Utah gymnastics fans might be feeling a bit edgy after seeing their team suffer back-to-back losses for the first time since 2012, but there isn’t a sense of panic — urgency maybe — but not panic for the Utes.
The fourth-ranked Utes, who wrap up their regular-season schedule with a home meet against No. 20 Georgia on Friday, are coming off a season low in their 196.95-196.8 loss at Michigan on Saturday.
But their spirits still were good Monday.
“On the plane ride home, all we did was talk, and we decided we didn’t need to make any significant changes, but just improvements,” senior Maddy Stover said. “We need to do some more technical work and some more on the mental side, but we don’t need to change our skills.”
Utah coach Megan Marsden said she also felt a little better after watching film of the meet.
“We had a lot of great performances, and only a little bit seemed concerning,” she said. “A loss is never fun, but we are trying to keep it in perspective. Wins and losses aren’t devastating in gymnastics, although we know losing two in a row doesn’t sound great. But we just have to address some things.”
The Utes are going to spend more time focusing on landings, something they already have been doing. However, they don’t want to put too much emphasis on them that it becomes a burden, senior Tiffani Lewis said.
“We’ve been trying to get all those tenths, but we can’t let it consume us,” Lewis said. “What we need to do is do what we do in the gym and relax and hopefully that will let us compete the same way.”
In the rankings
The Utes remain in fourth with a 197.415 average while Oklahoma remains at No. 1 with 197.995 followed by LSU (197.755) and UCLA (197.725). Brigham Young is 19th (196.395), Southern Utah is No. 30 (195.745) and Utah State remains just outside the cut of 36 qualifying regional teams at No. 38 (195.385).
Utah is fourth on the vault (49.395), sixth on the uneven bars (49.31), ninth on the balance beam (49.275) and fourth on the floor (49.485).
Utah sophomore MyKayla Skinner is third in the all-around (39.665), fifth on the vault (9.93), 10th on the bars (9.915) and fifth on the floor (9.945). MaKenna Merrell-Giles is eighth in the all-around (39.535), ninth on the vault (9.905) and eighth on the floor (9.93).
Around the state
The Cougars compete at Washington on Thursday in a tri-meet that includes Boise State. On Friday, BYU scored a 196.5, which included its second-highest uneven bars score in program history (49.425) in a loss to Penn State (196.675).
SUU competes at Utah State on Friday following a bye since losing to Denver 197.3-194.9 on March 5.
Kim Tessen, who sat out the uneven bars at Michigan due to ongoing shoulder issues, should be available to compete Friday. Alexia Burch, who hyperextended her knee and didn’t compete at Michigan, is day-to-day.
Sydney Soloski replaced Burch on beam and earned a 9.8.
Freshman Lauren Wong made her debut in Tessen’s place on the bars and scored 9.825.
For the first time, all seats in the upper bowl of the Huntsman Center will be reserved seating for Friday’s Senior Night meet. Discounted tickets for just $5 for the upper bowl are available while supplies last.
The Utes are averaging 15,121 fans at home and need a crowd of just 7,500 to win their eighth all-sports women’s attendance title. The Utes have won the title every year since 2013.
Seniors Lewis, Erika Muhaw and Stover will be honored in pre-meet festivities.
Top 25 rankings
Team • Regional qualifying score
1. Oklahoma • 197.995
2. LSU • 197.755
3. UCLA • 197.725
4. Utah • 197.415
5. Florida • 197.365
6. Alabama • 197.12
7. Michigan • 196.945
8. Washington • 196.82
9. Kentucky • 196.8
10. California • 196.775
11. Nebraska • 196.66
t-11. Arkansas • 196.66
13. Oregon State • 196.655
14. Auburn • 196.595
15. Denver • 196.525
16. Boise State • 196.52
17. Arizona State • 196.51
18. George Washington • 196.46
19. BYU • 196.395
20. Georgia • 196.365
21. Missouri • 196.28
22. Minnesota • 196.16
23. North Carolina State • 196.155
24. Ohio State • 196.085
25. Penn State • 195.98