For the first time in 10 years, the No. 3 Utah Red Rocks knocked off the No. 2 UCLA Bruins in Los Angeles, Calif. 197.550-197.425 in front of 11,085 in Pauley Pavilion. Sophomore MyKayla Skinner sealed the win with a 9.925 on beam. UCLA started out with a 49.450 on vault, while Utah scored a 49.300 on bars. A few uncharacteristic mistakes by Kim Tessan and MaKenna Merrell-Giles on vault led to Utah scoring a 49.300, the event where Utah ranks second in the nation. Utah was down 0.150 halfway through the meet, and they rallied to get the win. A 49.550 on floor in the third rotation got the meet all tied up, and Utah sealed the win with a 49.400 on beam while UCLA managed a 49.275 on floor despite closing out the event with back-to-back 9.975s.
MyKayla Skinner won the all-around for the fifth time this season with a 39.625. Skinner tied for the win on vault (9.950), beam (9.925), and floor (9.975). Merrell-Giles (39.525) and Kari Lee (39.500) finished second and third in the all-around. Lee’s 39.500 was a career-high for her.
“You could feel the pressure on both teams in this great environment,” said Ute co-head coach Tom Farden. “Both of us showed uncharacteristic nerves at the beginning of the meet. But we settled down (in the second half) and that beam was maybe the best we have done all year. Our beam workers stayed in their element under intense pressure and we continue to show just a ton of tenacity.”
Utah will be on the road in California again next Sunday when they face Cal.