PROVO, Utah – No. 11 BYU scored a 196.975 Friday night to defeat No. 21 Boise State (196.900) and Air Force Academy (192.650) at the Smith Fieldhouse.
BYU last faced Boise State back in January, losing by a mere .075. On Friday the Cougars redeemed themselves, celebrating four career-high scores and a new season-high vault score.
“It was a really long meet, but I think it was a good experience for the girls to compete at a meet that long,” said head coach Guard Young. “It’s nice to be back home and in front of our families. I’m super proud of the girls, and it was neat seeing Sophia McClelland do a floor routine for the first time.”
Starting off the meet, Boise State led the pack after an impressive score of 49.350 on the uneven bars. Meanwhile, the Cougars notched a 49.225 on vault, their highest score of the season on the apparatus. Senior Haley Pitou maintained her season-high score of 9.800. Up next, sophomore Lexi Griffith stuck her landing, trumping her previous career-high score by an entire point, contributing a 9.875. Senior Avery Bennett instantly screamed with joy after performing a 9.900-worthy routine. This would be another career-high score for the Cougars and vault title for Bennett. Senior Abbey Miner-Alder finished out the lineup by matching her career high of 9.875.
Trailing the Broncos by .125, BYU headed to the uneven bars. Victor of the uneven bars amongst the three teams, junior Abby Beeston tied her career-high score of 9.900, followed by a 9.875 by sophomore Anyssa Alvarado. Pitou celebrated her highest score of the season on the apparatus, earning a 9.850. The Cougars remained consistent, achieving a solid 49.225. This score would gain ground on Boise State, closing the gap to 98.625-98.450. BYU held a 2.050 lead over Air Force.
The Cougars would make their comeback in the third rotation with their second-highest beam score of the season, a 49.300. This would kick Boise State out of first place. Freshman Sophia McClelland notched a new career-high score of 9.925. Stainton would match the score, her highest of the season. This would earn the pair the beam title for the night. Alder followed close behind her season-high score of 9.875. This created a margin of .275 over the Broncos heading into the final rotation.
Known for their crowd-pleasing routines, BYU did not disappoint and solidified its win with its second-highest floor score of the season, a 49.325. Bennett would garner yet another career high, snagging a 9.850 on floor. For the second consecutive week, junior Brittney Vitkauskas achieved her career-high score of 9.925, taking home first place in the event. Alder would carry the Cougars home, snagging second place behind Vitkauskas with her 9.900.
Next week, the Cougars will host Utah State on Friday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. MST in the Smith Fieldhouse.