Cougars Defeated Despite Strong Performance
PROVO -- Nearly an entire season has passed since the No. 35 BYU Cougars competed against No. 22 Southern Utah and although both teams have matured since their last meeting the result remained the same as the Thunderbirds defeated the Cougars, 195.950-195.350.
In the first rotation the Cougars began on the uneven bars while the Thunderbirds started on the Vault. BYU received its highest mark on the event from senior bar specialist McKell Merkley who scored a career high 9.850. Megan Donehue followed with a 9.775. At the end of the rotation, the Cougars trailed SUU by .350 after the Thunderbirds posted four scores of 9.800 or higher.
BYU responded by scoring 9.800 on the vault by four gymnasts, Natalie Eyre, Danielle Goldman and Haylee Rollins all scored 9.800 as well as a career high 9.800 from Kaylee Gallup. Still, SUU led 98.125-97.700 after the second event. The Thunderbirds were very successful on the bars including a 9.925 by Alyssa Click.
The event for the Cougars was the floor exercise. Mickell Merrell and Jennifer Lezeu opened the event for BYU both scoring 9.775. Senior Danielle Goldman led the Cougars with a 9.850 tying her career high while freshman Haylee Rollins followed with a 9.825. Madeleine Johnson also contributed with a season-high 9.800. After a successful rotation, BYU was only .150 behind SUU.
With the pressure on both teams to perform, the Cougars and the Thunderbirds headed to their final rotation. Madeleine Johnson paced BYU with a career high 9.825. However, it was not enough as SUU secured their victory on the floor exercise.
The Cougars will finish their regular season Friday against the University of Utah at 7 p.m. in Salt Lake City.
BYU Gymnastics Seeks Redemption on the Road
PROVO -- The No. 33 BYU Cougars will look to revenge two home losses earlier this season against in state rivals, No. 21 Southern Utah University and No. 9 University of Utah this week. BYU will travel to Cedar City to take the Thunderbirds Monday at 7 p.m. and will then face the Utah Utes in Salt Lake City at 7 p.m. Friday.
The Cougars are coming off a season-high (195.725) performance against Boise State and Arizona State on March 12th. For the first time this season, the BYU coaching staff felt that their team performed to its full potential.
“We hit according to our capabilities,” Cougar head coach Brad Cattermole said Friday. “We still have mistakes that we want to improve on but for me, that meet we did what good teams do. Everyone did their part in order to give us a good score.”
Still, BYU’s opponents in the coming week have also enjoyed success this season. SUU began their season with five wins before recently struggling against quality opponents. Most recently, the Thunderbirds finished third in a quad meet at the University of Utah despite posting a season high 196.025 on the night.
“We tend to do pretty well in Cedar City,” Cattermole said. “But we can really do well anywhere if we hit our routines. We haven’t been very successful on the road this season so we need to take our capabilities with us on this trip but I think competing against SUU is something we are comfortable with.”
BYU has only defeated Utah twice in the history of the program. However, BYU’s scores in Salt Lake City tend to be some of their best each season. Despite a tough meet against the Utes in 2009, the Cougars are optimistic that this success will return Friday.
“We always look forward to the Utah meets every year,” said Cattermole. “Our history at Utah has been good as far as scores go.”
The Utes are coming off their season-high (196.975) against three top 25 opponents in their last home meet.