Every team expects competitions when things just don't flow smoothly or little mistakes take away from the overall performance.
Friday's meet against Michigan might have been that off night for Utah's third-ranked gymnastics team.
The Utes (6-1) still took down the No. 8 Wolverines (10-3), winning 196.425-195.425 in front of 13,975 at the Huntsman Center, but the meet was marred slightly by little bobbles and mistakes that left the Utes critical of their performance for the first time this season.
"This whole year, we talked about how we wanted to practice like we compete and compete like we practice, and tonight we didn't do as good of a job of doing that," said junior Stephanie McAllister, who was second in the all-around with a 39.3. "Next week, we'll be on more of a mission to do that."
Michigan's Kylee Botterman, the nation's second-ranked gymnast in the all-around, won with a 39.425.
Utah suffered two falls, and though neither counted in the team score, the mistakes were unusual for a team that entered the meet hitting 137 of 144 routines this season.
The bobbles led to an overall score that was the lowest since Utah beat Nebraska 196.2-194.75.
"It was very lackluster," Utah coach Greg Marsden said. "They weren't bad, they just weren't great. They've done such a good job of consistently coming in with intensity and upping it a little bit each week, and we didn't do that."
Still, in the grand scheme of things, if Friday's meet was indeed the slump of the season, it certainly wasn't a huge setback. Utah's mistakes didn't hurt the Utes nearly as much as Michigan's hurt its own chances.
Michigan opened with its second-lowest score of the year on the uneven bars, managing just 48.55. Botterman was the only gymnast to score above 9.8, registering a 9.85.
The Utes struggled to deliver big scores on their opening event too, as they earned just 49.1 on the vault. Although solid enough to put a comfortable distance between themselves and the Wolverines, the Utes' effort tied their season-low set at Nebraska.
The uneven bars and balance beam were more of the same for the Utes, but the scores were good enough to never really be threatened by the Wolverines, who were struggling to deliver clean routines, too.
The bright spot turned out to be floor, the event in which the Utes have struggled the most. Utah posted a season-high 49.225, led by McAllister's 9.9.
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R In short • The Utes improve to 22-11 against the Wolverines and avenge a loss to Michigan last year with Friday's win.
KEY MOMENT • Gael Mackie earns her first individual win of the year by scoring a 9.925 on the uneven bars, which ties her career high.
Key stat • The Utes score a season high of 49.225 on floor, the event in which they've struggled the most.