LIVE BLOG: No. 39 West Virginia at No. 8 Denver

It’s meet day in Denver! Today is Denver’s third home meet in a row, and we’re set for a great Big 12 matchup! The Pioneers are coming off their highest score of the season with a 197.5, which included a perfect 10 from junior Jessica Hutchinson. The Mountaineers are coming off a 195.2 at Pittsburgh last weekend, and they’re fighting to hold off Iowa State in the conference rankings. 

Today Denver will be looking to improve on vault. The Pioneers have done better on vault since adding some Yurchenko 1.5s, but the Yurchenko fulls tend to score lower and are affecting the team score. If Denver can give away less tenths on its vault landings, you can expect the overall team score to steadily increase. 

Two weeks ago in a home quad meet, West Virginia scored its season-high with a 196.375. But the next week at Pittsburgh, the team score dropped to a 195.2. The Mountaineers didn’t have any glaring errors, they just counted a lot of scores in the 9.7 range. If West Virginia can minimize deductions on landings, balance checks and handstands, they could get back up into that 196 range. 

Lynnzee Brown warmed up floor! She isn’t currently listed in the lineup, but it looks like they’re easing her back into it!

Rotation 1: Denver VT, West Virginia UB

Brusch (DU): Yurchenko full, nice height and a great straight body. Good leadoff! 9.775

Yancey (WVU): Starts on the high bar with a great handstand into a super floaty Pak. Van Leeuwen with some foot separation. Gorgeous double layout to a stick! Another good leadoff routine! 9.85

B. Mabanta (DU): Another nice Yurchenko full, great height and she flairs it out and sticks! 9.9

Combs (WVU): Holds the first handstand into her Maloney to Pak combination. Hits the last handstand, nice blind full to double back dismount and she stuck it. 9.8

Hutchinson (DU): Yurchenko 1.5, had too much power and took a big hop forwards. 9.775

Leigh (WVU): Blind into a Jaeger. Pak down to low with some leg separation. A little short on the last handstand, really pretty double layout dismount but steps backwards. 9.775

Mundell (DU): Gorgeous Yurchenko 1.5, I couldn’t totally see but I’m assuming from the crowd’s reaction she stuck it! Either way it was a solid landing. 9.95

Smith (WVU): Fights for the free hip into her Tkatchev. Shootover down to low. Fought for the stick on her double layout. She had some flexed feet throughout. 9.675

Brown (DU): Yurchenko 1.5, nice form and amplitude but I couldn’t see the landing, but I think it was pretty good. 9.9

Alban (WVU): Jaeger and then a shootover down to low, nice form on both. A little short on the final handstand, and takes a hop on the double layout.

Ruiz (DU): Yurchenko full, not as much amplitude as the first two, maybe takes a hop in place on the landing. 9.825

Holmes-Hackerd (WVU): Blind into a really nice piked Jaeger to immediate bail that was a little wonky. Finishes with a stuck blind full double back dismount. Very nice form! 9.725

After 1: Denver 49.35, West Virginia 48.925

It was a pretty solid rotation for both teams! Denver had to count a 9.775 on vault, but it was balanced out by a number of scores in the 9.9 range. The Mountaineers showed some nice bar routines and if they can work out the small details like handstands and landings, they could break into the 49 range.

Rotation 2: West Virginia VT, Denver UB

Lewis (WVU): Super high Yurchenko full! She piked it down though and I couldn’t see the landing. 9.75

Ruiz (DU): Blind full into a Tkatchev. Solid shootover. She’s hitting all her handstands. Sticks the double layout! 9.875

Irwin (WVU): Very pretty Yurchenko half, takes a step back on the landing. 9.7

Thompson (DU): This was supposed to be Casali so they’re switching the lineup around. Maloney with some leg separation. Nice shootover. Hits the last handstand. Takes a tiny hop on her double layout. 9.825

Yancey (WVU): Yurchenko full, not as much amplitude as the others and a small hop. 9.7

