UCLA keeps dancing.
With their best floor rotation of the season, the Bruins advanced to the NCAA championships for the first time since 2019 by finishing second in Saturday’s NCAA regional final at Pauley Pavilion.
Utah finished first with a score of 198 points, while the Bruins rallied from a two-tenths deficit at the middle to move past Missouri for second place. UCLA totaled 197.925 points, while the Tigers, who kept the Bruins out of nationals by .025 points last season, had a score of 197.6. Washington, the only unranked team in the country to reach a regional final this season, finished with 195.65 points.
Although the No. 4 Bruins entered the regional final with the highest qualifying score of the semifinals, they got off to a slow start on the bars and beam. They scored only one better than a 9.9 on beam, a 9.925 from freshman Selena Harris, and had their worst turnover on beam since Jan. 29 with a total of 49.325. UCLA fell to third place.
The Bruins made their move in their signature event, the floor drill, where they charged back with five scores of 9.9 or higher on the floor drill. Jordan Chiles anchored the lineup with a perfect 10 that cemented UCLA’s total score of 49.7.
Needing a solid performance in their lowest-scoring event of the season, the Bruins delivered in the vault with a 49.5, their second-highest scoring in the event this season. The total trailed only the score from Thursday’s semifinal. Harris starred in the first 10 of his career.
UCLA advances to the NCAA championships April 13-15 in Fort Worth. The Bruins will end the longest national drought in school history and try to clinch their first national title since 2018.