BYU gymnastics celebrates a routine at the Smith Fieldhouse. (BYU Photo)

BYU gymnastics crushes floor routines in victory over Southern Utah

The No. 19 BYU gymnastics team battled it out at the Smith Fieldhouse with No. 23 Southern Utah to secure the win, 197.225-197.000 on Friday.

The Cougars started the night off strong with what is normally their weakest event: the vault. The team is ranked 35th nationally but tonight proved it should be higher.

Elease Rollins secured a 9.825, setting a new career-high for herself, while Lexi Griffin matched her own career-high with a 9.875. Sydney Benson finished off the first event with a 9.900, putting the Cougars at a collective 49.300 to lead the rotation.

The Cougars moved to the uneven bars next which is both BYU and SUU’s best event, ranked 13th and 15th nationally, respectively.

Even with Anyssa Alvarado putting up a 9.925 for the highest BYU score, the team fell short in its best event while SUU’s Hannah Nipp and Mayson Bentley put up a strong 9.925, leading SUU to a finishing score of 49.450, with BYU trailing behind at 49.150 after two events.

“It’s all in the training,” Alvarado said. “(Head coach) Guard (Young) has prepared us so well so you just have to trust the training.”

The beam was the place to be tonight for BYU, especially with Sadie Miner-Van Tassel putting up a 9.900 and Rollins matching another career-high of 9.950, the highest overall score on the beam.

SUU also excelled on the beam, outscoring BYU by just .25 points, 49.175-49.150, with Rachel Smith scoring a 9.925 high.

BYU led by .3 going into the last rotation and kept that lead with an overall floor score of 49.625.

Miner-Van Tassel and Brittney Vitkauskas closed up the floor routines with Miner-Van Tassel scoring a career high of 9.950 and Vitkauskas scoring a 9.975, coming close to what many in the Smith Fieldhouse thought would be a perfect 10.

BYU pushed through the night’s hardships and victories and came out on top, winning by just .225, 197.225 to 197.000.

Rebekah Ripley debuted her exhibition floor routine after being out for two years due to two ACL surgeries. Rachel Heaton also performed an exhibition floor routine.

Miner-Van Tassel continued her streak of best all-around with a score of 39.525.

”We have been working so hard and we knew that this team was capable of great things. It was just a matter of when we were going to put it all together, and we still have room to grow,” Miner-Van Tassel said on the team surpassing the 197-point mark.

The Cougars have a quick turnaround as they hit the road for a quad-meet at Stanford on Feb. 21.

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