PROVO -- In their final home meet of the season, the BYU women’s gymnastics team (12-6-2) fell to rival Utah Friday by a score of 195.8 – 196.7 in the Marriott Center on senior night. The Cougars’ team mark was their best of the season.
"From beginning to end we fought hard," said BYU head coach Brad Cattermole. "I think we were trying so hard to stick landings and get big scores that we got ahead of ourselves at times, but we competed well."
Seniors Jessica Villegas and Madeleine Johnson were honored after their final home meet as Cougars. Both posted career-highs on the night as Johnson scored a 9.900 on bars while Villegas scored a career-best 9.850 on floor.
The Cougars began on vault and were led by sophomore Haylee Rollins, who posted a 9.85. Freshman KayCee Gassaway and junior Natalie Eyre each recorded a 9.825 to bring BYU’s team score to 48.975. Eyre, the BYU team captain, is currently ranked eighth in the North Central region on vault and boasts a career-high score of 9.925.
After the first rotation, the Utes held the lead, scoring 49.375 compared to BYU’s 48.975.
On bars, Johnson was not the only Cougar to receive a career-high score. Freshmen Raquel Willman and Rollins each posted career-highs, scoring 9.875 and 9.90 respectively. After two rotations, the Cougars’ running score was 98.25, just .3 points behind the Ute’s, who sat at 98.550. BYU’s 49.725 on bar was their best mark of the season.
"I think this builds our confidence going into regionals, which is the biggest meet of the season," Villegas said.
Junior Krysten Koval set a new career-high on beam, posting a 9.900 to lead the Cougars in the third rotation. Eyre also set a new career high with a 9.875 and Willman recorded a 9.800 as BYU recorded a season-high 49.050 on beam.
Mickell Merrell led BYU on floor by posting a career-high 9.850. Rollins and senior Jessica Villegas each equaled Merrell’s score and helped the Cougars to a 48.500 team score on the event.
BYU will now await their regional bid which will be announced Monday.