Arizona gymnastics falls to UCLA
Head coach Tabitha Yim huddles with her team during Arizona's 194.025-191.600 win over Utah State and Texas Woman's University in McKale Center on Jan. 6.
The Arizona gymnastics team reached new heights Saturday afternoon against UCLA, but still fell short to the Bruins 197.725 to 196.275. Arizona battled their way through the four rotations as they reached a new season high score of 196.275.
Arizona started the meet of with a bang as they performed on the uneven bars with senior Krysten Howard who led off with a powerful routine hitting perfect handstands earning a 9.850 ending with an “Arizona Stick”. Senior Selynna Felix-Terrazas made her debut back in the bar lineup hitting a solid routine earning a 9.875 followed by another “Arizona Stick” followed by freshman Christina Berg performed a piked jaeger ending with a full-in dismount landing with an “Arizona Stick” earning a 9.800.
Soaring high over the bars once again with her huge Tkatchev was junior anchor Victoria Ortiz ending with an “Arizona Stick” giving her a high score of 9.900. The GymCats grabbed ahold of the lead after the first rotation 49.200 to 49.175.
Starting the GymCats on their second rotation on vault was senior Gabrielle Laub landing with a small hop back earning her a 9.775. Sophomore Lauryn Mattson caught major air on her Yurchenko half with a small hop during the landing earning a high of 9.825. Junior Madison Cindric made her debut in the vault lineup after being out for a month due to a broken toe. Cindric performs a solid vault with a small step back earning her a 9.750 along with freshman Heather Swanson earning a 9.750.
The ‘Cats began trailing behind the Bruins, 98.600 to 98.000, going into the third rotation on floor. Mattson started the GymCats on floor with a double pike finishing solid with a double back tuck earning a 9.825. Freshman Christina Berg made her floor debut earning a 9.725 followed by Howard showing major height in her double back tuck earning her a 9.800.
Junior Kennady Schneider performed a perfect floor routine as she landed her double pike and double tuck solid. Schneider continued to show her personality and skills on the floor, which earned her a high 9.900.
“Before I stepped onto the floor I told myself to go big or go home.,” said Schneider. “I'm my best when I'm fearless. My team needed me to be myself tonight, and that's what I did. I left everything on that floor for them! Big. Bold. Brave. That's me, and that's what I am for Arizona.”
Arizona showed what they are capable of during the final rotation on beam with hitting solid routines. Leading of the GymCats, Howard landed solid on her layout series ending with an “Arizona Stick” earning a new season and career high of 9.925.
“Going into beam was very exciting,” said Howard. The first three events were awesome and we just needed to keep the momentum going. Personally I knew my role and I wanted to start things off calm and steady for my beam team. Getting a 9.925 was just icing on the cake."
Following Howard’s solid routine was sophomore Haylie Hendrickson who stayed strong and balanced ending with an “Arizona Stick” earning her a 9.850. Ortiz continued the high scores as she finished her routine with an “Arizona Stick” earning a 9.850.
Cindric made her debut back in the beam lineup and closed out the beam rotation with a bang. Cindric landed her layout series strong and solid ending with an ”Arizona Stick” earning her a new season and career high of 9.900.
“It felt amazing to finally get back out there and compete,” said Cindric. “This team has been fighting all season, so I just wanted to come back and help as much as I could. I knew I just had to go up there and do what I do. After I stuck my dismount I couldn't have been more excited. Getting a season high and tying my career high for my first time back out there was so special.”
Despite the GymCats performance on beam, the Wildcats were unable to regain the lost points as they fell to the Bruins 197.725 to 196.275.
“We are so proud of the full team effort tonight in achieving our season high,” said Arizona head coach Tabitha Yim. “It gives us confidence heading into the second half of our season. We will continue to stay hungry and humble doing everything we can to continue building.
The GymCats will be back home in McKale Center for their last home meet against rival Arizona State Sunday, March 5 at 1 p.m.
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