Casali (DU): Here’s Casali! Holds the first handstand into her Maloney to shootover combination. A little bit archy on the shootover. Hops back a little bit on the double layout. Looks like Hutchinson is out. I didn’t see anything, but hopefully she’s okay. 9.8

Pierson (WVU): Yurchenko full with a small hop back. 9.75

Rorich (DU): Nice Jaeger! She struggled in warmup so that’s good to see. Nice shootover down to low, nails the last handstand and takes a step on her double layout! 9.825

Wehry (WVU): Super high front pike half. She pikes it down and steps forward. 9.65

Brown (DU): Good first handstand. Nice Maloney to Pak, some foot separation. Van Leeuwen and then nails the last handstand. Sticks the double layout! 9.95

Collins (WVU): Yurchenko half with a hop forwards. 9.725

Mundell (DU): Nice Tkatchev to start out. Solid shootover. Nailing these handstands! Double layout dismount and just barely hops back. 9.825. That seems low. Linas Gaveika seems irritated about something, maybe it’s about that score.

After 2: Denver 98.65, West Virginia 97.55

Denver finished with a 49.3 on bars, but it certainly wasn’t its best rotation. Lots of hops on landings, and I’m sure the Pioneers were shaken up by Hutchinson being taken out of the lineup. West Virginia didn’t have the best vault rotation. Similar to Denver on bars, lots of unsteady landings and some form issues in the air.

Rotation 3: Denver BB, West Virginia FX

Brown (DU): Front toss to back handspring series, very nice. Very solid full turn. Switch leap split jump. Front aerial to wolf jump. Side gainer full dismount and she sticks it! Very solid leadoff. 9.825, that seems pretty low for no wobbles and a stick.

Leigh (WVU): Starts with a front full front layout, not a ton of amplitude. Switch side to Popa. Finishes with a front double twist and she stuck it! I love a nice controlled front double twist! 9.775

B. Mabanta (DU): Nice wolf turn to start out. Gorgeous flic lay series. Split leap to switch half, great positions as usual. Switch leap split jump. Finishes with a gainer pike and does the college stick. 9.825

Lewis (WVU): First pass is a very floaty Rudi to back layout stepout. Tour jete half to split jump full was pretty. Finishes with a double tuck with nice control on the landing! 9.85

Iwai (DU): So it looks like they took Hutchinson out. Switch leap to straddle quarter. Nice flic lay. Solid side aerial to split jump. Cartwheel gainer full stuck! 9.875

Yancey (WVU): Starts with a nice double pike. Switch ring to tour jete half. Back 1.5 to front half, very nice form throughout. Finishes with a solid double tuck. 9.725

A. Mabanta (DU): Flic lay, wobbles and falls off. Switch side to beat jump. Front aerial to beat jump. Cartwheel to gainer full dismount. It’s a shame she fell, the rest of the routine was pretty. 9.125

Pierson (WVU): Wow, super pretty double layout, steps forward though. Switch side wolf full Popa. Next pass is a front layout front full. The team is super excited about that one, as they should be! 9.85

Thompson (DU): Side aerial back handspring series. Switch leap switch leap, not quite at 180. Finishes with a side aerial to 1.5 and she sticks it! Great routine after a fall! 9.9. That’s surprising after the first two scores.

Combs (WVU): Front tuck through to double pike, I couldn’t see the landing. Switch side wolf full Popa was nice. Nice double tuck to finish off. 9.85

Mundell (DU): Very floaty flic lay to start out. Switch leap to switch half, she wobbled but saved it. Sticks her roundoff 1.5 dismount! Great bounce back for Denver. 9.9

Holmes-Hackerd (WVU): Rudi to back layout to straddle jump had great amplitude. Tour jete half to Popa, great positions. Nice double pike to finish, good control on the landing. 9.825

After 3: Denver 147.975, West Virginia 146.7

West Virginia came ready to play on floor! The Mountaineers had some excellent tumbling with great landings. Denver had a fall on beam from Ava Mabanta, but Abbie Thompson and Rylie Mundell were able to bounce back and put up a pair of 9.9s. I’m assuming we won’t see Jessica Hutchinson on floor since she was also pulled out of beam, so maybe we really will see Lynnzee Brown go in. We’ll have to wait and see.

