BYU matches season high in loss to MRGC rival Boise State
BOISE, Idaho - In a meet filled with highs and lows, No. 14 BYU had its three-meet winning streak over No. 25 Boise State come to an end, 196.325-196.250, at the ExtraMile Arena in Boise, Idaho, on Saturday.
Stepping up to overcome some challenges heading into the meet, the Cougars matched their season-high score in the closely contested competition against the five-time conference champions.
"We had a lot thrown at the team this week," head coach Guard Young said. "We had a COVID-19 issue and that is something we had to overcome. I'm sure all the teams this year will have to overcome it. We had an injury with one of our starters on the last day of practice. We had some last minute changes. I'm super happy with these kids who came off the bench and scored us points."
The Cougars started strong in the first rotation, matching their season-high uneven bars score, a 49.350. Junior Abby Beeston achieved a career-high score of 9.900, topping her previous best of 9.850. Sophomore Anyssa Alvarado matched the 9.900, followed by a season-high 9.875 from senior Abby Boden-Stainton. All Cougars earned above a 9.775 to take the lead 49.350-48.900.
"I’m continually amazed by our bar swingers," Young said. "We have some really good backups that are just waiting to get in and these starters aren’t giving an inch. There’s no cracks in their gymnastics. Super impressed with how we are starting these events."
Coming off a high on the uneven bars, BYU headed to vault. However, the team earned its lowest vault score of the season, a 48.875. Highlights included senior Jordan Danbury-Matthews making her vault debut of the season and senior Angel Zhong hitting her highest score of the season, a 9.800. Senior Abbey Miner-Alder led the pack with a 9.875, the highest vault score of the evening.
With BYU leading by .025, junior Rachel Bain-Heaton started the floor rotation with a season-high score of 9.825. Senior Avery Bennett followed, making her career debut on floor with a routine packed with difficulty and personality. Matthews pulled a 9.800, matching her career high. Alder’s 9.875 would propel the team to a 49.175 total, earning the highest floor score with Maddi Nilson from Boise State.
Ending on beam with a narrow lead of .150, the Cougars earned their highest score of the season on the apparatus, a 48.850. After a few hiccups this season, sophomore Elease Rollins found her groove, matching her career-high score of 9.900. This score would be the highest of the night. Alder followed her stunning performance, improving her season high to a 9.875. In the end, the Cougars would trail by just .075, earning a 196.250 final tally.
"Hats off to Boise State," Young said. "They’re five-time MRGC champions and they are mad that we took those wins from them last year. We’re in a great conference and everyone is doing gymnastics at a very high level right now. It’s so much fun and it’s a special thing. We have quality gymnastics, week in and week out."
Coming up, the Cougars will face local rival, Utah State, on Friday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m. MST at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan, Utah.