The Southern Utah University gymnastics team edged out the No. 20 ranked Central Michigan Chippewas 195.825-195.675 Friday night in Mount Pleasant.
“I am so proud of the girls. We just asked them to be a little bit better than last time and they rose to that challenge and I was thoroughly impressed with the way they all came out,” head coach Scotty Bauman said. “The way the team was able to rally around everything was amazing. It was really nice to see Hannah Nipp get up there and leave it all on the floor, and the way that Autumn Jorgensen was able to close out our bar routine after watching a fall was phenomenal.”
The Thunderbirds started things on bars where SUU’s record holder on the event Kirsten Yee led the way with a 9.850. Becky Rozsa added a 9.775 with both Madison McBride and Madison Howlett earning a 9.750. Autumn Jorgensen rounded out the scoring with a 9.700. This put Southern Utah ahead right off the bat as their team score of 48.825 was higher than CMU’s 48.800 on bars, their first event of the night.
Southern Utah then moved to vault where they posted a season-high team score of 49.000. Reigning MRGC Vault Specialist of the Week Megan McBride continued her dominance of the event posting a 9.850 to lead the way for the T-Birds. Morgan Alfaro posted a career-high 9.825 and Jorgensen also broke into the 9.8’s with a 9.800. Karen Gonzalez and Madison McBride rounded out the scoring with 9.775 and 9.750 respectively.
The career-highs continued to come in as the Flippin’ Birds moved to floor. Madison McBride set a new career-high with a 9.875. Jorgensen also posted a 9.875 and Molly Jozwiakowski earned a solid 9.825. McKenna Burnside and Gonzalez rounded out the scoring with a 9.775 and a 9.625 respectively.
The Thunderbirds were able to maintain a .050 lead over the Chippewas heading into the final rotation of the meet.
Two more career-highs were set on beam, the Thunderbirds’ final event of the night. Jorgensen earned the top score with a 9.875. Hannah Nipp had the next highest score with her career-high of 9.850 and Mary Packham finished right behind her with her career-high of 9.825. Alyssa LaDieu continued her consistency on beam with a 9.800.
Their team score of 49.025 on beam gave them the 195.825-195.675 win over Central Michigan.
Autumn Jorgensen was the lone Thunderbird competing in the all-around. She posted a new career-high with a combined score of 39.250. She was also named co-event champion on floor with Madison McBride and CMU’s Denelle Pedrick.
“We still have a lot of room for improvement. I’m still not sure we are throwing our best lineups out there on everything, but I liked the fight I saw in them tonight,” Bauman said. “Hopefully we can take this moment now and continue to build on it.”
Bauman went on to talk about how this meet meant a lot for the team’s confidence moving forward.
“It’s the same thing I always tell them with their academics. Once you get a 4.0 or a 3.9, anything below that just seems to be disappointing,” Bauman said. “If they just continue to do what they did tonight and not try to get to crazy with it, they will be able to improve at least another point or so.”
The Flippin’ Birds will return home next week for meets against BYU on February 9 and Utah State on February 12 in the America First Event Center.
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SUU Athletics Strategic Communications