The 22nd-ranked Washington Huskies used a great fourth rotation on the floor to break a tie and pull off a 195.350-194.600 upset of No. 1 UCLA.
After opening the season with three straight road meets, the Huskies returned home to face top-ranked UCLA. The Huskies were solid on all four events en route to picking up their second duel meet win of the season.
Afterwards, Husky Head Coach Joanne Bowers was understandably pretty excited.
“I can’t overlook the fact that we just beat the number one team,” Coach Bowers said. “That was just amazing to my staff, myself, our team and it was just absolutely wonderful.”
The GymDawgs began the meet on the vault, where Lauren Rogers came in second with a score of 9.825. Ruby Engreitz and Megan Whitney also put down solid scores as the Huskies posted a team score of 48.725.
Washington’s second event had them on the bars. The Huskies put up a score of 48.925 as Engreitz tied for first with a 9.850 and Hatsune Akaogi placed second with a 9.800. Through two rotations, the Huskies held a slim 97.650-97.275 lead over the Bruins.
The third rotation had Washington on the beam, where Washington’s first participant, Megan Whitney, had a small slipup. This put the pressure on the remaining five gymnasts to put down solid scores, and they didn’t disappoint. Engreitz and Paige Bixler tied for third in the event with 9.800’s, and the remaining Huskies scored well, giving the GymDawgs a 48.750 on the beam.
“Truthfully, Meg’s our leadoff on beam because in practice and in meets, she very rarely makes a mistake,” Coach Bowers said. “But the fact that we were able to hang on in that situation, I think is huge.”
Going into the final rotation, the score was deadlocked at 146.400. Washington was on the floor, where they had struggled in recent meets. But the Huskies put down big scores when they had to, with Engreitz tying for first place with a score of 9.875. Rogers placed third with a 9.850 and the Huskies scored a season-best 48.925.
“I think that was one of the things that we were so excited about, was going in tied, and that we had struggled on floor. But I think that hitting floor last week at Stanford on the road gave us confidence, and we’ve been doing better on it in practice,” Coach Bowers said. “I was so glad the team trusted themselves and went out and did their job on floor.”
The GymDawgs might be thanking their tough opening stretch to the season for their ability to dig deep tonight and get the upset.
“I think being on the road the first three weekends toughened us up a little bit, because you have to go through all the travel and the adversity and all of that, and it did,” Coach Bowers said. “It gave us some confidence and toughened us up. I think we got closer as a team.”
But the Dawgs can’t rest on their laurels, as No. 9 Oregon State travels up to Seattle next Friday for a showdown with the Huskies.