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Utes fall flat in loss to Wolverines

Published February 19, 2010 8:44 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah's gymnasts came to Michigan hoping for a tough competition to test them as they start the second half of their schedule.

Unfortunately for them, Michigan was too tough as the Utes' started their final stretch just as they did the first half of the season -- with a road loss.

The No. 16 Wolverines defeated the No. 5 Utes 195.725-195.1 Friday at Crisler Arena. The score was the season-low for the Utes.

While technically the result could be called an upset given the teams' rankings, it has almost become a habit for the Utes (5-2) to lose here. They are just 2-6 in the Wolverines' home arena with the two wins coming in their most recent visits in 2008 and 2006.

Freak falls and unexpected inconsistencies have plagued the Utes here other years and they did so again Friday, but Utah coach Greg Marsden wasn't going to let his team use history as an excuse.

"I'm not going to let them off the hook that easy and say we come to Michigan and weird things happen," he said. "We should be a better team at this point in the season than we are."

The Utes were behind after the first rotation after posting a season-low 48.475 on the uneven bars while Michigan (9-1) had a 49.225.

Two solid performances on the floor and vault put them ahead by .3 going into the final rotation, but the Utes couldn't hold off the Wolverines on the balance beam.

Stephanie McAllister and freshman Fumina Kobayashi, the first two up on the balance beam, fell off and scored 9.1 and 9.175, respectively.

Those mistakes gave the Wolverines the opening they needed to avoid the home loss as they finished with a 49.3 on floor while the Utes scored just 48.375 on the beam.

Losing wouldn't have been such a difficult thing to take for the Utes if it hadn't been for the way it occurred.

The Utes thought they had their road troubles worked out after solid wins at Washington and Arizona State, but they obviously have a lot of work to do in the coming weeks.

"We are going in the wrong direction," Marsden said. "Last week [against Utah State] was a mixed bag and this week was even more of a mixed bag."

Jamie Deetscreek and McAllister struggled with Deetscreek falling off the bars and eventually getting pulled from the floor and balance beam lineups. In addition to her fall off the beam, McAllister hit the low bar during her bars routine and was tagged for a .2 deduction, scoring just 9.675.

"When you lose two of your better gymnasts like that, we just didn't come to play," Marsden said. "We did a good job coming back, but ..."

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Event winners

All-Around » Kylee Botterman (Michigan) 39.475

Vault » Kyndal Robarts (Utah) 9.95

Uneven bars » Sarah Curtis (Michigan) and Kylee Botterman (Michigan) 9.85

Balance beam » Kelsey Knutson (Michigan) 9.875

Floor » Kylee Botterman (Michigan) 9.95

How it unfolded

First rotation » Michigan 49.225-48.475

Second rotation » Utah 97.675-97.625

Third rotation » Utah 146.725-146.425

Fourth rotation » Michigan 195.725-195.1

In short

The Utes lose at Michigan for the sixth time in eight tries.