UCLA gets strong effort from surprising places in win against Washington
SEATTLE -- No. 9 UCLA used career-best performances by Sydney Sawa and Sadiqua Bynum and three 9.9+ scores by Olivia Courtney to defeat No. 23 Washington on Sunday afternoon, 196.675-195.650. The score was a season-best road score for the Bruins, who were competing short-handed due to illness and injuries.
UCLA started strong on bars with a 49.4. Freshman Jessy MacArthur scored 9.75 in her competitive debut, and Courtney and Samantha Peszek each scored 9.925 to lead five Bruins who scored 9.825 or higher.
On vault in Rotation 2, the Bruins scored 49.075 while competing with just five athletes. Bynum and Courtney led the way with meet-winning scores of 9.9. Bynum got huge air and distance on a beautiful Yurchenko layout half vault and scored 9.9, while Courtney stuck a Yurchenko layout full despite being close to the vaulting table. Sawa contributed a 9.8, Jennifer Pinches scored 9.75, and Hallie Mossett scored 9.725.
The Bruins shined on floor exercise, scoring 49.4 with a five-person lineup. Pinches made her competitive debut on the event in the leadoff role and scored 9.825. Sophina DeJesus followed with a 9.875, and Bynum, Courtney and Sawa reeled off three-straight 9.9s to allow the Bruins to rest Mossett in the sixth position.
Armed with a 147.875-146.550 lead going into the fourth rotation, the Bruins faced a strong challenge when leadoff performer Ellette Craddock fell early in her routine. But each subsequent performer hit solid routines after her, with Mossett scoring 9.725, DeJesus 9.6 and Pinches 9.675. Peszek hit a nearly flawless routine with just a hop on her dismount and scored 9.875, and Sawa closed the meet with the best beam routine of her collegiate career, scoring a career-high 9.925 to give UCLA a beam total of 48.8.
Sawa won the all-around with a career-high 39.45 and also captured event wins on beam and floor. Courtney won each event in which she competed (vault, bars and floor), as did Bynum (vault and floor).
"I felt that we got a lot better this meet, but I don't feel that our overall score reflects how our team did," said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. "We're looking forward to getting Danusia [Francis] back in the lineup next week and building from the improvements that we made this week."