Jennifer Lezeu won the all-around competition and became the first Cougar to compete in all-around this season. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- In a battle between two top 25 teams, the No. 25 BYU Cougars came up short against the No. 22 Auburn Tigers, losing 195.000 to 194.675 Friday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.
“I am satisfied with our performances tonight and I feel like we competed well, but we have a few things that we can work on,” BYU head gymnastics coach Brad Cattermole said. “This team is a really good team and if we can get out there and push ourselves next week, we will be able to really compete with the great competition we’re going to see at the Marriott Center.”
Junior Jennifer Lezeu led the way for the Cougars with a solid all-around performance, finishing with 39.050 total points. Lezeu is the first Cougar to compete in the all-around competition this year. The junior defeated the only all-around competitor for Auburn, Toi Garcia, who scored a 38.825. Danielle Goldman competed in the all-around for the Cougars once last season scoring a 38.925.
In the first rotation of the competition, BYU performed well with five of the six athletes competing in the vault scoring 9.700 or better. KayCee Gassaway led the way with a career high vault score of 9.875 while Lezeu and Haylee Rollins both scored 9.775.
BYU took the early lead in the first event with a team score of 48.875. Auburn competed on the uneven bars during the initial rotation and came away with a score of 48.650.
The uneven bars came up next for the Cougars, with Madeleine Johnson leading the way with a score of 9.825. Rollins came away with a 9.750 score and three Cougars scored 9.725. As a team, BYU came away with a final event score of 48.750, to maintain a narrow lead over the Tigers, who scored 48.800 on the vault.
Lezeu performed well on the third event of the night, scoring 9.875 on the beam for the Cougars. Also scoring well for BYU in the event was Megan Bain, who came away with a career best 9.825. Overall the team came away with a score of 48.175 for the beam.
Auburn came out strong on their third event of the night, scoring 48.850 on the floor routine as a team. With that score the Tigers took their first lead of the night after three events, 146.300 – 145.800.
On the final rotation of the night the Cougars were able to put together a team score of 48.875, led by the floor routine of Rollins and her score of 9.850. Jessica Villegas scored 9.825 for the Cougars while Bain contributed with her second career best of the night with a score of 9.800.
The Tigers finished the meet with a 48.700 team score on the beam, good enough to edge out BYU for the meet victory.
Next up for the Cougars will be a matchup with Southern Utah in Cedar City, Utah on Monday, March 7 at 7:00 pm MT.