Hannah nipp Southern Utah floor pose

LIVE BLOG: No. 68 William & Mary at No. 32 Southern Utah

How is it already the last week of the regular season?

Tonight marks Southern Utah’s last home meet of the season and its senior night. The Thunderbirds look to put last week’s subpar performance behind them—their 194.425 was a season-low score. The normally-excellent Thunderbird bar squad faltered last week and forced the Thunderbirds to count a fall; it’s a lineup to watch nevertheless. A special shoutout goes to the Southern Utah seniors—apart from the COVID years who have excelled in their own right, this class of true seniors is a special one with immense talent and is one of, if not the best single classes Southern Utah’s had in a long time. The potential for a COVID year is still a possibility for them and we know Karley McClain has expressed strong interest in taking it; maybe we’ll get more answers tonight. In the NQS hunt, the Thunderbirds can’t do a ton due to a couple of low road scores, but a season high score has the potential to raise it by around 0.100 and move them up as high as No. 27 if the cards fall right. Getting out of play-in territory with certainly be a goal for this team.

William & Mary has had an inconsistent season. The fact that the Tribe are even competing this year is a win in and of itself, as the team was permanently reinstated after originally being slated to be cut after the 2021 season due to pandemic financial concerns.

Catch the meet on ESPN+ and follow along with live stats here.

Rotation 1: SUU VT, W&M UB

Vultaggio (SUU): we are seeing video of the commentators speaking instead of actual gymnastics. seemed like a good full from the commentary. 9.75

Schafer (W&M): still no actual video, also seemed like a solid leadoff routine. 9.1

Hartley (SUU): still don’t have the actual gymnastics. yfull with pike down per commentary. 9.775

Apparently there is currently a conference on bars.

Yay, gymnastics video!

Alfaro (SUU): trademark yfull with a tiny hop. Great way to go out in the AFEC for her! 9.875

Wiley (W&M): blind full straddled jaeger, some form on the blind; extremely short high bar hs; double back. 9.6

Smith (SUU): yfull on tuck, good distance and a small hop. 9.825

Huang (W&M): I missed the beginning; very archy bail, hit heels on floor; better final hs; dlo, step back. 9.35

C Kho (SUU): y1.5, very nice! Checks all the boxes. 9.875

Kuper (W&M): clear hip gienger, tiny bit of form; just had to do a kchs; bail some form; stuck dismount.

Tervort (SUU): yfull, some pike and a decent-sized hop step. 9.75

Wozniak (W&M): blind full some leg sep to gienger, good; bail hs, solid; dlo with a tiny hop in place. Think that’s their best routine so far. 9.725

Gulotta (W&M): extremely short first hs; blind full tkatchev, not the most amplitude; hast to take an extra swing; another very short hs; completely overshoots the bail and flops to the floor; short final hs; blind full, doesn’t make it over and comes off. oof, that’s rough. Love the sportsmanship of the SUU crowd. takes out the blind full and just does a double tuck, big step forward. Probably an SV issue too. 7.950

After 1: SUU 49.100, W&M 46.825

It wasn’t SUU’s best vault rotation, but a very good one overall. William & Mary with a bar rotation ab out on par with its NQS.

Oooh, this is the first time these two teams have matched up. That’s fun.

Rotation 2: W&M VT, SUU UB

Chandler (W&M): ylay, clean and a normal-sizes sep back. Not the most difficult, but clean. 9.475

Thomas (SUU): great first hs; mal to pak, good; nearly stuck dlo. just a tiny foot slide back. 9.8

Huang (W&M): ylay, slight pike position and a larger step back, ends up with her weight on her back foot and leans back as well. 9.425

Schwartze (SUU): hop to piked jaeger, good; bail hs solid; nice final hs; blind full double back stuck. Nice routine for the sophomore. 9.825

Campbell (W&M): ylay with a smaller step back than her predecessors. 9.5

Nipp (SUU): looking to redeem herself and put last week’s fall behind her; great first hs; straddled jaeger, pretty close catch but works through it; fine bail hs, some arch; dlo with a step back and a slight pike down. 9.825

Kuper (W&M): ylay, preflight leg sep and a step back.

Bentley (SUU): great first hs; ray to bail, good; goes over on her next hs, a little too aggressive in trying to hit the hs position; goes for it again, short this time; dlo, step back. Not her ideal routine. 9.25

Wiley (W&M): our first yfull for W&M, this one in the tucked variety. very underrotated and a low chest, may have touched her hands. 9.025

Murakami (SUU): lovely straddled jaeger directly to bail; great final hs; ftdt STUCK. Another good one for her! If that’s her last home bar routine, it was a good one. 9.925

Schafer (W&M): ylay, tiny hop forward. 9.375

McClain (SUU): great first hs; clear hip gienger; good; fine next hs; bail hs clean; solid final hs; dlo, small step back. SUU won’t count that fall. 9.825

After 2: SUU 98.300, W&M 94.125

SUU rebounded from last week’s bars performance to post a solid score. William and Mary performed below its typical vault performance – about 0.4 lower than its NQS on the event.

