Bruins Boast National Credentials, Dominate Bears at Haas Pavilion

Photo: The Bears are stillwinless in the Pac-10 after a 195.225-189.425 loss to the Bruins.
Michael Kang/Photo
The Bears are stillwinless in the Pac-10 after a 195.225-189.425 loss to the Bruins.

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In 1982, women's gymnastics became an NCAA championship sport.

Since then there have been only 4 overall team champions-UCLA is one of those teams.

Boasting a lineup of former national team members, a slew of All-Americans and an NCAA All-Around Individual Champion, the No. 7-ranked Bruins came to Haas Pavilion on Sunday and executed as advertised.

The Bruins were all business, vaulting past the Cal women's gymnastics team by an overall score of 195.225- 189.425.

The Bears (2-5, 0-5 in the Pac-10) dropped their fifth in a row and remain winless in conference meets while UCLA improved to 11-0 on the season.

"It's always a little difficult going against such high quality gymnasts," senior Nicki Wells said. "I feel we are capable of better but this is only going to make us stronger."

Cal struggled to find its rhythm on Sunday, as the Bruins took every event of the meet by sticking landings and limiting their falls.

"We just had a rough (balance) beam day, and beam is our best event," coach Cari DuBois said. "We scored well even with falls. But we can't have a great team score with falls."

UCLA was not without its difficulties either. Former U.S. National Team member Brittani McCullogh also had trouble with the beam and bars but was able to bounce back to finish 3rd in the all-around competition.

But numerous falls hurt the Bears' team score, bringing it down to a 46.350 for the beam and a 47.900 on the uneven bars. Freshman Nassim Mirreghabie had a tough day falling on both the bars and the beam.

Still, Cal was not completely shut out. Junior Bridgette Glass tied for second place on the balance beam with the Bruins' Niki Tom. Glass also posted solid performances on the bars as well as the vault.

Glass, however, did not seem completely satisfied in placing alongside the nation's best.

"There's stuff that I still need to work on," Glass said. "But I think everyone did really well. We looked better in practice than we showed."

Meanwhile, UCLA's Anna Li might have a difficult time practicing better than she performed on Sunday.

Li finished first in the all-around and was nearly perfect on the bars with a 9.975. And if it weren't for the high scores of her teammates, Li would have placed in all four events. The only Bears' gymnast that outscored Li in any event was Glass on the beam.

"We need to control what we have control of," DuBois said. "There is no offense or defense in gymnastics."

Next weekend Cal travels to No. 9 Stanford, which will be looking to avenge their .300-point loss to Oregon State last Friday.


Contact Joseph Cannon at [email protected]

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