The Southern Utah University women’s gymnastics team hosted the No. 21 BYU Cougars Friday night in front of 3,411 Flippin’ Birds faithful. The Thunderbirds were able to hand the Cougars their first conference loss, beating them 196.800-196.450.
“This is something we watch these girls do every day in practice. It’s crazy how good they are and it was so nice to see them put it all together,” head coach Scotty Bauman said. “I’m so proud of the way our younger girls stepped up and the way our senior leaders were able to step into their roles.”
The ‘Birds started the night on vault where two-time MRGC Vault Specialist of the Week Megan McBride led things off with another career-high 9.900. Autumn Jorgensen and Morgan Alfaro both landed 9.800’s and the Madison McBride hit a 9.775. Molly Jozwiakowski rounded out the scoring with a 9.750.
Southern Utah’s vault team score of 49.025 had them .050 behind BYU’s 49.075 on bars after the first rotation.
The Flippin’ Birds then moved to bars where two Thunderbirds set new career high’s on the event. Becky Rozsa had the high score of the night with a career-high 9.875 and Karen Gonzalez was right behind her with a career-high 9.850. Kirsten Yee also hit a 9.850 and Madison McBride and Madison Howlett were able to round out the scoring with 9.800’s. All together, the Thunderbirds finished the event with a team score of 49.175.
BYU finished with a team score of 49.025 on vault and found themselves .100 behind Southern Utah at the halfway point.
The career-highs continued to roll in as the Thunderbirds moved to beam. Gonzalez absolutely destroyed her previous career high of 9.775 on the event by scoring a near-perfect 9.950. Jorgensen followed it up by matching her career-high at 9.900 and Mary Packham matched her career-high, which she set just a week ago, with a 9.825. Yee and Hannah Nipp rounded out the scoring with a 9.775 each to give Southern Utah a team score of 49.225 on the event.
“The only time we ever do good on beam is when I don’t watch so I walked down into the tunnel and just laid down on the tables and waited for them to finish,” Bauman said with a grin on his face. “Autumn came down and told me Karen got a 9.950 and the rest of them rocked it so now I don’t think I will ever watch our beam team again.”
“I was just thinking ‘I got this. I do this every day in practice.’ We’ve been doing a lot of beam routines in practice so that really helped with my confidence going into the routine,” Gonzalez added when asked about her routine.
This put SUU .300 ahead of BYU heading into the final rotation where BYU had their strongest showing of the night scoring a 49.325 on beam.
Unfortunately for the Cougars, the Thunderbirds had their best showing of the night as well, scoring a 49.375 on floor.
Jorgensen and Gonzalez each scored a 9.900 followed by 9.875’s from Madison McBride and McKenna Burnside. The 9.875 was a new career-high for Burnside. Molly Jozwiakowski rounded out the scoring with a 9.825 to give the Flippin’ Birds the 196.800-196.450 win over the No. 21 Cougars.
“Right now I’ll take 196.800’s all day long. That will put us right up there in the mix, but there are still little things that we can do better,” Bauman said. “I don’t want to think about taking big jumps. I just want to think ‘a little bit better than last time’ because they are still a really young team, but they are starting to figure out that they are a really good team.”
The Flippin’ Birds will return to the floor in just three days when they host Utah State on February 12 in the AFEC.
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SUU Athletics Strategic Communications
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