LIVE BLOG: No. 24 Southern Utah and No. 33 Ball State at No. 20 Utah State

Would you have believed me in December if I told you Utah State would be ranked above Southern Utah after week 4? Well, that’s exactly where we’re at now.

Southern Utah will look for a good road score tonight, as both of its low scores have come on the road. That’s the big reason the Thunderbirds have dropped below the Aggies in the rankings—though Southern Utah has two solid 196 scores, its 195.000 at the Best of Utah meet and its 194.700 are weighing its average score down. Consistency is the question for Southern Utah, that’s for sure. The talent is there. Karley McClain added bars and beam back last week and put up respectable totals. Expect to see her in three events again, should the team’s projected lineups be correct.

Meanwhile, Utah State has quietly exceeded expectations thanks in part to freshman Brie Clark, the return of Sofi Sullivan and Rebecca Wells’ breakout year. The Aggies are coming off two straight scores over 196 and will look to break that mark for the first time at home this season. Bars and floor have been consistent for the Aggies thus far; they’ve also hit 49.500 on beam this season.

Ball State didn’t want to miss the MRGC party, so it makes the trip out to Utah for tonight’s meet. After a rocky start to the season, the Cardinals appear to be finding their groove. They’re coming off a season-high score and will look to bring that success with them tonight. Suki Pfister is making a name for herself on vault; she scored a 9.925 for her front handspring pike half last week.

Not sure how much non-Utah State we’ll see since it’s a tri-meet. Hopefully we’ll get some!

Follow along with the free stream here and live stats here.

Ball State lineups:

Utah State lineups:

Rotation 1: USU VT, SUU UB, Ball St FX

Brown (USU): nice yfull and stuck. Chest a tad low. 9.825

C Kho (SUU): Maloney to pak, some leg sep; nice hs; ftdt small step back. 9.725

Elsadek (Ball St): back 1.5 to front punch. Ball State has such fun choreo! solid double tuck. 9.75

Clark (USU): clean yfull, nice dynamics! Small hop. 9.775

Schwartze (SUU): nice piked jaeger; bail hs, solid; great final hs; stuck double tuck. She’ll be happy with that. 9.725

Waldo (Ball St): partway through. solid combo pass, some knees. 9.625

Arnold (USU): yfull, clean with a hop forward. 9.75

Nipp (SUU): solid first hs; straddled jaeger nice; finesses next hs; dlo small step. Good! 9.8

Brooks (USU): didn’t see it since I was watching the bars video box, but sounds like she did a nice yfull. 9.825

Bentley (SUU): ray to bail, some feet; dlo stuck. 9.75

Wells (USU): clean yfull, nearly stuck. Good distance. 9.85

Murakami (SUU): short first hs; blind change straddled jaeger to bail good; maybe a short final hs; ftdt slide back. 9.8

Ruthberg (Ball St): double tuck, finds the landing; short double pink, step forward; switch ring switch half, solid; lay Rudi to straddle jump nice. 9.825

Fishwick (USU): tsuk tuck full, hop back. 9.7

McClain (SUU): great first hs; solid gienger, the tiniest bit of legs; bail hs, a tad short; slightly short final hs; has to tuck her DLO. That’s a flukey mistake. 9.625

Cooper (Ball St): solid dbl tuck; combo pass, nice control; switch side popa, I’d like more extension; front double full to close, wow! some crossy legs.

ICYMI, this meet is in honor of former Utah State coach Ray Corn. USU is wearing tattoos in his honor. They’re also renaming the practice facility after him. Some random cool connections there: Scotty Bauman started his career as an assistant under Corn at USU and Temple head coach Josh Nilson is (was? because he passed away?) his son-in-law.

AFTER 1: USU 49.025, Ball St 48.875, SUU 48.850

A solid start overall! Utah State will look for more landing control in the future, and SUU will look to improve the details on bars. I didn’t catch as much of floor, but what I did looked solid. Assuming there’s some landing things to fix given some of the scores.

