The Oregon State gymnastics team put up another strong score on Saturday.
The Beavers were not able to overcome UCLA and its two Olympic gold medalists, but the Beavers did hit all 24 routines and finished with a 196.700. UCLA scored a 197.325.
Last week the Beavers scored a 196.900, so the team seems to be trending in the right direction after four meets.
"I think we're kind of figuring out what we're doing and since we do have a big team, that plays a factor. But we know what we want now, we know how we're getting it and we just go out there and leave our heart on the floor and we find that's working for us," OSU's Madeline Gardner said.
The Beavers were solid on all four events, but it was a strong push through the floor lineup that gave a boost to the final score.
Mary Jacobsen led off with a 9.800, then Taylor Ricci put together a performance that showed some power and grace and landed a 9.900 from one judge and a final score of 9.875.
Sabrina Gill scored a 9.800 and Isis Lowery kept the momentum headed up with a 9.850.
That set up Gardiner for a 9.925 and then Kaytianna McMillan capped the night with a 9.950.
"The routines we put up today were awesome and following those, I was like, I know my whole team is behind me, we're giving it 100 percent. It's my turn to get out there and do what I know to do," Gardiner said. "After my score came out, it was like, this is awesome. Obviously it felt great and I knew that Kaytianna's always great at anchoring and so I had full faith in her."
The Beavers held steady with a 49.000 on vault to start the meet. McMillan and Jacobsen led OSU with 9.825s.
Bars was a big boost for the Beavers. Jacobsen scored a 9.850, McKenna Singley a 9.825 and then McMillan and Erika Aufiero finished the rotation with 9.900s, giving OSU a 49.275.
"I think our lineups are really good at building off of each other, so after each routine you get stronger and stronger and the excitement builds and so by the end everyone's so excited and hyped up," McMillan said. "It's a good finish."
Dani Dessaints led OSU on beam with a 9.875 and the Beavers managed a 49.025.
A crowd of 3,722 showed up for the meet and not all were OSU fans. There was a group of UCLA supporters rooting on the Bruins.
The atmosphere and level of gymnastics received a small boost due to the matchup.
"They have beautiful gymnastics and it's so fun to be with them because the fans really get into it and we feed off the fans as well," Gardiner said.
The Bruins were powered by Olympic gold medalists Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross, both freshmen.
Kocian won the all-around, edging McMillan 39.525-39.500. Kocian, who medaled in Rio, had a 9.925 on floor.
Ross competed in the 2012 Olympics in London. Ross said that she had a goal of continuing her gymnastics career through college even while she was competing as an Olympian.
Ross is an older freshman because of Olympic training.
"I'm still a freshman at heart," Ross said. "This a new experience. This was only my third collegiate meet, so it was very exciting to go out and it's always fun to have the support of the team behind me and it's such a great atmosphere."
Ross landed a 10.000 on bars, along with a 9.925 on vault and a 9.850 on beam.
She said bars used to be her worst event but after she grew several inches, which allows longer lines and stronger body position, it gradually became her strength.
"Getting my first 10, I was so excited," she said. "Just having the whole team just come up and hug me after, I think everyone knew that it was a good routine and hopefully the judges would think the same. So having the judges give me that 10 solidified that. I was just so emotional and happy to get a 10 today."