January 19, 2015
 Arizona @  UCLA Live Blog
Do this again, please.
The meet will begin at 4:00 ET/1:00 PT on the Pac-12 Network.
For UCLA, I'm hoping primarily to see some progress made on the floor landings over last week. And if Danusia hits beam, that would be nice too. For Arizona, I'm mildly obsessed with their tkatchevs and their beam routines but still uncertain about how competitive they can be on vault and floor given the injuries, so this will be a test.
Amanda Borden is off today. Jim and Amanda Two are doing the commentary and telling us how amazing Peng is. Obviously.
A few changes to UCLA's vault lineup, of course, with Irvin coming into the order.
Rotation 1 - UCLA on vault, Arizona on bars
1. Honest -Not as strong as last week, OK, a little iffy in the feet and knees and a larger lunge back on yfull. 9.825.
2. Cipra - Good height, small amount of piking, comes in a little short and hops forward, but not too problematic. 9.850.
3. Lee - Well, it was gorgeous in the air, but they left their landings at OSU so far - comes in very low with a large lunge forward. 9.750
4. Irvin - (no Bynum today?) - Really nice power on her full, and a stuck landing - well that's a debut - looked perhaps a little staggered or leg separation on the stick. 9.850.
5. Peszek - Excellent full - noticeably stronger in the form and distance over the others - weaker landing than last week - medium hop back - 9.875.
6. Williams - Great amplitude on her yfull - fairly good chest position on landing, minor piking and a hop back.9.850
1. Howard - Good first hhs, a little close on piked jaeger, leg break on the bail, double back dismount is stuck, legs apart. Fine, but some breaks. 9.800.
2. Felix-Terrazas - fine on the giant full - nice height on the tkatcehv, slightly floppy down on the bail - giant full into the double back - hands down on the dismount. "A little too much momentum." 9.250.
3. Mills - handstands looked a little short - good giant full - some floppy legs in the gienger and the bail handstand is short of hs - pretty good half in half out, though - small step but controlled dismount.9.825.
4. Laub - arches first hs - not as much height as usual on her tkatchev, bail is clean in the legs - last hs was borderline - nice double layout - (small leg separation in the air) but overall good form and landing. 9.825.
5. Flores - short on first hs but good finish on the giant ful - piked on her bail handstand with a leg separation - tkatchev was just OK this time - DLO 1/1 dismount - loses the form on the second salto as most everyone does. Lunge back. 9.775.
6. Ortiz - hip circle - gigantic tkatchev - excellent - that's silly big - the rest is solid - giant full - double back dismount with a step. Solid. 9.825.
After 1: UCLA 49.250, Arizona 49.050
The scoring was laxer for UCLA on vault this week than last week, but the performance was also clearly weaker. They did not bring the sticks this time out and couldn't expect to go much higher. I praised Arizona's tkatchevs at the top, but other than Ortiz (whose is amazing) the rest were a little flat. No big issues in the five counting routines for Arizona, but sloppy legs and a couple weak bails kept the scores medium.
With all these commercial breaks, and then jumping back in to say nothing, the Pac-12 Network always makes the warmup period feel 85 hours long.
Val is yelling about something. Yesssss. Just stay on that. We need a dedicated "Val yelling at peasants" cam at these meets.
Rotation 2 - UCLA on bars, Arizona on vault
1. Francis -Nice shaposh, clean back to the bail, good amplitude on shoot, a little short on giant full and then flings out her double pike with a larger lunge back. Not her best at the end but lovely before that. 9.775.
2. Meraz - Arches her handstand on her toe circle, no chance to save it - comes off. Short on her bail handstand as she gets it back. Missing the handstands to follow - sticks the DLO, though.
3. Honest - good first handstand, super high tkatchev, needs to work on the foot form - flexed on all these skills, fine straddle back - she missed about couple handstands here - step back on tuck full. 9.825 (One judge went 9.9. Come on).
4. DeJesus - nice finish on the giant full - still with the legs on the gienger - a little bit of an angle on the bail handstand - tuck full dismount with knee-chest landing - step back."She is a funny one," Amanda says about Val. "She likes the spotlight," says Jim. Um, yeah. 9.850.
5. Lee - Get this. lovely in the legs as always , beautiful on the bhardwaj but misses her toe going for the shaposh half, has to redo and try again and then misses the catch. Ugh. This is like the opposite meet of last week for Peng - short DLO dismount with lunge. Disaster. Counting a fall now.
6. Peszek - She needs a 1000.00 for this routine. good first hs and finish on the giant full - that's how you do a gienger! Perfect bail - into the dismount - sticks the DLO. Great routine. Let's see what they do with this. 9.975. Saved the rotation as much as she could.
