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Aggies down Cougars for third straight win

staff writer

Published: Friday, January 24, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 13:01

Paige Jones

Delayne Ripplinger

Paige Jones performs during a meet against BYU on Friday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

The Utah State gymnastics team defeated Brigham Young University 193.200-192.900 Friday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, giving the Aggies their first 3-0 start to a season since 1999.

The win is also the first for the Aggies over the in-state rivals from Provo since 2009.

"It was a nail-biter, coming down to the last routines and trying to stay in it. The girls fought their way through the whole meet and came out on top," said first-year USU head coach Nadalie Walsh. "Being 3-0 is just great. Winning is a culture, and it's giving us the confidence we need. The girls are seeing that we don't need to be perfect to be on top."

USU notched a 48.850 on vault, 48.725 on bars, 46.950 on beam and 48.675 on floor, giving the squad an overall score of 193.200. BYU ended the night with a 48.775 on vault, 48.275 on bars, 48.550 on beam and 47.300 on floor, giving them a 192.900 overall.

BYU senior Raquel Willman took the all-around title with a 38.825, followed closely by freshman Bailey McIntire, who took the second place spot with a 38.300.

Walsh said junior Sarah Landes, who originally was prepared to compete all-around for the Aggies, opted out of the floor routine after sustaining an injury falling off of the beam.

The Aggies had three event-winners on their roster, with sophomore Miranda Kerr finishing first on the vault with a 9.825, sophomore McKinzey Martinez finishing first on bars with a 9.825 and McIntire tying for the first-place spot with a 9.800 on the floor.

USU started the first rotation on the vault to the sound of cheer from a sizeable Spectrum crowd. The Aggies started the rotation with Sophomore Jillian Chappel, who notched a 9.700, followed by McIntire with a 9.750. Landes scored a 9.775, followed by freshman Katie Brown, who hit a 9.650. Senior Paige Jones landed a 9.800, and Kerr finished USU’s first rotation with her 9.825.

At the end of the first rotation, the Aggies had the lead with a vault score of 48.850. BYU ended their first rotation on the bars with a score of 48.275.

The Aggies moved on to the bars for their second rotation and were led by sophomore Kaitlyn Betts with a 9.625. McIntire followed, notching a 9.800. Three Aggies, sophomore JoAnna Cuba, Landes and Jones all landed scores of 9.700, and Martinez finished the event with a 9.825.

After the second rotation, the Aggies still held the lead with an overall bars score of 48.725. The Cougars notched a 48.775 from their solid vault performance.

The Aggies went to the beam for their third rotation, where they had their shakiest performance of the night. Sophomore Susie Miller started the rotation with a 9.600. McIntire took an uncharacteristic fall and ended her routine with an 8.900, her lowest score of the night. The highest score for the Aggies was a tie between redshirt sophomore Breyanna Aufiero and Freshman Charly Belliston at 9.650.

Even after the low beam scores, the Aggies led going into the fourth rotation with an overall beam score of 46.950. The Cougars ended their floor routines with an overall score of 47.300.

The Aggies final event was floor, where Miller started off with a 9.650. Aufiero replaced Landes in the floor rotation, notching a 9.700. Jones stuck her floor routine, taking a 9.775, while Martinez ended with a 9.750. McIntire finished off the night with her first-place 9.800 performance.

USU ended the meet with a 48.675 on floor, while BYU finished with a 48.550 on beam, giving the Aggies the narrow victory.

The Aggies will hit the road for a quad-meet hosted by UC Davis on Sunday, Jan. 26. The meet will include UC Davis, San Jose State and No. 12 Stanford. The Aggies will return to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum to host Denver on Friday, Feb. 21.

Twitter: @emily_seamqueen 

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