Jan. 11, 2014
IOWA CITY, Iowa -
A risk by the opponent worked out in favor of Utah State gymnastics Saturday, as the Aggies topped Iowa 191.750-191.650 in Iowa City, Iowa Saturday night. The Hawkeyes asked for a video review, not getting the result they wanted and having to take a .300 deduction from their overall score.
This is the first season-opening win for the Aggies since 2007, when the team finished second in a tri-meet against Sacramento State and Wisconsin-La Crosse. It is the first outright win in a season-opening dual meet since the Aggies defeated Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 4, 2002. Additionally, it is the highest overall score for the Aggies in the first meet of the year since 2012 when the team notched a 191.925 in a loss at Utah.
Overall, Utah State scored a 48.700 on vault, 47.750 on bars, 47.275 on beam and 48.025 on floor. Iowa notched a 48.275 on vault, 47.950 on bars, 47.975 on beam and 47.750 on floor, for a total of 191.950 prior to the deduction.
In all-around action, freshman Bailey McIntire made her collegiate debut notching a 38.750, securing a second-place finish. Junior Sarah Landesearned a 38.175 giving her the third-place spot. Iowa freshman Angel Metcalf was the all-around winner with a score of 38.975.
"I am so proud of the girls. They never gave up. We had our share of struggles, but it's nothing we can't fix," said first-year head coach Nadalie Walsh. "The thing that made me very happy was that they were happy, enjoying themselves and having a good time. They just need to learn how to compete well while having fun. We can only get better from here."
McIntire was the only Aggie to come away with an event win, finishing first on floor with a 9.850. McIntire also shared a second-place finish on vault with sophomore teammate Miranda Kerr as they both notched a 9.775. Senior Paige Jones claimed third on bars with a 9.700, while sophomore McKinzey Martineztied for second-place on floor with a 9.725.
The Aggies started the meet on the uneven bars, led by Jones' 9.700 and McIntire's 9.675. With an overall score of 47.750, USU started in second-place after Iowa notched a 48.275 on the vault.
The team then moved to vault, which proved to be the strong-point of the night. Sophomore and recent transfer Jillian Chappel started things off with a 9.700, followed by sophomore Michelle Yasukochiwho landed a 9.650 and Landes who notched a 9.700. McIntire and Kerr's second-place 9.775 performances were next, while Jones wrapped up the event with a 9.750. The team score of 48.700 was enough to jump ahead of the Hawkeyes who scored 47.950 on bars.
Moving to floor, the Aggies continued their strong performance and their lead. McIntire and Martinez led the way with a 9.850 and 9.725, respectively. The team had an overall floor score of 48.025 while Iowa notched a 47.975 on their beam rotation.
On beam for the final rotation, the Aggies struggled to stay ahead. Landes had the top score for the team, wrapping the meet up with her 9.600 performance. Overall, USU notched a 47.275 on beam while Iowa landed a 47.750 on floor.
At the end of regulation competition, it appeared Iowa had taken the lead and the win, up 191.950 to the Aggies' 191.750. Upon losing their video review, however, Iowa's total score took a .300 deduction, putting USU ahead and giving them the win.
Up next, Utah State will head to Cedar City to take on Southern Utah on Jan. 17. As in-state rivals and former members of the Western Athletic Conference, the Aggies and the Thunderbirds have a long history of competition between each other. USU will then return to Logan to host in-state rival BYU on Friday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m.
For USU gymnastics ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305, or online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
Fans can follow the USU Gymnastics' Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages - Twitter:@USUGymanstics, Facebook: Utah State Gymnastics and Instagram: @USUGymanstics. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
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