CEDAR CITY, Utah -
Fresh off a tri-meet sweep last weekend, Utah State is looking to carry that momentum into its meet against Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference rival Southern Utah on Monday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m., at the America First Event Center.
Live stats will be available via SUU's StatBroadcast and meet updates will be provided throughout the competition on Utah State's social media platforms.
"I am so excited to have another opportunity to compete on Monday," said sophomore bars specialist Brittany Jeppesen. "SUU is always a great meet because the crowd is loud and so fun to interact with. They really are invested in each routine and love when you give them any attention. I also love competing against a team in our conference. It makes the competition more intense and exciting."
The Aggies (4-3, 0-1 MRGC) are in the midst of their most challenging part of the schedule as they are taking part in three meets in three different states - all on the road no less - in just a seven-day span. Utah State competed at UC Davis last Friday and will compete at Boise State on Friday, Feb. 16.
"I'm really excited to compete at Southern Utah," said freshman beam specialist Annie Beck. "The America First Event Center is always such a loud and fun environment, which is exactly what our team needs. We love big crowds and we thrive on the energy. I am expecting the Aggies to put together a great meet. We have all the pieces, we just need to put it all together. I think a big crowd and a rivalry like this is exactly what we need to do that."
After opening the season with three consecutive dual-meet losses, Southern Utah has seemingly found its groove. The Thunderbirds (2-3, 1-3 MRGC) have notched back-to-back victories, including recording a season-high 196.800 last Friday night against BYU, which placed second with a 196.450.
In its last meet, Utah State beat both UC Davis and Sacramento State with a 195.000. Junior Emily Briones capped the night for USU by recording a career-high 9.925 on beam, a score that ranks tied for fourth all-time in school history. She is the first Aggie to earn that score on the event since Liesel Kohler in 2005.
Freshmen Autumn DeHarde and Taylor Dittmar tied for fourth on beam with 9.850s, helping the Aggies tally a season-high 49.225 on the event. That score ranks fifth all-time in school history.
As of Sunday evening, the Aggies were ranked 37th nationally and seventh in the North Central Region with an average team score of 194.715. As a team, Utah State is 38th in the nation on vault (48.745), 52nd on bars (48.265), 23rd on beam (48.815) and 32nd on floor (48.890).
Individually, junior Emily Briones is tied for 68th nationally on beam (9.810), while junior Madison Ward is tied for 75th on vault (9.813) and DeHarde ranks tied for 88th on floor (9.825).
"I expect us to go out there and hit our routines like we know how to under any circumstances," Jeppesen said. "I also expect us to put an entire meet together and show everyone what we are truly capable of."
Southern Utah is ranked 34th in the nation and sixth in the North Central Region with an average score of 194.985. As a team, the Thunderbirds rank 23rd nationally on vault (48.940), 36th on bars (48.640), 45th on beam (48.435) and 26th on floor (48.970).
Individually, Autumn Jorgensen ranks 37th nationally on floor (9.865) and 55th in the all-around (39.033). Megan McBride is 42nd on vault (9.845) and Karen Gonzalez is tied for 58th on bars (9.825).
Utah State is 46-46 all-time against SUU, including 25-13 at home, 15-8 on the road and 6-15 at a neutral site. The Aggies are looking to snap a three-meet road losing streak to the Thunderbirds dating back to Jan. 17, 2014, when USU posted a 194.150-193.975 victory.
Fans can follow the Aggie gymnastics program at twitter.com/USUGymnastics, on Facebook at Utah State Gymnastics, and on Instagram at USUGymnastics. Fans can also follow the USU athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at UtahStateAthletics.
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