(Photo by Mark A Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – Despite career-high scores from a few Cougars, the BYU women's gymnastics team was narrowly defeated by Boise State, 194.700 to 194.425 on Saturday night at Smith Fieldhouse.
"It's the early season and we wanted to go big," head coach Brad Cattermole said. "We ended up making a few mistakes that cost us, but that's because we don't want to play it safe. You've got to take the big shots, we just came up a bit short."
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On the vault, the Cougars were led by freshmen Makenzie Johnson and Eliane Kulczyk, who each scored a 9.825. The score was a career high for Johnson. Despite BYU's solid performance on the vault, Boise State responded with five gymnasts scoring a 9.700 or better.
In the second rotation, BYU moved to the bars, where four Cougars scored a 9.750 or better. Sophomore Megan Bain had the best performance for the home squad, earning a 9.800. Kulczyk and senior Haylee Rollins both submitted scores of 9.775, a career best for Kulczyk.
Junior Raquel Willman led the Cougars on the beam, scoring a 9.750, the top mark of any gymnast at the meet. Bain and Johnson both scored a 9.725 on the beam to help the Cougars make up some ground. Heading into the fourth rotation, BYU was right on Boise State's heels, trailing 146.300 to 145.775.
Willman and Kulczyk were BYU's top performers on the floor, with each scoring a 9.800. It was a career-high score for Kulczyk and tied Willman's career best. Willman finished second in the all-around competition with a score of 38.575.
"It hurts that we're missing Madeline (Nilsson)," Cattermole said. "She's probably our most consistent vaulter, but we've just got to make adjustments. I'm confident we won't make the same mistakes next week."
Next week the Cougars will head to Boise for a rematch against the Broncos. The event will start at 7 p.m. MST at Taco Bell Arena on Friday, Feb. 1.