Rotation 2: USU UB, SUU BB, Ball St VT

Gutierrez (USU): Maloney to bail solid; dlo, slide back. 9.8

Murakami (SUU): bhs loso bhs good; jump series, tiny check; side aerial full stuck. 9.775

Ostendorf (Ball St): solid yfull. 9.75

Wells (USU): nice first hs; straddled tkatchev bail good; almost overarches last hs; ftdt slide back. 9.6

Vultaggio (SUU): bho loso loso good; switch split, slight pause but shouldn’t be an issue; ro 1.5 a couple tiny steps. 9.775

Elsadek (Ball St): yfull, good in air, hop back. 9.75

Jackson (USU): nice first hs; straddled jaeger, she’s pretty far from the bar and can’t catch it. We’ll see if she repeats it since she usually connects it to the bail. Yep, repeats, almost too close this time but connects it to bail; ftdt hop forward. 9.2

Wissman (SUU): front aerial bhs bhs good; solid leaps; cat leap front toss beat good; she may be a little tentative throughout, but working through it well. cartwheel gainer full stuck. 9.85

Pfister (Ball St): fhs pike half good. 9.9

Sullivan (USU): jaeger good; pretty pak; hits last hs; nearly stuck dlo. That’s their best routine so far. 9.85

Nipp (SUU): front aerial, solid; bhs loso good; check on full turn. split split 3/4 secure. stuck gainer full. 9.725

Schweikert (Ball St): yhalf, pretty deep landing and a step back. 9.575

Brooks (USU): ray to bail good; almost stuck dlo. 9.85

Schwartze (SUU): bhs loso, tiniest toe shift; beat jump to standing loso good; split jump sheep jump, secure; side aerial tuck full stuck. 9.825

Ruthberg (Ball St): yfull, hop back. Solid. 9.8

Fishwick (USU): great first hs; mal to bail, solid; nice final hs; dbl tuck, steps into her salute. USU will be counting 5 hits, though one of those was Wells’ 9.6. 9.9

Idk what this beam camera is doing. But it can stop and show us the beam any time now.

Tyau (SUU): ahhh this is her official beam debut! She’s gorgeous on beam. bhs bhs loso good. oof, rushed her full turn and falls right off. beat jump ring jump, pretty! side somi, fine; side aerial lay full hop forward. 9.3

Henry (Ball St): yfull, plays it safe. Commentators said she sat a few 1.5s in warmups. 9.775

Now we’ve got today’s edition of female former gymnast commentator needing to educate her male counterpart.

AFTER 2: USU 98.025, Ball St 97.850, SUU 97.800

We’ve got a good meet, folks! Utah State managed to hit 49 on bars despite a couple mistakes, which is pretty impressive. Past Aggie teams would not have been able to do that. For Southern Utah, that’s a move towards the beam rotation it actually wants to have. Ball State was overall solid on vault, too; obviously Suki Pfister was the highlight.

Rotation 3: USU BB, SUU FX, Ball St UB

Wells (USU): solid side aerial; switch split 3/4, secure; Good bhs loso; ro double full stuck. Great leadoff! 9.925. Ok. It was a good routine. But I have questions. 9.925

Horton (SUU): Missed the start. Rudi, wonky landing. good splits. ro 1.5 to lay good. 9.6

Bayles (USU): front aerial bhs bhs secure; ro 1.5 stuck. Nice! 9.9

Schwartze (SUU): back 2.5 good; solid splits in leaps; fhs rudi loso to close, nice. We’ve got a judging conference. 9.825

Sulek (Ball St): good first hs; Maloney, some leg sep, looked like she had it and then peeled off. 9.0

McCright (USU): bhs loso with a small lean; secure jump series; side aerial slight hesitation to split jump; side aerial lay full stuck. Not her best, but not bad. 9.85. Um. LOL NO.

