Coming off an exclamation point win over Utah State University, the Southern Utah University Flippin’ Birds stayed undefeated at home and moved to 2-2 in the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference. Now, they have their sights set on the No. 19 ranked Cougars of Brigham Young University on Friday, Feb. 18.
This is the second and final conference matchup of the season and the foreseeable future against the Cougars with them moving to the Big 12 Conference next season. Southern Utah defeated BYU in a slim victory of 196.450-196.425 at the America First Event Center on Jan. 21. Now it is time for the T-Birds to take the trip up the I-15 to Provo.
The Flippin’ Birds
SUU has been solid all year, scoring above 194 in every competition and are currently ranked No. 23. They have won two straight with their last loss being to No. 21 Utah State in Logan on Feb. 4. Last time out, Shylen Murakami set a new school record on the bars with a 9.975 in the win over the Aggies. Rachel Smith scored a 9.875 on the vault with Haley Vultaggio and Celine Barney both scoring 9.800 — the third best vault score in team history. The T-Birds also set a new team record on the bars with a 49.325 — the second highest in program history.
The Cougars are coming in winners of three straight matches with their last loss being against the Flippin’ Birds on Jan. 21. BYU averages 196.221 per competition. The Cougars are 5-3 and are at the top of the leaderboard in the MRGC at 4-2.
In the last meet for the Cougars, they officially swept Boise State University. Sadie Miner Van-Tessel scored a high of 9.900 with her floor routine and Anyssa Alvarado tied her career high for the third time with a 9.925.
SUU looks to play spoiler and upset the Cougars again this time in Provo. With the MRGC standing super close with the season ending and only one more conference matchup after Friday, this is anybody’s conference to win. The match will take place on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse. The match will also be televised on BYUtv.
Article by: Anthony Colasuono
Photo Courtesy of SUU News