It was a super busy weekend for the Aggies, especially since some fall sports are competing this spring due to COVID-19 delays.
After recording the fourth highest road score in school history on Saturday at Boise State, the Utah State gymnastics team reaped the rewards on Monday. The Aggies narrowly lost to the host Broncos, 196.35 to 196.25.
With the big road score, USU moved up two spots to No. 21 in the country in the latest rankings released on Monday. The 196.25 score was the 10th best all-time in school history.
All four teams in the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference (MRGC) are ranked in the top 25 this week. BYU is No. 11, Southern Utah dropped three spots to No. 18, and Boise State climbed three spots to No. 22.
USU also holds national rankings on three events. The Aggies are 23rd on vault (48.863), 24th on uneven bars (48.919) and 20th on balance beam (48.881).
Individually, Autumn DeHarde is tied for first in the MRGC and tied for eighth in the nation with a beam average of 9.90. Mikaela Meyer is first in the MRGC and tied for 18th nationally with a vault average of 9.869.
DeHarde was named the MRGC Beam Specialist of the Week Monday after capturing the title with a season-high-tying 9.925 — tied for eighth all-time in school history — in the event against the Broncos on Saturday.
Meyer was tabbed the MRGC Vault Specialist of the Week Monday for the second-consecutive week after she won the title with a career-high-tying 9.90 on Saturday. She has captured the vault crown in the Aggies’ last three meets.
DeHarde was also named the America First Credit Union USU Student-Athlete of the Week on Monday. Besides her 9.925 on beam, the senior from Sussex, Wisconsin, placed second on the floor exercise with a 9.875.
USU returns home to face Boise State in another MRGC dual meet on Saturday at 7 p.m., in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
The Aggies wrapped up their first tournament in almost a year Monday in St. George. They had not competed at a collegiate tournament because of COVID-19 since last March.
At the Thunderbird Invitational, hosted by Southern Utah, USU tied for fourth with two other schools in the 12-team field. As a team, the Aggies were 8-under par for the three-day tournament (856). Utah won with a 823.
Colten Cordingley led the Aggies by finishing with a career-best 54-hole score of 9-under par 207. The senior tied for third individually.
Fellow Aggie Chase Lansford shot a final-round 2-under par 69 to move into a tie for 10th individually. He carded a 65 on Sunday and finished at 211.
Once again the Aggies played much better in the second outing of a two-game series, but still came up short on Saturday.
Despite scoring a season-high 85 points, shooting a season-high 53.7 percent from the field and setting a school record with 29 assists, USU fell to the defending Mountain West champs. Fresno State (11-6, 9-3 MW) enjoyed a 21-point lead in the third quarter at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, but then had to hold off a fourth-quarter charge by the Aggies to notch the win, 93-85.
A big part of USU’s rally in the fourth was sparked by Kinley Falslev. The freshman, who played locally at Green Canyon, came off the bench to score a career-high 14 points — all in the final quarter.
Jessica Chatman scored a career- and game-high 26 points, while Shyla Latone netted 15 points and Halle Nelson added 10 for the Aggies (4-11, 2-8). Faith Brantley and Kamalu Kamakawiwo’ole each dished out seven assists apiece. Nelson grabbed a team-best six rebounds.
After battling for five sets on Friday, the Aggies went down in three Saturday afternoon against Wyoming in the Estes Center, 25-21, 25-21, 25-20.
This was the first weekend of action for USU (0-2). The season, which is normally played in the fall, was postponed until now. Teams are only playing conference foes
Wyoming (2-0) led throughout the first and second sets. There were six lead changes in the third, but the Cowgirls were able to finish strong to end the match.
Kristy Frank led the Aggies with nine kills and nine digs, while hitting .364. USU experimented with several lineups throughout the match. Sky View alum Ashlee McUne, a setter, saw her first action in an Aggie uniform.
The Aggies head out on the road the next two weeks for two-match series at Boise State and Fresno State.
Both the men’s and women’s teams played a pair of matches over the weekend on the road. The Aggie men were in northeastern Washington, taking on Gonzaga and Eastern Washington. A third match scheduled with Seattle was canceled. The women were in Colorado.
On Saturday, the men fell to Gonzaga, 4-3, in Spokane, Washington. The Aggies secured their three points in singles action. Sergiu Bucur won at the No. 1 spot when his opponent had to retire in the third after they had split the first two sets. Felipe Acosta posted a straight-set victory at the No. 2 position, 6-2, 6-2. Javier Ruiz also won in two at No. 5, 6-2, 7-5.
On Sunday at Cheney, Washington, USU beat Eastern Washington, 6-1. Redshirt freshman transfer Jack Ninteman made his Aggie debut, playing to a 6-2 win at No. 3 doubles with Roko Savin and a straight-set victory (7-5, 6-3) in the No. 6 singles spot. The Aggies swept the Eagles in doubles.
In singles play, USU posted four straight-set wins. In the No. 1 spot, Bucur won 6-2, 6-2. Acosta topped his opponent at No. 2, 6-1, 6-3. Ruiz also posted a sweep at No. 4, 6-1, 6-1. Savin was pushed the furthest at No. 3, 6-4, 4-6, 10-3.
On Saturday, the Aggie women fell to Denver, 6-1. USU picked up one win doubles, as the No. 1 duo of Renata Lombera and Gabrielle Dekkers defeated the No. 36-ranked team nationally, 6-4. In singles play, Carolina Millan maintained her perfect record on the year in the No. 1 position with a hard-fought victory, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 1-0 (9-7).
On Sunday, USU was blanked at Colorado, 7-0.