After a narrow victory last week over Utah, the UCLA women’s gymnastics team left no doubt in its No. 1-ranking while on a road trip over the long weekend, putting down California with ease.
Though it was the teams’ first road trip, and only its second match of the season, the Bruins proved their dominance with a 196.675-192.500 win over the Bears.
The Bruins started their match on bars and though they posted four of the five top scores in the event, coach Valorie Kondos Field felt they could have done better.
“We did good, not great, on the bars,” Kondos Field said. “But they stuck with it and just got better and better throughout the events. We weren’t flat anywhere, but we still have work to do.”
Redshirt junior Vanessa Zamarripa showed strong numbers on the bars, winning the event with a score of 9.9.
Zamarripa did even better on the vault, the event in which she was the 2010 NCAA champion, and earned a perfect 10.
“I worked so hard all year, even during the summer because I took summer classes and was in rehab all of the time,” Zamarripa said.
“It’s awesome that my hard work paid off with the scores I posted for my team.”
Even after all that dedication, the redshirt junior expects to raise the bar even higher.
“I need to just work on the small things,” Zamarripa said. “From a 9.9 to a 10, there’s only a tenth of a difference. The small things matter.”
The Bruins won all of the events, and sophomore Samantha Peszek won the all-around with a 39.45.
She tied for first on the balance beam with a 9.925 with two other Bruins and had the second or third highest score in all of the other events.
She won the all-around for the second week in a row, winning in both of the matches of the season.
“This one feels different because it was our first travel meet,” Peszek said.
“I think we were more relaxed because it was our second meet. It was a little chaotic because of the travel itself.
“It was a big arena and so it was spacious. We also had a lot of fans cheering for us even though we were on the road so that was nice too.”
With Pauley Pavilion undergoing renovation, Haas Pavilion seemed relatively spacious compared to the team’s temporary home at the John Wooden Center.
Even then, the Berkeley home court could not stop the Bruins from performing like they were the top team in the country.
Though it is early in the season, the Bruins performed well as a team.
“They stayed strong and committed as a team,” Kondos Field said.
“We had some lows but they didn’t let it separate them or stop their momentum.”