B-team (at best) elite whose form was not her strong point, and yet people were assuming she’d be throwing a DTY in NCAA and doing the AA.
        As it is, I think she’s a little overscored and way too inconsistent to be considered a leader for her team.

      6. I don’t think it’s Nia and Marz alone. In my view, it is something UCLA tends to do with their top atheletes, but this seasons, there are no other athletes to rein that in. Marz, Nia and Chae are the stars of the team this season, and without them, UCLA would be in much deeper trouble than they are. Chae is a freshman – so team dynamic-wise not in the position to be a counterweight -, so Marz and Nia with their very (overly) outgoing personalities are pushed to the forefront…

      7. Your racism is shining bright.

        The two black girls are OBNOXIOUS.

        Did you take off your white hood while typing that or did you leave it on?

      8. I think we’re also forgetting the teams are competing with no fans. It’s got to be an extremely different environment and they are having to create their own excitement and energy. It’s a bit unfair to categorize people as obnoxious just because they have a different personality than “I just want to hit all 4.” I for one am loving the black excellence leading the team this year and hope they pull it together postseason.

      9. Anon @12:37: Yes, you said exactly what I meant much better than I did. I also think the fact that last year’s senior class just had so many high-contributers also has something to do with less being made of The Specials. Yes, Kyla was Kyla, but Fish and Kramer were essential despite being comparatively smaller fish in the pond.

    2. I have a really hard time with sportsmanship = cheering. Enthusiasm is great but you don’t have to be cheering to be a good sport….

  34. What did I miss on Frida Esparza’s beam routine? She looked great, but there must have been a missed connection or something?

    Oh, Nia falls. So, that’s the win for Cal…

    1. Check on her turn and missed jump with a weird jump check after front aerial! So missed a connection and that also lowered her start value.

    1. But I wouldn’t be mad if CLB got a senior day 10 with the UB she just did

  35. QUESTION: Did UCLA fly, drive, or walk the 400 miles to get to the meet in Berkeley?

  36. Can UCLA please for once not ruin their chances of a high score on the balance beam 🙁

    1. I don’t get it…the beam coaching seems like it’s not working. Do something different. There’s no reason to be counting falls at this point in the season. Please come back soon Norah.

      1. I think it’s attitude. Full on efforts when winning but kind of loose it when behind. UCLA is not used to loosing. The fierceness evaporates in situations like the bars today. Also agreeing with Rie above. Kyla had “elegance of mind” in that she never drew attention toward herself. Neither did Kocian I was glad to see the back of Peng. Ohashi and Miss Val. But the legacy of obnoxiousness continues

      2. I definitely think Comforte needs to go. The past two years on beam have been a mess for UCLA.

      3. @Kammie Dear, Peng, Ohashi, and Miss Val all actually had skills and got scores and were winners. None of that can be said of the current crop of divabitch WANNABES at UCLA.

      4. Lee/Ohashi does not a top team make. The Tokyo delay significantly thinned UCLA’s 2021 roster.

    2. I kept asking myself that question throughout the rotation. They were on track to a mid-high197 but this is the second week in a row where beam was their detriment. I feel really sorry for them this year.

    3. I kept asking myself that question throughout the rotation. The way this meet was being scored they were on track to a mid/high 197 (with the 49.400 they had a few weeks ago for example). I can’t help but feel sorry for them this year. Norah is really missed on beam..

  37. How did Campbell go 9.825 on beam- that check basically interrupted the leaps and then she had another little squiggle?

  38. Glad that ucla have to count fall – evens out the ridiculous scoring

  39. This season stands out for having so many crazy high scores for different teams at different meets at different locations. I really can’t wait to see teams on the same floor on the same night with the same judges. Usually the right team wins and the rest of the order is mostly correct, but I have a feeling this year could look a little crazy for the podium finish.

    1. Agreed. I think conference championships could get crazy and regionals could be whoever gets the 198 qualifies to nationals.

      1. Totally happened the last time there was a regionals. Did we forget the UGA 198 (while hosting) at regionals?

  40. If Norah Flatley returns for UCLA…they might be in pretty good shape.

    Supposedly, Flatley is getting close. Today was the first time all season that Flatley traveled with the team,

    1. This would be huge for them, even if she’s only back on bars and beam. Kooyman needs to go on bars and Dennis on beam which should really strengthen those lineups. They’re getting the scores on vault and floor too, I think regardless of ranking they can definitely be in the hunt at Pac-12s and regionals. Final 4 they’d have to get really lucky but if they hit they should make nationals.

  41. Looks like trouble for ASU on beam tonight and no senior night scoring. Looks pretty normal.

    1. Yeah, falls from both Clark and Scharf. They were fairly mediocre in the first two rotations as well, and honestly some of the least generous scoring I can remember in Tempe.

      But if you had told me last year that this year ASU would be looking at possibly making it out with a 196 with those circumstances, I would’ve been thrilled.

  42. Can conference championship team scores be used as a part of NQS??

Comments are closed.