BYU soars to victory over No. 15 SUU with season-best performance
PROVO, Utah — No. 12 BYU soared to its highest score of the season on Friday night while defeating No. 15 Southern Utah, 196.825-196.175, in its home opener at the Smith Fieldhouse.
“We put all four events together tonight,” BYU head coach Guard Young said. “It finally felt like it was a complete meet all the way around from start to finish. This is our highest score of the year and I think that score is going to keep ticking up as we keep competing.”
In the victory, the Cougars posted scores of 49.000 or better on each of the four events for the first time this season.
“Our kids were ready to compete and hang with a really good SUU team that is ranked 15th in the country,” Young said. “Kudos to SUU because they put a great meet together as well.”
The Cougars got off to a solid start on vault, posting their second-highest score of the year on the event with a 49.000 team total. Angel Zhong got BYU started with a 9.800 vault to tie her season high and Abbey Miner-Alder anchored the vault lineup with 9.85 to tie with SUU’s Morgan Alfaro for the top vault score of the night. Allix Mason (9.775) and Rachel Bain-Heaton (9.800) both stepped up with career-best scores when it was their turn to make a run at vault.
BYU increased the momentum on uneven bars in the second rotation, totaling a season-high 49.350 for the third time this year. The Cougars tallied five counting routines that all achieved a 9.850 or better, led by Helody Cyrenne’s season-best 9.900 performance that made her the bars champion for the meet. Lindsey Hunter (9.875) tied her career high with a 9.875 and Alder set a new personal best at 9.850, while Abby Beeston delivered a 9.875 and Abby Boden-Stainton added a 9.850 to the solid lineup.
At the midway point of the meet, BYU maintained a 98.350-97.925 advantage after SUU posted scores of 48.950 on bars and 48.875 on vault.
The Cougar crescendo continued on beam as assistant coach Natalie Broekman’s lineup delivered a season-high 49.350, which ranks as the No. 6 beam total in BYU gymnastics history. Leading the way were Stainton and Cyrenne, who each had season-best 9.900 scores, while Elease Rollins and Lexi Mather both added 9.825 performances, a season high for Mather, and Sophia McClelland contributed a career personal best of 9.850.
Entering the floor exercise in the final rotation, BYU held a 0.775 lead over the Thunderbirds, who moved to beam after scoring a 49.150 on floor.
BYU delivered again with a strong 49.125 on floor to give the team a 49.000 or better total on each event on the night. Among the highlights on floor, Alder anchored the lineup with a 9.900 to tie her season high and Jordan Matthews had a career night with a personal-best 9.825. Despite SUU’s strong 49.250 on beam, the Cougars easily outpaced the Thunderbirds for the victory.
The Cougars will take to the road again next week for two meets, facing UCLA on Wednesday before a rematch with Southern Utah in Cedar City on Friday.
No. 12 BYU hosts home opener against No. 15 Southern Utah
PROVO, Utah – Competing on home turf for the first time this season, No. 12 BYU invites No. 15 Southern Utah to battle in the Smith Fieldhouse on Friday, Feb. 5, at 7 p.m. MST.
Currently the Cougars hold a two-meet winning streak over the Thunderbirds. Most recently, on Jan. 9, the two faced at the Rio Tinto Best of Utah NCAA Gymnastics Meet in West Valley City, Utah. BYU placed second (195.700) behind the current No. 3 University of Utah, with Utah State placing third and SUU fourth (194.325.)
A highlight from the 2020 season included a win for BYU on SUU’s home turf, achieving the team’s highest score since 2004, a 197.075. Looking ahead, the MRGC rivals have two other matchups planned for the season.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions and to ensure the health and safety of the student-athletes and staff, Friday's match will not be open to the public but will be broadcast live on BYUtv.
- When: Friday, February 5
- Time: 7 p.m. MST
- Location: Smith Fieldhouse
- TV: BYUtv
- Stats: StatBroadcast.com
THE COUGARS. On Friday, BYU achieved its highest score of the season in a win over Utah State in Logan, Utah, earning a 196.425. A team-high vault score of 49.050 and a team-high beam score of 49.150 contributed to this tally. This total kept the Cougars in the No. 12 slot nationally. In the MRGC, freshman Elease Rollins and senior Abby Boden-Stainton shared MRGC Beam Specialist of the Week, both earning a 9.900 on the apparatus.
THE THUNDERBIRDS. SUU holds the second-highest ranking currently in the MRGC at No. 15. Thus far, the Thunderbirds hold a 195.800 average on the season, after four meets. Last week, the team snagged a win at home against the Boise State Broncos, 196.425-194.825. Within the conference, Karley McClain earned MRGC Gymnast of the Week for the third consecutive week, accompanied by Shylen Murakami as MRGC Bars Specialist of the Week.