1. Felix-Terrazas - Has solid height on her yfull, some leg break, not much distance, and a bounce forward, but fine for someone who hasn't done much vaulting. 9.725.
2. Cindric - A little flatter off the table but better distance, medium-sized step back. 9.750.
3. Sisler - Pikes her yfull pretty significantly, not a big block - quite close to the table - hops back.9.700. Jim thought it should be higher. Because why?
4. Laub - Buckles as she lands her yfull but saves it with a large lunge forward.
5. Edwards - Best height on the team so far on her yfull - near-stick with a small hop back. Some piking in the air and a leg break on her block, though. 9.750.
6. Flores - Solid on the yhalf, hop forward - a little flat like most of the team and crazy legs on the table, but fine.
After 2: UCLA 97.950, Arizona 97.725
UCLA actually managed to extend the lead in spite of counting a fall. Peszek was brilliant. Identical routine to the 10 she got last year. Disappointing about Peng. That would have been a great rotation score if she had hit, but her routine has much more risk than anyone else is trying. Arizona was average on vault, but the lack of block on many of those vaults was evident coming after UCLA.
After those falls on bars, Val has stopped dancing to music that doesn't exist. Val: "Girl issues at 18 do not change." What is this essay about listening and feelings she's giving us? I really hope the question was about vault landings or something.
I feel like I could probably hit a beam routine if Dom talked to me right before it.
New lineup on beam this week for UCLA.
Rotation 3: UCLA on beam, Arizona on floor
1. Gerber -tight on full turn but no wobble, pretty aerial, she can be lovely here when she's not nervous, smallest check on loso series, switch to split is solid, hits the side somi - that was Aisha-identical. 1.5 dismount with a step forward - that was the only real mistake in the routine, though. Good start. 9.800.
2. Craddock -pretty full turn, aerial with smallish pause to bhs - it's a better solution than the fake series she was doing, but she did pause - also another pause between the switch and split. side aerial to a pikey layout full dismount. No major errors, just some nervous pauses in there. 9.800.
3. DeJesus -Good aerial - better on her loso series than last week, just small shuffle - OK switch and solid split to follow - very minor balance adjustment on front toss - another smaller correction on L turn - sticks the front full dismount. That should score well. 9.825.
4. Francis - We see the highlight of her fall from last week. Get it this time. Side aerial to aerial to back handspring is lovely - good to get the bhs into the combination because there was a pause after the side aerial. Switch and splits are perfect to 180. Lovely. Does her y spin wonderfully, so respect, even if it is rushed. I don't care when it's a y spin. Dismount - nailed it this time. Yes, there's a pause before it and she lands chest down, but whatevs. Perfection. 9.925.
5. Lee - Homma flares (that's right, I said flares) - beautiful and wonderful, lovely switch to split, balks on what she was supposed to do and just does a bhs - goes again and does the bhs to layout 2 feet - excellent - punch front is strong with no cowboy this time (NOTE) - gets her double turn as well. Double full dismount with a fairly large step back. Not as strong as last week, but she hit it. 9.850.
6. Peszek - back with a full! Leg up to balance but she hit - excellent aerial to bhs loso series - switch to split to straddle - middle split was iffy but the whole thing was solid. Double full dismount, sticks it (basically) a little staggered. I'm glad everyone else hit so that we got to see the tuck full. Her leg flew up and I love that she tried to cover it by pretending she was doing a back full to scale. Lol. 9.950. Methinks someone got a little difficulty bonus there.
1. Cindric - a little low on double pike mount, wolf full to split full looked fine, front full to pike is nice as well - Note: If you start out composed and lovely in your routine, it's not a rule that you have to "break it down" after the second pass, but everyone does. It's not in the code. OK dismount, low on the final layout but pulled it around. 9.700.
2. Howard - lunges back out of her double pike, looks good in the straddles - just layout as the middle pass, which shouldn't count, 1.5 dismount. Hit routine. No real mistakes. Just form on passes. 9.800.
3. Felix-Terrazas - also bounces back out of her double pike a little - the straddle elements were short - whips around the layout out of that 1.5, didn't think she could get that around but she pulled it through. finishes double back - lowish and a step. 9.750.
4. Schneider - Solid double pike to start - layout to layout full middle pass - switch side and straddle full are medium but fine - no for the drumline choreography - double tuck dismount - sticks it chest low. 9.850.
5. Sisler - Punch rudi to loso was strong - give me a loso out of a floor pass with pointed toes and I'm done. Lands pretty forward on her double pike with a large lunge in the middle pass - double full to punch front dismount. She always looks like she's going to get about 1 centimeter off the ground on these passes. 9.875.
