No. 11 BYU Hosts Top-Rated Utah Friday

PROVO -- Boasting one of its best teams ever, the 11th-ranked BYU women's gymnastics team hosts No. 1-rated Utah Friday in an instate battle between two of the nation's top programs. The meet begins at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center.

BYU (1-1) opened with a loss at Kentucky before rebounding with a strong effort in a win at Boise State. Utah is off to a 2-0 start with impressive wins over then No. 1 UCLA and No. 3 Nebraska.

BYU head coach Brad Cattermole said the team is ready and excited for it's first home meet.

"There's nothing to be anxious about," he said. "It's just fun. This is a great opportunity for people in our community to see some great gymnastics."

The Cougars' win last week over the Broncos represents the highest second-meet score (196.275) of head coach Brad Cattermole's career.

"It's given the girls a lot more confidence," said Dawn Cattermole, BYU assistant coach. "They're as happy with their performance as we are."

Some of the nation's top performers will compete Friday in the Marriott Center. BYU senior Kari Lords and Utah's Melissa Vituj are tied for third nationally on balance beam. Lords is also tied for fourth nationally and ranked No. 2 in the North Central Region on the floor exercise (9.950).

Cougar senior Brogan Jacobsen and Utah's Annabeth Eberle are tied with Denver's Ashley Shible (9.900) at No. 5 in the region on the uneven bars. Eberle is tied for first in the nation on the vault (10.0 best) and is fifth in the all-around (39.625), while Ute freshman Rachel Tidd is tied for third on vault (9.975) and fifth on bars (9.925).

Another strong Cougar performer is the team's all-around leader Jaime Mabray. The junior is coming off an all-around win against Boise State (38.950).

BYU assistant coach Shauna Mertz said she has seen the Cougars' motivation change and the unity grow stronger.

"The first meet against Kentucky was an eye-opener," she said. "They now have a fighting attitude and that will pay off in the long run."

Tickets for Friday's meet are available at the BYU Ticket Office or by calling 800-322-BYU1 or 378-BYU1. Admission is $5 for adults; $4 for senior citizens, BYU faculty, and students without an All-Sport Card; and $15 for a family pass. Admission is free to students with an All-Sport Card.

"Disco Night" is the promotion for the meet, as fans who come dressed in disco duds can win prizes. The meet will be televised on KBYU, channel 11, and on BYU Television, which is available nationally on the Dish Network and DirecTV.

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