UCLA weekend recap: Gymnastics qualifies for nationals

The UCLA gymnastics team advanced to NCAA nationals for the 11th straight year on Saturday, winning the Champaign Regional with a team score of 196.800.

Freshman Madison Kocian led UCLA through a strong bar rotation as the Olympic gold medalist’s first-place finish paced the Bruins to a team total of 49.425. Kocian’s 9.925 won first place on bars with a 9.925 was her second-best score of the season on the event, behind only her perfect 10.0 on Feb. 11.

Despite starting the meet strong on bars, the Bruins struggled on the other events. They posted season-lows on vault and beam with team event totals of 49.075 and 49.025, respectively.

Kocian and fellow Bruin Angie Cipra helped the Bruins recover on floor where they tied for the regional championship with Oregon State’s Kaytianna McMillan with a score of 9.875.

The Bruins will compete in the 12-team NCAA national meet April 14-15 in St. Louis, Mo.

Elsewhere in UCLA athletics

  • Baseball won its weekend series against Arizona State, clinching the road series on Sunday with a decisive 17-4 win. Freshman Chase Strumpf led UCLA (13-12, 6-3 Pac-12) to the win Sunday with seven RBIs on three hits as he became the first Bruin to drive in seven or more runs in a game since 2000. Jon Olsen pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits while earning his second straight win. The Bruins have won seven of their past eight games, outscoring opponents 85-35. UCLA got 20 combined RBIs from its freshmen this weekend while winning 9-3 on Friday and losing 5-4 on Saturday.
  • No. 13 Softball won a weekend series at No. 8 Washington with wins Friday and Saturday. Redshirt freshman Rachel Garcia led UCLA (26-9, 2-4 Pac-12) to a 6-2 victory Friday, pitching a complete-game five-hitter while also hitting a two-run home run. Garcia secured UCLA’s 9-8 win Saturday as she entered the game in relief. After the Huskies scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth to cut a five-run deficit to just one, Garcia pitched 1 1/3 innings and held UW to three hits and no runs. The Bruins lost 12-7 in the series finale Sunday.
  • Beach volleyball pushed its winning streak to 17 matches, going 6-0 at the FIU Surf and Turf Invitational. No. 3 UCLA (19-2) took down a host of ranked teams, including No. 4 Florida State, No. 12 Arizona State, No. 14 Florida Atlantic and No. 15 FIU.
  • Men’s tennis opened Pac-12 play by sweeping Washington and Oregon at home. After the Bruins (13-4, 2-0 Pac-12) blanked the Huskies 4-0 on Friday, Logan Staggs clinched UCLA’s 4-3 win over Oregon on Saturday with a three-set victory at No. 4 singles.
  • Women’s tennis swept the Washington schools on the road, giving up only two team points in the two victories. UCLA (10-5, 4-1 Pac-12) beat Washington 4-1 on Friday and took down Washington State 6-1 on Sunday to extend its winning streak to four matches.
  • After a sweep of rival USC on Wednesday, men’s volleyball won its seventh straight match Saturday with a five-set victory over Cal Baptist.
  • Women’s water polo dominated play at the Hawaii Invitational with three convincing wins. The Bruins (17-1) have won seven consecutive games, beating San Diego State 22-5, Hawai’i 12-4 and UC Santa Barbara 19-2.