Utes flat but still defeat Huskies

Gymnastics » Utah struggles in front of small road crowd.
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Utah's gymnastics team has proved it can deliver the big performances on its own floor. Delivering at that high level on the road is still a work in progress.

The No. 3 Utes downed No. 24 Washington 195.85-194.65 here Friday in the Bank of America Arena, but the showing wasn't exactly what the Utes were hoping for.

"We looked flat," Utah coach Greg Marsden said. "I can rationalize it in a lot of ways. We were in front of 15,000 last week against Georgia and that was a big meet. Maybe that caused it, but we talked about not letting that happen and we still didn't have the intensity we needed to have."

The meet started off well enough for the Utes, who scored a season-high 49.15 on the uneven bars. Utah's last four gymnasts all scored 9.825 or higher.

But the Utes had trouble on the vault and floor, scoring 48.875 and 48.725, respectively.

Gael Mackie fell on the floor and scored a 9.0, and Jamie Deetscreek scored just 9.525, but the rest of the lineup was strong enough to avoid handing the Huskies (0-4) an upset.

The Utes (3-1) did have some equipment issues as they had trouble adjusting to the floor and the vault, but equipment problems weren't reasons enough for the scores, they said.

"The meet had some good points and it had some low points," senior Annie DiLuzio said.

"We fought through it. That is the most important thing to do on the road, and we never let down. We've got some things to work on and some bugs to work out before next week."

The Utes travel to Arizona State next week as they work through a stretch of the schedule in which they are on the road four of five meets.

"We just didn't have that fire tonight, and that's something we know we need to work on," Deetscreek said. "We know it wasn't our best meet."

Daria Bijak won the all-around with a 39.225, followed by Stephanie McAllister, who scored a 39.1 in her first all-around appearance.

McAllister's showing was one of the encouraging signs of the meet. She had a slow start to the season thanks to a concussion in the preseason and illnesses.

"I feel like she is working her way back," Marsden said. "She had a lot of things going on earlier in the season, and I was happy with the way she performed tonight."

As for the rest of the team, the results were mixed. The Utes didn't count a fall but didn't exactly shine like they wanted to do, other than on the uneven bars.

Unlike last week, when they had a crowd of 15,552 to boost them, there were only 1,851 in attendance Friday, which didn't help matters.

"If the atmosphere isn't there, we need to figure out how to manufacture it for ourselves," Marsden said. "I was happy with parts of the meet, but we didn't come in and take charge of the situation like I wanted them to do. We've got to continue to improve and bring that intensity."


Individual Winners

All-around » Daria Bijak (Utah) 39.225

Vault » Jamie Deetscreek (Utah) and Kyndal Robarts (Utah) 9.8

Uneven bars » Daria Bijak (Utah) 9.875

Balance beam » Jamie Deetscreek (Utah) 9.9

Floor » Annie DiLuzio (Utah) 9.875


In short » The Utes post their 13th consecutive win over Washington.

Key moment » Utah's last three gymnasts score 9.75 or higher on the floor to save a potentially disastrous rotation.

How it unfolded

First rotation » Utah led 49.15-48.15

Second rotation » Utah led 98.025-97.05

Third rotation » Utah led 146.75-145.825

Fourth rotation »Utah led 195.85-194.65