LOS ANGELES — UCLA got a 9.95 on the final routine of the day between two top-10 gymnastics teams to sneak past Utah 197.100-197.075 before a raucous home crowd of 7,546 in Pauley Pavilion. Ignoring a screaming partisan crowd when the meet was on the line, sophomore Maddy Stover scored a 9.90 beam on Utahs final routine, only to see UCLAs Sadiqua Bynum get a 9.95 on floor and give the Bruins a win.
Until that last routine, the No. 7 and two-time defending Pac-12 champion Utes led the entire meet against the No. 5 Bruins, hitting 24-of-24 routines and getting stronger as the meet progressed.
"It was an awesome meet for our young team going against a very talented UCLA team on its home floor," said Utah coach Tom Farden. "We did well on bars and vault to start the meet and were just outstanding down the stretch on floor and beam. We coaches are so proud of how our gymnasts responded in this environment against one of the elite teams in the country. It shows we have the confidence to go head-to-head against anyone anywhere."
In the second all-around appearances of their careers, Samantha Partyka won the all-around with a 39.450 and Breanna Hughes took second with a 39.300. Partyka also won vault (9.875) and Kassandra Lopez won bars (9.925 for Utah, which lost for the first time this season and is now 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the Pac-12. UCLA improved to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the Pac-12.
The meet was tight the entire way, with Utah leading after round one, scoring a 49.200 on bars to UCLA's 49.075 on vault. Lopez's 9.925 would hold up as the best bar score of the day, while Baely Rowes 9.90 routine took second place.
On the second rotation, Utah's 49.10 on vault allowed the Utes to hang on to their lead—barely. At the midway point, it was Utah 98.300, UCLA 98.250.
A beautiful 49.425 floor set helped Utah bump its lead up to two tenths of a point, 147.725-147.500 heading into the balance beam. For the second meet on floor, Utah got great production from the back half of its floor lineup, with Sabrina Schwab scoring a 9.95, Hughes a 9.9 and Partyka a 9.875. Delaney set them up from her No. 3 position, scoring a 9.875.
The Utes showed no nerves on the beam in going for the win and made UCLA take the meet away from them with a total of 49.350 that included a 9.9 from Stover, a 9.875 from Partyka and 9.85s from Hughes and Delaney.
Utah returns home for a meet against Washington next Saturday, starting at 7 p.m. in the Huntsman Center.
Liz Abel is the senior associate A.D. for communications at the University of Utah.