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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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Utah gymnasts know they need to perform better on the road

Utah's gymnastics team can't get much better at home, on the road? Well that is another story. The top-ranked Utes struggled in their 196.15-194.0 win here over Arizona State, as they counted their first fall of the year and didn't look quite as sharp overall as they have in the past.

Senior Kyndal Robarts admitted the Utes weren't quite as up for the meet as they have been in recent ones, particularly last week's win over rival Georgia.

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However, Utah coach Greg Marsden noted since nationals aren't at home this year, Utah has to do a better job in environments such as Sunday's.

The announced attendance was just 873, and the atmosphere was far from the electric level it reaches when the Utes are competing in front of 15,000-plus at home.

"We know it's not easy sometimes on the road," Marsden said. "But the team has to refocus and learn to do a better job."

Creating a more urgent atmosphere will take care of itself at the NCAA Championships, but the Utes don't want to wait that long to improve their road showings.

Even before they left the arena Sunday the Utes were talking about doing a better job next week when they travel to Michigan.

"We're still learning about ourselves but this meet makes it that much more important," Marsden said of the road trip to Michigan.

Utah has the No. 1 ranking and feels some responsibility for showing why they have it, senior Stephanie McAllister said.

"We know we have to do better," she said. "But at least we showed on balance beam that we were fighting and we didn't give up."

- Lya Wodraska



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