A win is a win

You might not have known it from listening to them after the meet, but the U gymnasts did indeed defeat Utah State Friday night in Logan.

With a score of 195.675 to 193.850, the No. 1 Utes fended off a spirited home effort from the Aggies.

It was the lowest score for the Utes since they posted a 195.625 in a win against Minnesota in 2001.

Head coach Greg Marsden thought the Utes had a letdown after knocking off No. 1 UCLA the previous week.

“I can explain it, but I can’t excuse it,” Marsden said about his team’s performance. “There was so much build up for that first meet, and when it was over, we didn’t come to practice or this meet ready to perform at the same level.”

Nicolle Ford led the way for the Utes with a 39.550 in the all-around. She posted a career high 9.95 on her beam routine to help the Utes pull away from the Aggies in the final event.

“We had no idea how close it was,” Ford said when told the Utes were only ahead by .8 after three events. “We were just concentrating on the beam.”

One big contributing factor in the downswing was the people that were not competing. All-arounder Rachel Tidd, limited to two events against UCLA, was held out completely against USU with an injured back. She is still “day to day,” with the coaches erring on the side of caution.

Freshman phenom Ashley Postell, who tied for the all-around crown the week prior, was a late scratch in all but the vault because of the flu. Postell was replaced by another freshman, Katie Kivisto. Kivisto notched scores of 9.825, 9.70, and 9.650 on the bars, beam and floor respectively.

“I was pleased (with Kivisto),” Marsden said. “She should be a good and consistent gymnast.”

Also thrust into a more prominent role was Kristen Riffanacht, competing for the first time in the all-around. The junior responded to the promotion with a 38.875, hitting all four events.

Ute senior Annabeth Eberle veered from her usual solid performance, committing a fall on her floor routine, her first fall in the regular season in two years. She finished with an all-around score of 38.575, not scoring above a 9.85 on any events.

“I thought the people who filled in did a good job,” Marsden said. “It was our normally solid gymnasts that were disappointing.”

USU was led by freshman Megan Tschida, who scored a 39.100 as the Aggies’ only all-arounder.

With the tough meet behind them, the news gets better for the Red Rocks. Thanks to the week two rankings counting only a team’s high score out of the first two meets, the Utes retained their top ranking.Looking ahead, Tidd could be ready for limited duty in time for the meet at Oregon State on Friday, and Marsden expects Postell to be healthy and ready to go on the all-around.

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