Two top-20 teams battled it out as the Oregon State Beavers faced off against the visiting UCLA Bruins at Gill Coliseum on Feb. 29.
The Beavers, ranked No. 18 in the country, were coming off a loss against California on Feb. 22 while the Bruins were also coming off a loss against the Utah Utes on Feb. 23. All the gymnasts performed with heart and dedication, doing everything they could to get the win for their team.
Despite a valiant effort from the Beavers, the Bruins won the meet by a combined score of 197.250 compared to the Beavers’ 196.825. Oregon State, however, scored more points on both the bars and floor routine, with scores of 49.400 on bars and 49.450 on floor.
All 5,000 people in attendance roared in cheers and applause when OSU senior gymnast Isis Lowery scored a 9.900 on her floor routine. Lowery, who also scored a 9.875 on both her bar routine and beam routine, said the crowd in Gill really helped her performance.
“I like to perform, I love to really bring the crowd and engage them, because I know that when everyone else is having fun, I’m having more fun,” Lowery said. “It’s just so much fun when Gill is packed.”
OSU senior gymnast Hallli Briscoe scored a 9.95 during her bar routine. Briscoe set her career high and aided in the Beavers in beating the Bruins for the bars routine. Briscoe said she was not surprised by the team bar score.
“I think we all knew that that’s what we’re capable of this entire time,” Briscoe said. “So to see it all come together was really nice, and I think it gave us a confidence boost for the rest of season to just keep improving and get that score higher.”
OSU’s interim head coach Michael Chaplin said he knew that his team was ready to go out there and compete, despite knowing that their opponent was one of the best gymnastics teams in the country.
“It doesn’t matter if it's UCLA or whoever we’re competing against, you have to be ready, show up, and do your routines, and that’s kinda what they did tonight,” Chaplin said.
Chaplin also said the team’s atmosphere has as much of an impact on the team as the crowd does.
“Like Isis said, whether there’s 1500 people at Cal, or 15,000 at Utah, or our 5,000 at home, they know to get excited and do what they need to do and feed off that excitement,” Chaplin said. “It’s our own Beaver energy, our Beaver Bubble.”
The Beavers will return back to Gill Coliseum to face off against another conference rival, the Washington Huskies. The meet will take place on March 6 at 7 p.m.