McClain (SUU): just the double pike to open today, pretty good; ro 1.5 to lay, nice; solid leap series; ends with a double tuck, stuck to controlled lunge, slightly low chest. 9.825

Brooks (USU): front aerial bhs bhs good; bhs bhs swing down, nice; looked like her foot slipped on her dismount, but she pulls the lay full around nicely. 9.825

Nipp (SUU): double pike, good lunge but a slight lean back and foot adjustment; front handspring front full front lay, has to fight to control that landing; gorgeous splits; good double tuck. 9.825

Evans (Ball St): she falls, so Ball State will be counting a fall. Nice double tuck dismount. 9.025

Sullivan (USU): front aerial back pike good; switch leap back tuck, secure; ro 1.5 stuck. Another good one. 9.95

Clark (USU): secure standing front; bhs loso, lean; great amplitude and positions on leaps; ro 1.5 small hop. 9.85

Vultaggio (SUU): double pike, would like more control. Missed the middle of the routine; solid double tuck to close. 9.6

Henry (Ball St): good first hs; mal to pak, some form but solid; good final hs; double front step forward. 9.575

AFTER 3: USU 147.500, SUU 146.475, Ball St 145.725

SUU wasn’t exactly crisp on floor; there’s a lot to improve on there. Utah State showed why it’s good on beam, though I’d argue scores got a touch out of control at times. Ball State was really on the struggle bus on bars. That’s all.

Rotation 4: USU FX, SUU VT, Ball St BB

Arnold (USU): back 2.5 to front tuck, stumbles backward a couple steps; solid leaps; double tuck better. 9.575

Tervort (SUU): I mostly missed it, but it appeared to be solid. 9.775

Ostendorf (Ball St): bhs loso solid; secure leaps. Missed the rest. 9.725

Gutierrez (USU): out of control landing on her leaps; nice double tuck. solid double pike. 9.825

Alfaro (SUU): stuck yfull. a trademark vault for her. 9.85

Elsadek (Ball St): secure leaps; bhs bhs loso, some knees and a check. I looked away to another box and missed the rest. 9.6

Jackson (USU): opening double pike, large lunge back, stays in bounds; lay lay full good; solid leaps; double tuck, another large lunge. 9.775

Vultaggio (SUU): yfull, a bit high on the table, clean and a sizable step back. 9.75

Ruthberg (Ball St): bhs loso bhs, secure; switch switch, solid; side aerial lay full stuck. 9.8

Brown (USU): front tuck through to double tuck, good; combo pass solid; switch side popa, good; nice double pike. Solid overall. 9.875

C Kho (SUU): does the 1.5, just a tiny hop. 9.9

Sumner (Ball St): side aerial bhs gorg; front aerial small bend and hip; switch split, solid; cat leap side aerial lay full, low chest but stuck. 9.725

Wells (USU): nice double pike to open; tour jete half popa good; ro 1.5 through to ro double full, solid; closing Rudi, chest a little low. 9.875

Barney (SUU): yfull, just a step. 9.8

Volpe (Ball St): picking up in the middle of her routine, it’s been solid so far. bhs loso good; switch split, secure, could have slightly more extension; side aerial lay full, small step and then almost falls over after saluting. 9.65

Clark (USU): huge dlo to open; great amplitude and positions on leaps; she’s just in another world. back 2.5 punch front, oh no, she sits it. Just didn’t get quite enough of a punch. 9.175

Waldo (Ball St): front aerial fhs, solid. haven’t sen that series in a while! secure leaps; front toss, slight lean; front tuck 1.5, step. 9.725

SUU scratched Horton after 5 hits on vault.

FINAL: SUU 195.550, Ball St

Not a perfect meet for Southern Utah, but it’ll certainly take that road score. That was a nice vault rotation to close the meet for the Thunderbirds. It wasn’t the end to the meet Utah State wanted, but it still managed to hit 196. While Ball State will want to forget that bars rotation, the rest of the meet was solid and something to build on.

Event Winners

VT: C Kho (SUU), Pfister (Ball St), 9.900

UB: Fishwick (USU), 9.900

BB: Sullivan (USU), 9.950

FX: Brown, Wells (USU), 9.875

AA: Wells (USU), 39.250

Live blog by Tara Graeve

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