Monday, December 9

UCLA gymnastics lands win over Oklahoma in final home meet


Senior Tauny Frattone scored a perfect 10.00 on vault to propel the No. 3  UCLA gymnastics team to a 197.525-196.475 victory over No. 2 Oklahoma. Sunday's meet was the Bruins' final meet of the season and their last at the John Wooden Center. Six seniors were honored after the meet.

Senior Tauny Frattone scored a perfect 10.00 on vault to propel the No. 3 UCLA gymnastics team to a 197.525-196.475 victory over No. 2 Oklahoma. Sunday's meet was the Bruins' final meet of the season and their last at the John Wooden Center. Six seniors were honored after the meet.

Katie Meyers


Gymnastics

UCLA 197.525
OKLAHOMA 196.475

As soon as senior Tauny Frattone raised her arms after sticking her vault landing, the crowd at the John Wooden Center burst into chants of “10.”

Moments later, 10.00 appeared as the official score, and Collins Court rang with the sound of fans celebrating.

“I knew I had done my best,” Frattone said. “When I landed, I knew I had done my job. Whatever score it was, so be it. Luckily, it turned out well.

“Anytime you get a score (that) you have been working towards for a really long time, it’s a great feeling. It’s rewarding to have everybody here and have my teammates supporting me.”

As one of six seniors honored after Sunday’s meet against Oklahoma, Frattone soaked up the spotlight in her final home meet, earning her first perfect score as the Bruins defeated the Sooners 197.525-196.475.

Seniors Aisha Gerber and Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs were just as stellar for UCLA, with both posting scores of 9.950 on bars and floor, respectively.

“For me, sticking my bar dismount was a lot of fun,” said Gerber on her performance, which set a new career high.

“It is just such a good feeling when you finish off a routine like that.”

Coach Valorie Kondos Field was impressed with the way her seniors handled the pressure of their final home meet to nail their routines.

“This is one of those meets where they either get on a roll and just have the meet of their lives, or they start playing tight because they want to do so well,” she said.

“But I’m just so excited about how they came out and performed.”

UCLA (10-2-1) outscored Oklahoma (16-3) in all events except balance beam, grabbing the lead for good after the Sooners struggled on floor.

Oklahoma looked visibly shaken by the energized UCLA crowd, which remained eerily quiet after a Sooner performance but burst into cheers every time a Bruin gymnast finished her routine.

“It was a huge factor,” Kondos Field said. “This is what football or basketball talks about, being that 12th man or that 6th man on the court. That is what this is all about.”

The packed-house atmosphere that Collins Court was able to create for Sunday’s meet may not be so easy to obtain next season, when UCLA will move into a renovated Pauley Pavilion, a much larger venue than the John Wooden Center.

Kondos Field has a simple solution on which she is not willing to give up.

“We are going to fill Pauley,” she said resolutely.

Thoughts about next season are still far from the team’s mind as UCLA gears up to make a run for the national championship over the next six weeks.

A win against a top-five team and a 197-plus performance was just the kind of performance the Bruins were looking for to finish off the regular season.

“We set a consistency. It shouldn’t be spectacular, and it shouldn’t be less than spectacular,” Gerber said. “Just to have a really solid meet like this one, is going to springboard us into the postseason.”

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