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Gymnastics aims high after low individual performance scores against Oklahoma

Senior Katelyn Ohashi notched another perfect 10 on floor exercise against Oklahoma on Sunday, but the Bruins still suffered their first loss of the season. Ohashi also scored a 9.950 on balance beam. (Joe Akira/Daily Bruin)

By Cassidy Hunt

March 5, 2019 12:20 a.m.

Coach Valorie Kondos Field said the Bruins are looking at the positives.

No. 2 UCLA gymnastics (7-1, 6-0 Pac-12) saw its undefeated season come to an end versus No. 1 Oklahoma (7-0, 1-0 Big 12) on Sunday in Norman, Oklahoma. Though the Sooners did not record a single perfect score, the Bruins notched three 10s − two of which belonged to junior Kyla Ross.

“This revealed what we need to go home and work on,” Kondos Field said. “(The loss) is okay because there is value in it. It is a great learning experience for them, especially now. It’s not a bad time for them to be a little ticked off with themselves and disappointed, as we are ramping up to championship season.”

UCLA scored lower on uneven bars, vault and balance beam than it did last weekend when it faced then-No. 4 Utah. The Bruins have only scored below 49.300 on bars − their score on Sunday − twice in nine competitions this season.

Many of Sunday’s individual performances were uncharacteristically low for the Bruins as well.

Freshman Margzetta Frazier posted her lowest bars score of the season Sunday with a 9.800.

Junior Gracie Kramer − who made her second vault appearance of the season − and freshman Sekai Wright both posted season lows on vault. Sophomore Pauline Tratz’s vault score was also tied for her second-lowest of the season.

“I feel like the biggest lesson is for the freshman,” Ross said. “Especially since they have come in and have never lost a meet. It is a good reality check to show them that we are not the best at this moment, we need to keep working.”

UCLA has only posted two total floor exercise scores higher than the 49.675 that it posted against Oklahoma behind another perfect 10 from senior Katelyn Ohashi.

Following two perfect scores, Ross recorded a career-high score on floor of 9.975.

Despite three high scores, the junior posted her third-lowest beam score of the season. Senior Brielle Nguyen’s beam score was tied for her second-lowest of the year while freshman Norah Flatley posted her second-lowest beam score of the year against the Sooners.

“I felt frustrated after beam,” Ohashi said. “But, we have a good idea of what we need to work on now. We were the top in the nation last year on beam and we’ve only lost one girl, so we need to think about how we shift that and get back to where we were last year. Nothing has changed.”

Oklahoma now has an uneven bars Regional Qualifying Score that is .005 higher than UCLA, allowing the Sooners to surpass the Bruins for the No. 1 ranking on the event. UCLA is still ranked first on beam and floor.

UCLA’s RQS is now 197.800 − .140 below Oklahoma and .255 above No. 3 Florida.

“We are going to make sure that we are intentional with our diet, our sleep, our water intake, our studying, all of it,” Kondos Field said. “If I don’t go in and tell them that there is a refresh button that we all need to hit, it would be natural for them to coast and wait to ramp back up, but we can’t do that. We’ve worked too hard to surrender to fatigue.”

UCLA has three days of practice this week to put its new knowledge to the test before it faces No. 24 Stanford in Pauley Pavilion on Sunday.

 

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Cassidy Hunt | Sports staff
Hunt is currently a Sports staff writer on the gymnastics beat. She was previously a reporter on the women's soccer, women's water polo and swim & dive beats.
Hunt is currently a Sports staff writer on the gymnastics beat. She was previously a reporter on the women's soccer, women's water polo and swim & dive beats.
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