No. 23 BYU Defeats No. 15 Nebraska in Season Opener
PROVO, Utah – The No. 23 BYU gymnastics team took down No. 15 Nebraska 195.750 – 195.600 for the first time since 1998 Monday night at the Marriott Center.
"Our routines are practiced over and over again, but you just never know what is going to happen when you dial down and get in front of the lights and the cameras," BYU head coach Guard Young said. "We practice in the Smith Fieldhouse and this is the first time some of the freshmen have been in the Marriott Center. It was not a perfect day for the Cougars, but I liked how we responded. The future looks bright for us this season."
Going into BYU’s final routine of the meet, the teams were tied at 195.600 and the Cougars needed higher than a 9.725 to take the lead. Junior Abbey Miner was the anchor for the Cougars on floor and finished with a score of 9.875, helping BYU land the win at 195.750.
Miner won the all-around with a career high of 39.325. Junior Abby Boden Stainton followed in second with a score of 39.175.
BYU opened up the meet on vault with Miner leading the team with a score of 9.800. Sophomore Sadie Miner posted her personal best with a score of 9.775, while junior Avery Bennett and Boden Stainton received matching scores of 9.725. The Cougars ended their vault rotation .150 behind Nebraska with a score of 48.675.
During the second rotation, Boden Stainton brought BYU's highest score on the uneven bars, tying her career best with a 9.900. Abby Beeston and Abbey Miner broke each of their personal records with scores of 9.825 and 9.800, respectively. Junior Haley Pitou recorded a 9.850 to give the Cougars four gymnasts who scored 9.800 or better. After the second rotation, BYU took the lead with a score of 97.775 to Nebraska’s 97.600.
The Cougars moved to beam where Abbey Miner led BYU with a score of 9.850. Stainton followed with a 9.825 as well as freshman Lexi Mather with a 9.75 in her career debut. Going into the last rotation, BYU lost its lead as the Huskers led 146.600 to 146.575.
In the final rotation, Sadie Miner earned a career-high score of 9.875. Sophomore Brittney Vitkauskas tied her personal best with a score of 9.850, while sophomore Rachel Bain also received an impressive score of 9.800 during her first official career performance.
Next, the Cougars will compete on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. MST at the first-ever Rio Tinto Best of Utah NCAA Gymnastics meet at the Maverik Center. BYU will compete against Utah, Southern Utah and Utah State.
BYU hosts No. 15 Nebraska in Season Opener
PROVO, Utah – BYU gymnastics will kick off the 2020 season by hosting No. 15 Nebraska on Monday, Jan. 6 at 5:30 p.m. MST in the Marriott Center.
The Cougars are coming off a strong season in 2019 that included achieving their highest score since 2004: a 197.000. The team ended the season ranked No. 21 in the nation, advancing to the NCAA Regionals.
In the Women's Collegiate Gymnastics Association (WCGA) 2020 preseason poll, BYU earned a No. 23 national ranking.
This season, BYU welcomed five new freshmen: Anyssa Alvarado, Lindsey Hunter, Allix Mason, Maya Page and Elease Rollins. Additionally, Warde Allan, former BYU gymnast, joined the coaching staff. With these additions, head coach Guard Young anxiously awaits the start of the season.
“We’ve had a great week and a half of winter training,” Young said. “We’ve had to run several different scenarios based off their health and life, and we’ve gotten different kids ready. I can’t wait for these girls to go out and show what they can do.”
During the 2020 season, the Cougars will compete in 11 meets leading up to the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Championships in Boise, Idaho. To start off the season, the Cougars will compete in three meets within less than two weeks.
“It’s an incredible start to a 2020 season with a home meet against Nebraska,” Young said. “Days later, we’ll head up to the Maverik Center on a podium for the Best of Utah meet and then back to the Marriott Center to face UCLA and Utah State.”
On Monday, BYU will face Nebraska for the first time during Young’s coaching career.
“Nebraska is a team that qualifies for nationals on a regular basis, so you’re going to see some really good gymnastics," Young said. "It’ll be a battle all the way down to the end.”
Last season, the Huskers boasted a season-high score of 197.675, earning a 6-3 record in the Big Ten Conference. Additionally, two of Nebraska’s gymnasts, Sienna Crouse and Taylor Houchin, advanced to the NCAA National Championships.
For this meet, the Marriott Center will be offering special group rates of $25 for a family ticket or $30 for a group of 25.
“It’s a great meet on a Monday where you can bring your family and it’s a really fun way to start off the new year,” Young said. “ We hope the fans want to show up and enjoy the sport of gymnastics like we do.”