Gymnastics • Utah defeats Oregon State, West Virginia and SUU.
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Well that was more like it. A week after suffering through a disappointing season opener at UCLA, Utah's No. 15 gymnastics team looked like its old self Saturday as it easily won its home opener with a 196.95 in front of 14,917 at the Huntsman Center.
The Utes, who suffered three falls in their first four routines on the uneven bars at UCLA, made it through Saturday's meet without a fall and were much cleaner overall.
Utah's solid performance was a stark contrast to the visitors, who all had their problem areas. Oregon State was second with a 195.95 followed by West Virginia (192.125) and SUU (191.05).
SUU lost its top gymnast, Alyssa Click, to a season-ending knee injury in practice Thursday, and the T-birds struggled without her as they suffered three falls on the balance beam.
Oregon State and West Virginia both had falls on the uneven bars and balance beam.
The Utes, meanwhile, cruised through their routines with more determination and confidence than they showed at UCLA.
The only glitch for the Utes didn't even involve the team. The Utes experimented with some large video boards in the upper bowl that were supposed to show a running tally of the scores. But they didn't work until the meet was almost over.
Luckily, the Utes were clicking from the start.
Earlier in the week, Utah coach Greg Marsden said he was confident his team's struggles at UCLA had more to do with first-meet jitters than a lack of talent. His gymnasts backed up his vote of confidence with as strong a meet as they could have hoped for in the opener.
The Utes were led by Georgia Dabritz, who won the all-around with a 39.525. They also got a boost in the uneven bars' lineup with the return of Kassandra Lopez.
The sophomore missed the season opener due to a lower leg strain. She was well enough to earn a spot in the bars lineup and scored a 9.775 to set the tone for the Utes.