Wednesday, January 22

Around the League: Pac-12 gymnastics show strong representation in top 25

Former Bruin quarterback Josh Rosen’s UCLA career is behind him, but the soon-to-be NFL quarterback recently represented the Pac-12 in an accuracy challenge – and he won. (Michael Zshornack/Photo editor)

Kelsey Angus, assistant Sports editor

Seven of the eight Pac-12 gymnastics teams are ranked in the top 25 this week.

No. 13 Oregon State (2-1, 1-1 Pac-12) took down No. 21 Stanford (0-2, 0-2) by a score of 196.975-195.550 on Saturday. The Beavers began behind after the first rotation, but quickly gained the lead and maintained it through the remainder of the meet. The competition was capped off by four Oregon State gymnasts setting or tying career-high scores on floor exercise.

In another top-25 matchup, No. 3 Utah (3-0, 2-0) edged out No. 19 Arizona (0-4, 0-2) 197.550-196.325 on Friday. This was the Utes’ highest scoring meet of the season. MaKenna Merrell-Giles led Utah with a score of 39.625, good for both a career best and to win the all-around. On the other end of the spectrum, MyKayla Skinner failed to win an event for the first time in her collegiate career.

No. 12 Arizona State (3-0, 2-0) beat California (0-3, 0-2) with a score of 196.800-194.850. The mark was the Sun Devils’ best since 2006. Cairo Leonard-Baker was named the Pac-12 Newcomer of the Week for the third consecutive week after a career-high 39.575 in the all-around.

Women’s basketball
Ryan Smith, assistant Sports editor

Another week of women’s basketball is in the books, and there is still chaos at the top of the Pac-12 standings.

No. 9 UCLA women’s basketball (17-4, 8-2 Pac-12) picked up a second-consecutive road sweep with wins over unranked Washington (7-14, 1-9) and unranked Washington State (9-13, 2-8) this past weekend, catapulting it up from the 13th spot in the national rankings.

However, despite another pair of conference wins, the Bruins are still sitting in second place in the Pac-12 standings. No. 6 Oregon (20-3, 9-1) swept Colorado and Utah in Eugene, Oregon, over the weekend, retaining the top spot.

No. 24 Stanford (14-8, 8-2) and No. 25 California (15-6, 6-4) hold the final two spots in the top-25 rankings, despite Stanford holding a much more favorable position in the Pac-12. The Golden Bears are still in the mix within the conference, but have fallen three games behind the first-place Ducks.

Men’s volleyball
David Gottlieb, Sports editor

This week’s biggest action in collegiate men’s volleyball took place in Honolulu, where No. 2 UCLA and No. 3 Hawai’i split a pair of games – marking the first loss of the season for both programs.

Meanwhile, No. 1 Long Beach State continued its undefeated campaign with straight-set victories over unranked Stanford and No. 13 USC. The 49ers have only dropped one set so far during the regular season.

Long Beach State currently ranks first in the nation in hitting percentage, notching a .413 mark as a team. On the other side of the net, the 49ers have also held opponents to a league-low .147.

Pin hitter Kyle Ensing has led the way for Long Beach State, with a team-high 94 kills and 3.36 kills per set.

UCLA won’t get a chance to face off against the nation’s top-ranked team until Feb. 17 and 21, when the two play a home-and-road, two-game set.

David Gottlieb, Sports editor

Josh Rosen may not have seen live action since a late November matchup against California, but the former Bruin quarterback appears to be staying sharp.

The likely first-rounder finished first in the accuracy competition at the 2018 State Farm All-Star Football Challenge held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Wednesday. Rosen finished the competition in 22.54 seconds, beating out Toledo’s Logan Woodside by just under two seconds.

Rosen was the only Bruin to compete at the competition, though other players from the Pac-12 came up with strong finishes. USC outside line backer Uchenna Nwosu came in third in the obstacle course and Colorado cornerback Isaiah Oliver placed second in the hands competition.

As a conference, the Pac-12 finished second in the final team standings, beating out the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC. The Wildcard team – made up of four of the best players outside of the Power Five conferences – won the overall competition.

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Assistant Sports editor

Angus is an assistant Sports editor. She was previously a reporter for the women's water polo, women's volleyball and men's volleyball beats.

Sports Senior Staff

Smith is currently a Sports senior staff writer on the football and men's basketball beats. He was the 2018-2019 Sports editor and an assistant Sports editor in 2017-2018. Smith was previously on the women's basketball, men's water polo, baseball, men's golf and women's golf beats.

Sports editor

Gottlieb is the Sports editor. He was previously an assistant Sports editor in 2016-2017, and has covered baseball, softball, women's volleyball and golf during his time with the Bruin.

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