Rotation 4: West Virginia BB, Denver FX

Brown is warming up floor and Hutchinson isn’t. Maybe today is the day we see Brown’s return to floor!

Holmes-Hackerd (WVU): Cat leap to front aerial to back tuck. Very solid series! Cat leap switch leap back tuck combination was also very solid. Side gainer full dismount with I think a stick! 9.775, which seems a little bit low to me, but not surprising based on how the judging is today.

Brusch (DU): Front tuck through to a double tuck, she hops back on the landing. Switch ring switch half wolf full. Finishes with a double pike with much more control on the landing than the first pass. 9.75

Pierson (WVU): Nice front toss. Back handspring two foot layout series with a small wobble. Back pike was connected to some jumps that I unfortunately missed. Finishes with a back handspring to tucked 1.5 dismount with a step back. 9.65

Thompson (DU): Starts with a triple full with a great controlled landing. Switch side Popa. Front layout to Rudi for her next pass, also a controlled landing. Solid routine. 9.775

Lynnzee Brown is doing floor! She’ll anchor in place of Hutchinson.

Yancey (WVU): Flic lay lay to start out. Split jump to straddle quarter. Slight wobble on the full turn. Roundoff 1.5 dismount and hops forward on the landing. 9.825

B. Mabanta (DU): Back 1.5 to front layout, she may have gone out of bounds but I think she saved it. Switch ring half split jump was nice. Nice Rudi to finish, great amplitude and control. 9.875

Combs (WVU): Cat leap to front aerial to back tuck, wobble on the back tuck but she saves it. Cat leap to switch side. Nice pike jump, you don’t see that too often. Dismounts with a front full, if it was supposed to be a layout she had some bent legs. 9.775

Iwai (DU): Very nice back 1.5 to front layout to start out. Solid switch full. Finishes with a nice controlled double tuck. Switch half to Popa was pretty. 9.85

Handono (WVU): Flic lay with some bent legs to start out. Front toss, wobbles and falls off. Switch leap split quarter but didn’t hit 180. Roundoff tucked 1.5 dismount and sits it down. 8.35

Mundell (DU): First pass is a very nice double pike. Switch ring switch side wolf full. Very floaty front layout front full, but her lunge is a little big. Finishes with a nice Rudi. 9.825

Leigh (WVU): Front aerial to back handspring series. Beautiful straddle three quarter, great straddle position. Switch side to beat jump was also very nice. Cartwheel to gainer full dismount with a slight pike down. Great routine after a fall! 9.75

Brown (DU): The crowd is already going crazy. Double layout, her chest was a little low and she steps out of bounds. Switch ring to switch half. Back 1.5 step out to another back 1.5 front tuck. It’s nice to see her anchor again, the team is very excited for her! 9.775

Final: Denver 197.075, West Virginia 195.475

Well this was a weird meet for Denver! The Pioneers rested Rosie Casali on vault and floor, and they were suddenly without Jessica Hutchinson after vault as well. We got to see Lynnzee Brown’s return to floor, which was nice to see. West Virginia improved its score from last week. The Mountaineers will be happy with a nice road score for their NQS!

Event Winners:

Vault: Mundell, Denver, 9.95

Bars: Brown, Denver, 9.95

Beam: Thompson and Mundell, Denver, 9.9

Floor: B. Mabanta, Denver, 9.875

All Around: Mundell, Denver, 39.5

READ THIS NEXT: Rylie Mundell Shines on the Competition Floor and in the Classroom

Live blog by Emily Lockard

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