SEATTLE -- The No. 23 University of Washington Gymnastics team ended Sunday evening with a total team score of 195.650 against the ninth-ranked UCLA Bruins who won the meet with a 196.675. Facing the highest-ranked team they've seen this season, the final UW score was the second highest the team has put up this season.
"I feel like our goal is to learn to compete better. With great energy, methodically, we're trying to hit more routines and be able to build off of more routines. We started well with our highest team score on vault, and we stair-stepped from there. I thought there were some really good routines on bars. I thought our bar team looked great. I was really pleased with Mack on beam, because she dislocated her finger this week, but was still able to hit a 9.825 for us. I was so proud of how our team went to floor with great energy and started building off of each other again despite not having the best beam set of their lives. As a whole, we did great," said head coach Joanne Bowers.
The Huskies yet again improved their score on vault in the first rotation of the meet, this week scoring a total 48.925. The rotation also saw freshman Janae Janik landed the highest vault of her career, a 9.750 showing steady week-by-week improvement for the all-arounder. At the other end of the spectrum, senior Aliza Vaccher tied her season high vault with a 9.825.
In the second rotation the GymDawgs really showed off what they can do. They team set another season event high score with a 49.125 on bars. Janik also had a great routine in this rotation hitting a 9.825. Vaccher showed her skill in the rotation as well with a 9.850, which helped her eventual second-place all-around score of 39.250.
The real highlight of the bar line-up for Washington, though, was junior Jackie McCartin. McCartin nailed her routine and got a 9.925 a career high for her on bars. It is also the highest individual score of any GymDawg so far this season.
Beam was the one sticking point for UW on Sunday afternoon. After a solid start from Vaccher, there were a couple of mishaps in the lineup. The second half of Huskies were able to pull it back together, though with a 9.825 from junior McKenzie Fechter and another outstanding score from McCartin, a 9.875 that tied her season high on the event.
In their last rotation, the team was once again able to show off. Washington scored above a 49 on floor for only the second time this season with a final team total of 49.100. The team saw 9.850s from two gymnasts Vaccher and freshman Alexandra Yacalis, a 9.825 from junior Madison Podlucky and a 9.800 from sophomore all-arounder Allison Northey. They only score under a 9.800 that UW counted was a 9.775 from Janik.
The Huskies now start a long stretch of away meets starting next week in Berkeley where they will take on No. 24 Cal and Sacramento State next Saturday, Feb. 22 at 7:00 p.m. PT before traveling to Salt Lake City to take on No. 4 Utah (Feb. 28, 5:00 p.m. PT) and finally wrapping up their regular-season away schedule at Brigham Young (March 7, 6:00 p.m. PT).