6. Flores - Rudi to loso mount, cat leaps and whatnot - also lands short on her double pike - low chest with lunge forward - they all look like they're going to splat all these passes and then pull them around - front full to layout with a bounce out of it - 9.825.
After 3: UCLA 147.300, Arizona 146.825
Legitimately good beam rotation there for UCLA. Some looked tight and wonky in the early spots, and Peng was not as solid as last week - but Danusia and Sam were excellent and they showed the potential of what that rotation can be. Given what we've seen this season so far on beam, 49.350 is basically amazing. They would be in good shape right now if not for counting that bars fall.
No Peszek on floor today?
Thankfully, we'll get to see Pinches.
Rotation 4 - UCLA on floor, Arizona on beam
1. Pinches - Nice high double tuck and enough control on the landing - she has developed much more presence on floor as a UCLA gymnast - enjoy watching this - OOB on her middle pass double full, but the form looked fine - knee-chest on the double pike but did stick it. Looked good except for the double pike. 9.775 even with the OOB.
2. Meraz - (in for DeJesus) - large lunge out of double tuck mount - her straddles are certainly 180+ - secure front full in her middle pass - this is one of those UCLA "I'm going to stay on the ground for pretty much all of it" routines. Also knee-chest on the double pike, but that was a good hit after the first pass. 9.825.
3. Francis - "More of a James Bond theme" You mean because she's using Bond music? "I feel like she's almost on a secret mission with all those tumbling passes." WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Very secure on the double tuck - and little stumbly on 2.5 middle pass but fine - I could watch Danusia exist all day. Sticks her double pike as well with just medium low chest. 9.925.
4. Gerber - This routine is very pretty. Right down my alley too. Fine double back - small slide? - 1.5 to pike to stag looks nice - an actual switch ring as well - Looked really good until the double pike with was quite low with a step. Still strong. I actually think this is weaker than her routine last week but will clearly get a much higher score. 9.825.
5. Hall - Big cowboy on that double arabian with a step back - eh - front full to pike is nice - illusion turn - split full to straddle jump full is fine - I like a slow tempo routine, but this one just comes across as sleepy - a bit better than last week, though. Way short on double pike dismount with hands down. Oopsie. 9.275.
6. Cipra - throws the tuck full - low landing and a step to the side but she stays in bounds with it - 1.5 to front tuck - was that supposed to be a layout? The tuck looked improvised and sloppy. Elephant walk because Val. Hands down on double pike. Well, they threw that meet score away in the last two routines. Unacceptable. Sam Peszek, please save the day next time.
1. Fox - switch and split - back leg a little short on those - off line on her front aerial and comes off the beam, both feet half on - figures it out the second time - and falls again on her straddle 3/4 - Yeouch. Fall #3 on the front toss. Amanda Two tells us you'd rather have people on beam who hit. Really? Sticks the gainer pike at least.
2. Cindric - lovely press handstand stag mount - switch + split looks good - secure on loso series - sheep is an NCAA sheep but solid landing, hits the side aerial - lots of pauses before elements but solid. hop forward on front full dismount. 9.775.
3. Schneider - opens full turn, Off on the bhs+loso series, splits have Raisman legs - NCAA sheep - sticks front full dismount. They'll have to count this, but it will be low because of the fall obviously but also the dance elements. 9.250.
4. Sisler - stepout to bhs to loso - looked solid and pretty but then a wobble stepping out of it - switch split is good - solid front toss - Sticks her 1.5 dismount. Best of the group so far. Trying to save it. 9.800.
5. Mills - pretty aerial with minor pause before loso, elegant full turn with confident finishing position - switch to stag - nice height into her side somi as well - she's lovely on beam - small bounce in place before gainer full dismount. 9.850.
6. Flores - three series into loso is secure, slightly wonky on her full turn, pause after iffy switch into solid side aerial, straddle 1/4 is hit, 1.5 dismount with fake stick-salute.
UCLA 195.975, Arizona 195.300.
God, how UCLA was that? I also love that they counted two falls and still got the same score as last week. My, my, how the scoring standards change.
Well, obvious what the problems were there for UCLA. Exhibitions happening right now, which we don't get to see because TV. Beam was great, though. Beam was great. Not for Arizona, though. Without that problem, they could have challenged for the upset.
Interview with Nush. She's a gem.
Someone interview Miss Val about these falls like NOW.
I love Sam Peszek's faces of honesty after bad meets.
In other news, Georgia had a disaster (thanks for the reports in the comments!), so maybe UCLA shouldn't feel too bad.