Jan. 12, 2013
PROVO, Utah -- In its 2013 season opener, Utah State gymnastics put up a fight, but in the end, fell to the Cougars of BYU in Provo, Saturday with a final score of 194.075-189.425.
The Aggies recorded a 48.550 on bars, a 48.150 on vault, 44.950 on floor and a 47.775 on beam for their final score of 189.425. The Cougars posted a 48.400 on vault, 48.950 on bars, 48.100 on beam and 48.425 on floor for their winning total of 94.075.
In all-around competition, junior Paige Jones took second-place with a total of 38.800. Sophomore Sarah Landes was in third with a 38.650. Freshmen Destiny Ezell and Hayley Sanzotti made their Aggie debuts in the all-around, finishing fourth and fifth with scores of 37.950 and 37.850, respectively. BYU's Raquel Willman took the all-around title with her total of 38.950.
Jones finished tied for first on vault with a 9.750 with BYU's Eliane Kulczyk and Madeline Nilsson, as well as tying for second on floor with a 9.775. Landes finished third on bars with a 9.800.
The Aggies started Saturday's action on the uneven bars, led-off by Landes who landed a 9.800. Jones stuck a 9.700, followed by freshmen Michelle Yasukochi who notched a 9.625 in her collegiate debut. Sophomore Kaitlyn Betts kept things rolling with a 9.725. Sanzotti landed a 9.575 before Ezell wrapped up the first rotation with a 9.700.
It was a solid first rotation for the Aggies, with a total score of 48.500, giving them the lead over the Cougars who started with a 48.400 on vault.
With the lead, USU moved to vault for the second rotation, where with a new rule this year, each gymnast had one chance to prove themselves to the judges. Landes got things started again, sticking her landing to garner a score of 9.700. Yasukochi followed with a 9.550, while Jones notched a 9.750. Betts kept up the momentum, matching Landes' 9.700. A bit of a stumble for Ezell resulted in a 9.050, while Sanzotti wrapped up the rotation with a 9.450.
BYU gained control of the meet with a 47.950 on bars for a total of 97.350. USU was just a step behind with 48.150 on vault for a total score of 96.700.
On to the floor exercise for the third rotation, Landes led the way with a 9.675. Sanzotti notched a 9.625, followed by Jones who stuck a 9.775. Ezell was next, landing a 9.625. With only five girls competing on floor, set to wrap-up the floor rotation, Yasukochi went down with an injury on the first pass of her routine.
While Yasukochi was given a 6.200 for the portion of the routine she did complete, USU went into the final rotation with an almost four-point deficit. With 44.950 points, the total points increased to 141.650, but the Cougars notched a 48.100 on beam for a total of 145.450.
Landes was first up on beam, notching a 9.475 after narrowly escaping a fall. Sanzotti followed with a 9.100, taking a fall. Jones landed a 9.575 before freshman Stefanie Daley made her sole appearance of the afternoon, notching a 9.625. Ezell finished up her all-around competition with a 9.575, leading the way for freshman Joanna Cuba to make her mark with a 9.525.
The Aggies finished with a beam total of 47.775, while the Cougars notched a floor score of 48.625.
Utah State and BYU will meet up one more time this season. The Aggies will host the Cougars on Monday, March 4 at 7 p.m. to complete the home-and-home series.
Next weekend, the Aggies will head to Boise for the first of three meetings with Boise State on Friday, Jan. 18. The team will then return to the friendly confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum to host WAC rival Southern Utah on Friday, Jan. 25 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 and Facebook pages - Twitter: www.twitter.com/USUGymnastics and Facebook: Utah State Gymnastics. 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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