BYU soars to victory over No. 15 SUU with season-best performance
PROVO, Utah — No. 12 BYU soared to its highest score of the season on Friday night while defeating No. 15 Southern Utah, 196.825-196.175, in its home opener at the Smith Fieldhouse.
“We put all four events together tonight,” BYU head coach Guard Young said. “It finally felt like it was a complete meet all the way around from start to finish. This is our highest score of the year and I think that score is going to keep ticking up as we keep competing.”
In the victory, the Cougars posted scores of 49.000 or better on each of the four events for the first time this season.
“Our kids were ready to compete and hang with a really good SUU team that is ranked 15th in the country,” Young said. “Kudos to SUU because they put a great meet together as well.”
The Cougars got off to a solid start on vault, posting their second-highest score of the year on the event with a 49.000 team total. Angel Zhong got BYU started with a 9.800 vault to tie her season high and Abbey Miner-Alder anchored the vault lineup with 9.85 to tie with SUU’s Morgan Alfaro for the top vault score of the night. Allix Mason (9.775) and Rachel Bain-Heaton (9.800) both stepped up with career-best scores when it was their turn to make a run at vault.
BYU increased the momentum on uneven bars in the second rotation, totaling a season-high 49.350 for the third time this year. The Cougars tallied five counting routines that all achieved a 9.850 or better, led by Helody Cyrenne’s season-best 9.900 performance that made her the bars champion for the meet. Lindsey Hunter (9.875) tied her career high with a 9.875 and Alder set a new personal best at 9.850, while Abby Beeston delivered a 9.875 and Abby Boden-Stainton added a 9.850 to the solid lineup.
At the midway point of the meet, BYU maintained a 98.350-97.925 advantage after SUU posted scores of 48.950 on bars and 48.875 on vault.
The Cougar crescendo continued on beam as assistant coach Natalie Broekman’s lineup delivered a season-high 49.350, which ranks as the No. 6 beam total in BYU gymnastics history. Leading the way were Stainton and Cyrenne, who each had season-best 9.900 scores, while Elease Rollins and Lexi Mather both added 9.825 performances, a season high for Mather, and Sophia McClelland contributed a career personal best of 9.850.
Entering the floor exercise in the final rotation, BYU held a 0.775 lead over the Thunderbirds, who moved to beam after scoring a 49.150 on floor.
BYU delivered again with a strong 49.125 on floor to give the team a 49.000 or better total on each event on the night. Among the highlights on floor, Alder anchored the lineup with a 9.900 to tie her season high and Jordan Matthews had a career night with a personal-best 9.825. Despite SUU’s strong 49.250 on beam, the Cougars easily outpaced the Thunderbirds for the victory.
The Cougars will take to the road again next week for two meets, facing UCLA on Wednesday before a rematch with Southern Utah in Cedar City on Friday.