“which one of you would like to take a stab at explaining NQS?” – Spencer McLaughlin to the McBride twins

Rotation 3: SUU BB, W&M FX

Murakami (SUU): we are again seeing the commentators instead of actual gymnastics. sounds like a hit routine. 9.875

Carpenter (W&M): front tuck through to double back per commentary, just barley stays in bounds. Ok, back to gymnastics video. Stumbles out of double pike and ends up rolling back. 8.85

Smith (SUU): ro loso, rock solid; slight wobble on her leap combo; ro lay 1.5, the tiniest hop forward. 9.825

Kuper (W&M): would appreciate if my computer stopped trying to correct her name to “Super”; double pike, low chest but landed; popa wolf full, short of rotation; ro 1.5 to front tuck, fine; switch side wolf full, again not all the way around. 9.4

Vultaggio (SUU): bhs loso loso, small check; switch leap split jump small hesitation; ro 1.5 with the smallest foot shuffle. SUU will take that! 9.875

Chandler (W&M): front double full, not the most secure landing but not bad either; short of 180 on her leaps; front full front tuck, hop on the landing and may have been oob; ro loso for her back tumbling requirement; solid rudi. 9.45

Nipp (SUU): front aerial small check beat jump; bhs loso, looked slightly off but minimized deductions well. split jump split 3/4, secure; gainer full, stuck but a low chest. 9.925

Campbell (W&M): back 1.5 to front full, looked short but pulls it around; back 1.5 to front lay, better; fhs rudi, controlled landing; nice wolf jump full. 9.65

Schwartze (SUU): bis loso, her hips looked off but she handles it like a pro – no wobbles at all; tiny check on her full turn; beat jump loso, secure; split jump sheep jump, good; side aerial tuck full, solid. That’s 5 hit beam routines for SUU. 9.925, a new career high.

Schafer (W&M): solid double pike, controlled landing – right to the line but not over it; front lay rudi solid; switch side popa, acceptable; back 1.5 to front lay, slightly tentative landing. 9.775

McClain (SUU): bhs loso, woah, her hips were crooked but she hardly wobbled; switch leap, small check; split jump straddle 1/4 to satisfy the requirement; ro 1.5 stuck. 9.725

Kuebler (W&M): whip half front full (?), solid; leap combo fine; whip half front lay good; front lay front full, slightly short but pulls it around. 5 hit routines for W&M. 9.425

After 3: SUU 147.725, W&M 141.925

That’s a hit beam rotation for SUU and the Thunderbirds will be happy with that. SUU’s 49.425 performance breaks the program record that was set in 2007. William & Mary’s floor performance was right on par with its season NQS; the Tribe rebounded nicely from an early-rotation fall.

Rotation 4: W&M BB, SUU FX

Campbell (W&M): video just completely cut out for a split second; bhs loso, some knees; beat jump split 3/4, comes off; front toss, slightly deep landing but secure to beat jump, good; beat jump, tuck 3/4, bends at hips but stays on. Not the ideal start.

Horton (SUU): sounds like she’s done after this season? only a junior, but accepted into the SUU athletic training master’s program; opening combo pass solid; front lay rudi good; switch side popa nice; hits her last pass. 9.825

Schafer (W&M): bhs loso secure; side aerial, slightly tentative; straddle jump split (?) 3/4, short of 180 on that second jump; ro 1.5, hop forward. Nice rebound. 9.775

Vultaggio (SUU): double pike, tiny bit of front foot movement; excellent positions on her leaps but not the most controlled landing; fhs front full front lay, good; double tuck, slightly short with a step forward. 9.85

Chandler (W&M): bhs back tuck, just completely off and comes off the beam, so W&M will be counting a fall; switch leap split 3/4, good positions overall; side aerial, secure; ro 1.5 stuck. 9.25

Smith (SUU): whip to double tuck, super high and a controlled landing; triple leap combo, good; rudi, solid. Another good routine for SUU. 9.775

Wiley (W&M): bhs loso, brings leg way up but ultimately can’t save it and comes off; better leap series; hitch kick front toss beat jump, lands the front toss slightly low; cat leap gainer full, hop back. 9.1

McClain (SUU): double pike, slightly bouncy landing but not bad; back 1.5 to lay, controlled; good leap combo; nice double tuck to close. 9.875

Carpenter (W&M): bhs loso, secure; switch leap small check tour jete 1/2; off on her straddle 3/4; cartwheel, small check; gainer full, step forward. 8.875

Schwartze (SUU): fhs double full largeish but controlled step; triple leap series, good positions; love seeing the student section get into it! fhs rudi loso, pretty good. 9.8

Kuper (W&M): switch leap straddle 1/4 good; bhs loso secure; cat leap front toss to beat jump, works through being slightly off on the front toss landing and covers it well; bhs back 1.5, solid. 9.625

Nipp (SUU): double pike, maybe a tiny front foot slide but controlled overall; fhs front full front lay good; switch ring tour jete 1/2, lovely; double tuck, secure landing. Her last routine in the AFEC, and it was a good one. 9.9

FINAL: SUU 196.975, W&M 188.550

A much better meet than last week for SUU. The Thunderbirds send their seniors out with a near-197 and a win to stay undefeated at home this season. SUU will want to replicate this performance at conference championships next week and earn a good road score. William & Mary’s beam performance was lower than its typical beam score; its 188.550 is its third-lowest score of the season.

Event Winners

VT: Alfaro, Kho (SUU), 9.875

UB: Murakami (SUU), 9.925

BB: Nipp, Schwartze (SUU), 9.925

FX: Nipp (SUU), 9.900

AA: Schafer (W&M), 38.025

Live blog by Tara Graeve

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