Red Rocks finish season on high note

By Bryan Chouinard, Staff Writer

PROVO8212;The result of Friday night’s meet between Utah and BYU was never in question.

After the first rotation, Utah led the Cougars 49.375 to 48.5 and the Red Rocks never looked back, winning their regular-season finale by setting a season-high 197.8, compared to the Cougars’ 192.725.

The 197.8 is the second-highest score earned all season, behind Georgia’s 198.2 scored earlier this season. Along their way to their highest score of the season, the Red Rocks set season highs on the vault (49.550) and the floor (49.6)8212;previous highs on the events were 49.525 and 49.425, respectively.

“They’re very happy with what they did tonight,” said head coach Greg Marsden. “I think we accomplished what we talked about getting done tonight and I was really worried about whether we would be able to do that, after that huge high of last week.”

Coming off an emotion-packed senior night against No. 5 Florida on March 13, there was some fear of a letdown in the season finale, but the Red Rocks showed their mental strength as they catapulted themselves into the postseason on a roll.

“To get the best team score was a great note to go out on for regionals and nationals,” said Utah senior Kristina Baskett. “It shows how hard we have been working mentally.”

Baskett won the all-around competition once again Friday night, scoring 39.650 on the night.

After setting a season high on the vault (9.950), Baskett then set a career high on the floor, scoring a 9.950. It was Baskett’s seventh straight score on the vault higher than 9.9. With only the beam remaining, Baskett needed at least a 9.875 on the beam in order to break her career-high all-around. But Baskett finished her night on the beam scoring a 9.825, giving her a 39.650 on the night.

“I’m very pleased with my performance tonight as well as the rest of the girls,” Baskett said. “And it will be a good place to start next week’s practice and we’ll be excited to keep going.”

Baskett wasn’t the only Red Rock to set a career high on the floor. Junior Annie DiLuzio set a career high with a 9.975, along with Daria Bijak, who scored a 9.925.

“I would like to do floor like that all the time,” Bijak said. “(The coaches and I) had a talk this week and they told me not to try to be perfect and compete like I practice and today I just let it go.”

Bijak had a career night in the season finale8212;along with setting a career high on floor, the junior tied her career high of 9.9 on the vault. When it was all said and done, she set her career high in the all-around, scoring a 39.525. The previous season high for the Cologne, Germany native was a 39.475.

“This meet gave me a lot of confidence,” Bijak said. “This gave me a lot of confidence on the floor for regionals and nationals. I can do all my routines, I just need to relax and not try to be perfect.”

The career-high night continued.

DiLuzio set a career high on the floor, sticking a 9.975 on her floor routine, beating her pervious record of 9.950.

Sophomore Kyndal Robarts joined the party on her last event of the night, leading off on the beam. Robarts beat her previous career high of 9.875 by sticking a 9.9. Utah finished the beam by scoring a 49.275 on the event.

“We’re getting where we want to be,” Marsden said. “(They) seem like they don’t let a lot of things bother them and if they make mistakes, they don’t let it snowball and get away from them.”

Marsden and the Red Rocks now turn their attention to the postseason, which will get underway when regionals start April 4.

“This is a pretty mature group,” Marsden said. “Most of the people in our lineup have been here before and they understand that all this work all year has been for this next month, and I can’t imagine they would let that slip away now.”

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Erik Daenitz

Kristina Baskett scored a career high, 9.950, on the floor in the regular season finale at BYU Friday night. The Red Rocks set a season high all-around score of 197.800.