LOS ANGELES — No. 2 UCLA upended No. 5 Utah in a dual meet Saturday evening in Pauley Pavilion, scoring a national season-best 197.425, while Utah scored 195.300. UCLA senior Vanessa Zamarripa won the all-around with a 39.675 and captured first place in three events, winning the uneven bars with a 9.975, tying for first on the balance beam with freshman teammate Danusia Francis with a 9.925, and with junior teammate Olivia Courtney in the floor exercise with a 9.950.
UCLA (2-0) had a great start to the meet, scoring a season-high 49.3 on the vault. Sophomore Dana McDonald led off with a career-high 9.875, and each Bruin who followed set season highs. Junior Sydney Sawa earned a 9.8. Senior Monique De La Torre scored 9.825 in her season debut. Courtney won the event for the second consecutive meet with a season-high 9.9. Senior Kaelie Baer tied her career high with a 9.875, and Zamarripa tied her season best with a 9.825. Utah (0-1), meanwhile, struggled on the bars in its season opening meet, counting two falls and scoring 48.075.
UCLA kept things going on the bars in rotation two with a 49.275, led by Zamarripa’s career-high-tying 9.975 to close the rotation. Senior Lichelle Wong tied her career best with a second-place mark of 9.9, and sophomore Mattie Larson tied her season high with a 9.875 to tie for third. The Utes rebounded from their first rotation struggles to score 49.250, led by Tory Wilson’s meet-high-tying 9.9.
The Bruins did not let up on the balance beam, scoring a season-best 49.3. Baer led off with a 9.775, followed by a season-high 9.85 from Larson. After Sophina DeJesus’ career-best 9.825, Zamarripa and Danusia Francis closed with back-to-back 9.925s to push the Bruins ahead by nearly a point and a half heading into the final rotation.
UCLA put on a show in the floor exercise to finish the meet, tallying a season-high 49.550, with five of the six competitors scoring career highs. McDonald tied her career best with a 9.85. Sophomore Sadiqua Bynum set a new best with a 9.8. DeJesus scored a career-high 9.875, senior Alyssa Pritchett set a new personal best with a 9.925, and Zamarripa and Courtney closed with a pair of 9.95s, with Courtney’s score matching her career best.
“What surprised me [Saturday night] wasn’t that we hit our routines, but the sticks that we had, especially on vault and balance beam dismounts,” UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field said. “Normally, our history is that we don’t start sticking until the last part of the season. For them to come out and do that and have so many sticks was great.”