No. 11 BYU notches sixth-highest floor score in win over No. 22 Utah State
PROVO, Utah – No. 11 BYU notched its highest floor score since 2003 in a dramatic comeback win against No. 22 Utah State, 196.925-196.600, on Friday in the Smith Fieldhouse.
"It was great to see Utah State put a complete meet together," BYU head coach Guard Young said. "It was just awesome and they were really pushing us. They were even ahead of us going into that last rotation.”
A major highlight included a 49.600 on floor in the final rotation, the sixth-highest floor score in program history. Tacking on another win over the Aggies, the Cougars now hold a three-meet winning streak against the top-25 USU program.
BYU kicked off the night on vault, achieving its second-highest vault score of the season, a 49.100. Senior Haley Pitou set the tone with a season-high score of 9.825. Shortly after, junior Rachel Bain-Heaton celebrated a new career-high score of 9.800. Senior Abbey Miner-Alder carried the momentum, tying her personal best of 9.875.
The Cougars led by a mere .075 heading to the second rotation. Freshman Anyssa Alvarado led the pack with an impressive 9.900 score on the uneven bars, winning the title for the night. Senior Abby Boden-Stainton wrapped up the rotation with a 9.825. However, Utah State surpassed BYU’s vault score, notching a 49.175. A 49.075 on bars by the Cougars would allow the Aggies to pull ahead, 98.200-98.175.
All Cougars stayed on the beam in the third rotation, securing a tally of 49.150. Sophomore Lexi Mather and freshman Sophia McClelland performed solid routines, earning scores of 9.825. Scores soared further when freshman Elease Rollins pulled off a 9.875 worthy routine, placing second overall. Stainton closed out the rotation with a meet-winning score of 9.900. Unfortunately, the gap widened further, putting Utah State ahead by. 175.
Not phased by the pressure in the final rotation, the Aggies put up a beam score of 49.100. However, in the comeback of the season, the BYU’s floor lineup emerged as the MVP of the night. Heaton lit the fire by matching her career-high score of 9.850, her highest of the season. Senior Avery Bennett trumped her former career-high of 9.850, notching a massive 9.925 score. The momentum continued to build when junior Brittney Vitkauskas followed suit, pulling off an impressive 9.950. Alder took it one step further and performed the highest-scoring routine of the season, a 9.975. These three routines would snag the top three spots on the event, solidifying the win for BYU over its MRGC rival
“They've been doing floor like that all year and I'm just so happy that they're finally getting the scores that I think they deserved all along,” Young said. “Well done on floor and just rocking the house. It was great to have the fans, in a limited amount, but they brought a lot of energy going into that last rotation and we sure felt it."
Coming up, the Cougars hit the road to face No. 3 University of Oklahoma on Friday, March 5, at 7 p.m. CST.
No. 11 BYU hosts MRGC rival Utah State on Friday
PROVO, Utah – For the second consecutive week, No. 11 BYU gymnastics will compete in the Smith Fieldhouse, hosting No. 22 Utah State on Friday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. MST.
The MRGC rivals last faced on Utah State’s home turf in Logan, Utah, on Jan. 29. There, the Cougars snagged their first win of the season, topping the Aggies, 196.425-195.175.
Prior to this battle, the teams faced off in West Valley City, Utah, on Jan. 9 at the second annual Rio Tinto Best of Utah NCAA Gymnastics Meet. BYU placed second (195.700.) in the event behind No. 4 Utah (196.900) while Utah State earned third (194.350), topping Southern Utah (194.325.)
BYU announced Tuesday that a limited number of spectators will be allowed to attend the meet on Friday. Tickets will be made available to purchase starting on Wednesday at byutickets.com. Cougar Club members and gymnastics season ticket holders can purchase tickets starting at 10:30 a.m., and sales will open to the general public beginning at 12 p.m. Student tickets will be available on Thursday starting at 10 a.m.
Tickets will be priced at $10, with a max of purchasing four. Student tickets will be priced at $5. Spectators will be physically distanced by household and masks are required.
- When: Friday, Feb. 26
- Time: 7 p.m. MST
- Location: Smith Fieldhouse
- Tickets: Spectators allowed (click for more info)
- TV: BYUtv
- Live Stats: byu.statbroadcast.com
THE COUGARS. On Friday, BYU’s score of 196.975 to trump Boise State (196.900) and Air Force Academy (192.650) in the Smith Fieldhouse. There, the Cougars celebrated a new season-high score on vault, a 49.225. Additionally, senior Avery Bennett achieved career-high scores on both vault (9.900) and floor (9.850), claiming MRGC Vault Specialist of the Week. Freshman Sophia McClelland and senior Abby Boden-Stainton both boasted scores of 9.925 on beam, becoming the MRGC Beam Specialists of the Week. Lastly, junior Brittney Vitkauskas finished the meet on a high note, earning a 9.925 on floor and snagging MRGC Floor Specialist of the Week.
THE AGGIES. The No. 22 ranked team currently holds a season-high tally of 196.225. Last Friday, Utah State faced Southern Utah in Cedar City. Even in a loss, the Aggies total score of 195.975 pushed the team one spot higher in the rankings. A strong point for the Aggies is their beam lineup, notching total scores of 49 or higher in their last five meets. Individually, Autumn DeHarde ranks first in the conference and 12th in the nation on beam. For the third time this season, the MRGC honored the senior with MRGC Beam Specialist of the Week for her 9.925 performance.