No. 10 BYU gymnastics edged 196.275-196.250 by No. 11 ASU
TEMPE, Arizona – In a battle until the final routine, No. 11 ASU scraped by with a narrow 196.275-196.250 win over No. 10 BYU by a margin of only .025 on Saturday in Tempe, Arizona, at the Wells Fargo Arena.
This stands as the third time that the teams battled in head coach Guard Young’s time as coach, each time closing the gap between the Cougars and the Sun Devils. BYU's 196.250 total is a season high for the Cougars, improving on its 195.700 tally in the season opener last week.
BYU came in hot in the first rotation, sticking nearly every landing on the uneven bars. Sophomore Anyssa Alvarado led the pack with a career-high score of 9.925, topping her former high by an entire .100. Senior Haley Pitou followed by tying her career high of 9.900. For her season debut and second collegiate performance, sophomore Lindsey Hunter continued the streak, notching a career high of 9.875. The Cougars earned a total score of 49.350, BYU’s highest uneven bars score since the 2019 season.
"I really worked with the bar team this week," Young said. "Last week, our finishing event was bars and this week we started on bars. It's a different mindset. We had to start like lightening. We wanted to start with a big bang. They ran with it. I'm super proud of Lindsey holding her own with that group."
Heading into the second rotation, BYU held a .475 lead over ASU. On the vault, senior Abbey Miner-Alder posted a team-high score of 9.825, followed with a season-high score of 9.800 by her sister, junior Sadie Miner. Senior Avery Bennett and Pitou achieved season-high scores of 9.775, pushing up the total to 48.950. However, ASU takes pride in its uneven bars work and gaining on BYU, 98.300-98.000.
In the third rotation, BYU shined on the floor, exuding personality. However a fall for the Cougars and a strong showing by ASU on beam, including an impressive 9.925 by all-arounder Hannah Scharf, inched the Sun Devils closer to the top. BYU’s highest score, a 9.875, came from junior Brittney Vitkauskas and senior Abby Boden-Stainton, a season-high score for the two Cougars. A notable performance went to senior Jordan Danbury-Matthews, who matched her career high, 9.800. The teams headed into the final rotation 147.475-147.225.
The pressure remained until the final routine, as the Cougars competed on beam. Stainton led the team with a clean routine, earning a 9.850. Freshman Allix Mason followed, earning a career high of 9.800, compared to her former 9.425. Additionally, sophomore Lexi Mather boasted a season-high 9.775. In the end, minor mistakes added up, putting the Cougars behind in the final minutes. BYU managed a 48.775 on the apparatus, but ASU’s 49.050 on floor propelled the team that extra .025 for the win.
"It's going to take us some time to figure out our ending on beam," Young said. "They'll get there. I believe we're doing the right routines. I believe it's the right lineup. I believe we're doing the right things in practice. Those girls just have to come together as a beam unit."
A highlight of the meet included Alvarado winning uneven bars with her impressive 9.925 score. Additionally, BYU made progress this week as the team improved overall scores on vault, uneven bars and beam.
BYU will travel to Boise, Idaho, next week to take on Boise State on Saturday, Jan. 23. The meet in ExtraMile Arena starts at 7 p.m. MST.