MyKayla Skinner returned to the all-around Saturday, but even her dominating presence wasn’t enough for Utah’s fourth-ranked gymnastics team to escape Ann Arbor, Mich., with a win.
The Utes fell to No. 7 Michigan 196.95-196.8 in front of 7,212 in Crisler Arena.
Skinner, who sat out two events in Utah’s loss at Cal to rest a sore ankle, earned a 39.7 to tie her second-best all-around score of the season to win the category. She also won the vault (9.925), balance beam (9.925) and tied for the floor (9.95).
Unfortunately, other Utes had some breaks that led to Utah’s second straight loss. It marks the first time since 2012 that the Utes (8-3) have suffered back-to-back losses. It also was Utah’s lowest score of the season and a disappointing effort since the Utes were coming off a bye.
Utah wraps up its regular season at home Friday against Georgia.
“We wanted to come out of the gates looking strong and sharp after the bye,” Utah coach Tom Farden said. “But we’ve got to address some things in practice. We can do things physically, it is the small mental errors right now that are getting us.”
The Utes led 147.675-147.525 going into the final rotation but couldn’t hang onto the win. They scored 49.125 on the beam, while Michigan closed its meet with a 49.425 on the floor.
Skinner was the only Ute to break the 9.9 mark on the event. Maddy Stover (9.7) and Missy Reinstadtler (9.675) had some breaks, and Kari Lee (9.825) had some small balance checks.
It seemed the Utes were in for a good meet at the beginning when they opened with a solid 49.325 on the uneven bars. But Utah managed just a 49.1 on the vault with several gymnasts missing their landings. That was disappointing considering the Utes spent their bye week trying to improve in that area.
“We just aren’t finding our landings like we did early mid-season,” Farden said. “I don’t think we stuck one tonight, and we have to continue working and getting them more comfortable.”
Aside from a step-out by MaKenna Merrell-Giles on floor (9.75), the Utes didn’t have any major breaks on the event, but they couldn’t produce the big scores either, aside from Skinner’s 9.95.
The Utes still had a shot at winning, but again small errors harmed the balance beam effort.
“We hit 24 routines, but things weren’t done perfectly,” Farden said. “We need to be a bit sharper. We left a lot of tenths out there.”
There were a few changes to the lineup with Sydney Soloski replacing Alexia Burch on beam since Burch had a hyper-extended knee. Soloski posted a 9.8.
Freshman Lauren Wong competed for the first time on the uneven bars, scoring 9.825 in place of Kim Tessen, who had a sore shoulder.
MICHIGAN 196.95, UTAH 196.8
In short • The Utes lost their second meet in a row for the first time since 2012 when Michigan rallied for the win on floor Saturday.
Key moment • The Utes led going into the final rotation but scored just 49.125 on the beam, the third-lowest score of the year.
Key stat • Utah’s vault (49.1) and floor (49.25) were season lows.
Vault • MyKayla Skinner (Utah) 9.925
Uneven bars • Paige Zaziski (Michigan) 9.95
Balance beam • MyKayla Skinner (Utah) 9.925
Floor • MyKayla Skinner (Utah) and Emma McLean (Michigan) 9.95
All-around • MyKayla Skinner (Utah) 39.7