BERKELEY, Calif. — A week after Utah beat UCLA on the final beam routine of the day, No. 21 California turned the tables on the No. 4 Utes, charging to a 197.500-197.450 win when Toni-Ann Williams scored a 9.975 on the final floor routine.
Utah, which entered the final rotation holding a slim 148.125-147.975 lead, drops to 8-2 overall and 5-1 in Pac-12 play. Cal scored a season high in the win to move to 6-5, 3-3 Pac-12.
Utah didn’t give up without a fight, hitting all six beam routines on its final event and not counting a score lower than a 9.85, but came up one half a tenth short. The Utes left plenty of tenths on the other events in imperfect landings.
“We were not refined today. We did not stick a single vault,” said disappointed Ute coach Tom Farden “We were flat from the beginning and I felt like we didn’t have the same mentality as we did a week ago. This conference is a grind and there is a lot of parity. Cal is a very good team and we needed to be clean to beat them.”
Cal’s Williams won the all-around with a career-high 39.700 and Utah’s Missy Reinstadtler was second with a career-high 39.500. Absent from the all-around lineup for the first time in her Ute career was MyKayla Skinner, who sat out on vault and floor as a precautionary measure after tweaking her ankle last week at UCLA.
In her place, freshman Alexia Burch performed well, scoring a 9.775 on her first career vault to count and a 9.85 in her first floor routine. She scored a 9.775 on beam.
Kari Lee came away with two wins, tying for first on vault with teammate Kim Tessen and Williams, all with 9.90s, and tying with Williams on beam (9.90). But both she and MaKenna Merrell-Giles (39.350) had off days in the all-around with Lee (38.900) suffering her first fall of the season on bars and Merrell-Giles struggling with her landings on three events.
In a back and forth meet, Utah took the first lead, scoring a 49.350 on bars to Cal’s 49.175 on vault. Tiffani Lewis led off with a season-high 9.875 and Tessen and Skinner closed the set with back-to-back 9.90s. In between was Kari Lee’s first fall of the season.
Cal took the lead on round two with a huge 49.550 bar score. Utah continued to have problems sticking landings — something that was also an issue on bars. Lee and Tessen tied for first on vault with 9.90s.
Utah retook the lead on the third rotation by a slim 148.125-147.975 count after a 49.450 floor set that featured a career-tying 9.925 from Lewis and 9.90s from Reinstadtler and Sydney Soloski.
With Cal rolling up three 9.90 scores on floor, including a 9.975 finale by Williams, Utah’s solid 49.325 beam set was not quite enough to hold the lead and win the meet.
Utah has this week off from competition before returning to action on March 10 on the road at No. 6 Michigan.