BYU scores season high in close defeat to SUU
CEDER CITY, Utah – No. 21 BYU scored a season-high 196.425 on Friday but still fell to No. 18 Southern Utah in an extremely close meet at the America First Event Center. The Thunderbirds finished the night with a 196.450 to edge out the Cougars.
Both teams improved on their scores since they opened the season at the Rio Tinto Best of Utah Meet, where BYU finished just above SUU 195.225-195.000. The last time the two teams faced off for a conference meet was Feb. 12, 2021 in Cedar City where the Cougars posted a 197.075-196.550 win over the Thunderbirds.
“Southern Utah has a great fan base with an amazing arena for competitions,” said head coach Guard Young. “It was fun to have a night where both teams were hitting everything and going back and forth the whole time. Our girls did a great job and it will be a fun meet the next time we face SUU at home this season.”
The Cougars started the night strong with a few career highs on bars in the first rotation. Anyssa Alvarado led the scoring for BYU with a 9.925 to tie her career high. Haley Pitou followed close behind with a 9.900, which also tied her career high on bars. After the first round, BYU took first place with a 49.225 over the Thunderbirds 49.050 start on vault.
BYU soared on vault in the second rotation. Lexi Griffith and Sadie Miner-Van Tassell led the Cougars with a score of 9.875 each on vault. With solid performances from Pitou (9.800) and Sydney Benson (9.775), BYU ended the second rotation with a 98.225. With a new school record set by Shylen Murakami of Southern Utah of 9.950 on bars, the Thunderbirds took the lead with a 98.250.
The Cougars continued to fight as they competed on the floor in the third rotation of the night. Freshman Eliza Millar started the rotation for BYU with a 9.725. Senior Brittney Vitkauskas led the Cougars with an impressive 9.900 in her season debut on floor. BYU went into its final rotation behind the Thunderbirds by .05 with scores of 147.200-147.150.
The final rotation of the night for the Cougars was beam. Lauren Ono was first up on the apparatus with a solid score of 9.875. Ono was followed by teammates Sophia McClelland and Millar, who also notched 9.875 routines on beam. With two scores of 9.925 on floor exercise, Southern Utah finished the night ahead of the Cougars with a 196.450-196.425.
Miner-Van Tassell competed for the All-Around and passed the 39.000 threshold for the second week in a row. BYU took home the highest score on beam with three athletes receiving a 9.875. Alvarado clinched the second-highest score on the uneven bars with a 9.925.
“We couldn’t be more happy with where Sadie is at in her senior year, and she can be very proud with what she has been able to accomplish so far,” Young said.
BYU gymnastics gears up for meet at SUU
PROVO, Utah — After bringing home a win against the Nebraska Huskers, the No. 21 BYU Cougars make their way to Ceder City to face MRGC rival No. 18 Southern Utah University.
Both teams competed in the season opener Rio Tinto Best of Utah Meet with BYU coming in just above SUU 195.225-195.000. The last time the two teams faced off for a conference meet was Feb. 12, 2021 in Cedar City where the Cougars posted a 197.075-196.550 win over the Thunderbirds.
“SUU is a great team who always competes well at home, and they look really strong this year,” said head coach Guard Young. “I am looking to keep the momentum going from the incredible meet the girls had at Nebraska. I want to see these girls sustain that same energy and performance from last week in the meet this Friday.”
- When: Friday, Jan. 21
- Time: 7 p.m. MST
- Location: America First Event Center
- Live Stream: ESPN+
- Stats: static.suutbirds
THE COUGARS. BYU competed against Nebraska on Saturday, Jan. 15 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center, earning first place (195.750). The Cougars are currently ranked No. 21 and improved their scores on vault, beam and floor in the second week of competition. Senior Sadie Miner-Van Tassell ended the night with the highest score for vault (9.825) and beam (9.850) in her season debut. She was also awarded the All-Around with a final score of 39.325, earning her the MRGC Gymnast of the Week honors.
THE THUNDERBIRDS. SUU hosted Arizona on Friday, Jan. 14 and took home first place with a 196.550-195.500 win over the Wildcats. For the second week in a row, a gymnast from Southern Utah took home MRGC Vault Specialist of the Week honors as senior Caitlin Kho scored a 9.900 on the event. Her teammate, senior Hannah Nipp, also earned an individual title, scoring a 9.950 on the balance beam to secure MRGC Beam Specialist of the Week accolades. With their win over Arizona, the Thunderbirds moved up to No. 18 in the rankings.