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gymnastics-women-nc flag | March 1, 2014

No. 6 Gym Dogs turns in season-best score to defeat No. 13 Arkansas

ATHENS, Ga. -- Sixth-ranked Georgia turned in a season-best score to top No. 13 Arkansas 197.650-195.675 on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 9,945 in Stegeman Coliseum.

Seniors Lindsey Cheek, Kaylan Earls and Cat Hires all set or tied career-high scores to lead Georgia to victory in its first home meet in a month. The Gym Dogs improve to 5-4 overall and 4-2 in SEC meets, while the Razorbacks fall to 4-5 and 2-5 in league action.

The Gym Dogs opened with a 49.375 on vault, highlighted by a career-high score of 9.975 by Lindsey Cheek. Cat Hires and Brandie Jay added a pair of 9.875s. The Razorbacks posted a score of 49.225 on bars.

Georgia turned in its highest bars since 1999, a 49.675, which ties the seventh-highest score in program history. Cheek, Brittany Rogers and Chelsea Davis tied for first on the event with 9.95s. Cat Hires set a new career high with a 9.925, while Brandie Jay and Kiera Brown added a pair of 9.9s. With Arkansas' 48.950 on vault, the Gym Dogs held a commanding 99.05-98.175 lead at the halfway mark.

"We just keep getting better and better on bars," UGA head coach Danna Durante said. "Especially going into one of the last meets of the season, I'm incredibly proud."

Cheek and Earls led the charge on balance beam with a pair of 9.95s. That score set a new career high for Cheek and matched Earls' career high. Mary Beth Box added a 9.85 to give the Gym Dogs a score of 49.35 on the event, the second-best beam score for Georgia this season. The Razorbacks went 49.050 on floor in the third rotation.

In the final rotation, Box and Earls each earned a 9.9 and tied their career highs on floor to secure the win for Georgia. Hires also tied her season high on floor with a 9.85. Arkansas closed the meet with a 48.450 on beam.

No. 7 Nebraska 196.650, Oregon State 196.625, Arizona State 195.575

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Senior Emily Wong led Nebraska to a victory against Oregon State and Arizona State on Saturday night. Wong swept all four events and the all-around competition en-route to capturing a new season-high all-around score of 39.650. Wong is still undefeated in the all-around and on floor. She has also collected 27 event titles this season.

The Huskers improved to 11-1 overall on the season outscoring Oregon State (196.625) and Arizona State (195.575). Nebraska is a perfect 6-0 on the road this year.

The Huskers started the meet on beam managing to score an impressive 49.275, led by Wong’s 9.925 mark. Jessie DeZiel tabbed a career-high tying score of 9.90, while Jennie Laeng claimed her new career-high 9.875. Jamie Schleppenbach soared to a 9.875 and Amanda Lauer chipped-in a 9.75 mark to round out the beam lineup.

Nebraska’s 49.275 led all teams after the first rotation. Oregon State compiled a score of 48.950 on vault, while the Sun Devils also claimed a 48.950 on bars.

Nebraska had some uncharacteristic errors on floor posting a 48.925 score. Wong shined once again, scoring a 9.90 in the anchor spot to claim top honors on the event. Blanske with a very strong routine notched a 9.85, while DeZiel (9.775) and Desire’ Schleppenbach (9.75) tacked-on scores to round out the rotation. 

Oregon State jumped out to a slight lead after the second rotation, picking up a 49.350 on bars to increase their team score to 98.300. ASU earned a 49.100 on beam. With two events down, OSU led the meet with Nebraska at 98.200, and ASU 98.050. 

The Big Red scored a 49.250 on their third rotation on vault. Wong led the Huskers sticking a notable 9.925, while Blanske produced a 9.90. Stephens and Martin tacked-on two identical marks of 9.825 while Jessie DeZiel (9.775) rounded out the lineup. 

Oregon State led all teams again after the third event of the night posting a 49.225 on beam. Arizona State claimed a 48.725 on floor. With only one event remaining, OSU led all teams at 147.525 as the Huskers closely followed at 147.450, with ASU taking third at 146.725. 

The Huskers closed out the meet strong, scoring a 49.200 on bars led by Wong’s 9.90 effort. Blanske and DeZiel both snagged identical scores of 9.875, while Stephens and Laeng also tacked-on identical marks of 9.775.

No. 9 UCLA 197.500, Arizona 196.250

TUCSON, Ariz. -- UCLA recorded nine 9.9+ and 22 9.8+ scores en route to a season-best team total in a 197.500-196.250 win at Arizona. UCLA scored a season-high 49.5 on floor and had event winners on all four events. Olivia Courtney led a UCLA 1-2-3 all-around sweep with a season-high 39.5.

The Bruins had a strong start on uneven bars, scoring 49.375 to take an early .250 lead. Danusia Francis led off with a strong routine punctuated by a stuck dismount and scored 9.825. Hallie Mossett also stuck her dismount and scored 9.875, a score that was matched by Sydney Sawa. After Courtney's 9.825, Sophina DeJesus and Samantha Peszek closed it out with back-to-back 9.9s.

The Bruins continued their success on vault in the second rotation. Jennifer Pinches led off with a 9.8, followed by a career-high 9.85 by Mossett. Sawa scored 9.8, and Sadiqua Bynum recorded a 9.725. Again, the final two Bruins hit back-to-back 9.9s, with Peszek and Courtney helping to lift UCLA's vault score to 49.25. Arizona kept pace by scoring 49.275 on bars, and the Bruins entered the third rotation up 98.625-98.400.

UCLA extended its lead in a big way by scoring a season-high 49.5 on floor exercise. Beginning with Pinches' leadoff 9.8, each subsequent routine scored progressively higher, with Mossett earning 9.85 and DeJesus 9.875. Bynum tied her career-high with a 9.9, Courtney earned a 9.925, and Sawa finished with a 9.95 to win floor for the fifth-consecutive meet.

With UCLA up 148.125-146.975 heading into the last rotation, the Bruins looked to finish strong on beam. Mossett led off with a 9.85 that brought her all-around total to a career-high 39.425. DeJesus had a fall on her flight series but finished the rest of her routine strong, scoring 9.35. Courtney had a questionable connection on her acro series, so she added a backhandspring/layout into her routine that she hit with ease to ensure a 10.0 start value. She finished with a final score of 9.85 to give her an all-around season-best of 39.5. Peszek hit another near flawless beam routine, scoring 9.9. Francis showed no deductions in her routine, nailing her sideways side aerial to full-twisting dismount and scoring a career-high-tying 9.95. Sawa closed with a 9.825 to give the Bruins a 49.375 beam total and a season-best 197.5 team score. The Bruins' team total bested their previous season high by over half a point.

Bruins took the top three spots in the all-around, with Courtney winning for the second-straight meet with a 39.5. Sawa was second with a career-high-tying 39.45, and Mossett was third with a new career-high of 39.425. UCLA had an event winner on each apparatus. Courtney and Peszek tied for first on vault with scores of 9.9. DeJesus and Peszek tied with two Arizona gymnasts on bars with 9.9 scores. Francis won beam with a 9.95, and Sawa took floor with a 9.95.