Michaela Chernoch finished first on floor with a 9.900
SUU Strategic Communications

Flippin' Birds Tally Season-High 194.525 in Victory

January 27, 2012
By SUU Strategic Communication

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LOGAN, Utah - Jan. 27 - Southern Utah University trailed until the final rotation, but steady performances paid off as the Thunderbirds posted victories over Utah State and No. 13 Boise State on Friday night. SUU scored a season-high 194.525 and was followed by Utah State (194.050) and Boise State (193.525).

"This was not a good meet for us tonight, but we learned how to win ugly," head coach Scott Bauman said. "We were fortunate to be the team that made the least amount of mistakes and we were able to come out the winner."

Southern Utah began on bars and suffered some opening miscues as three gymnasts clipped the low bar during their routines, giving Michaela Chernoch, Alyssa Click and Jamie Armijo a 9.700, 9.650 and 9.600, respectively. Freshman Rochelle Bernier led the Thunderbirds with a 9.725 on the event with Brooke Cersosimo's 9.650 rounding out the team score of 48.325.

Utah State took an early lead after scoring a 48.575 on vault as Boise State finished on beam with a 47.825 after having to count a 9.300 and 9.200.

The Thunderbirds then moved to beam, scoring a 48.650 behind four 9.700's or better on the apparatus. Caitlin Kennedy was tops for the T-Birds with a 9.800 and was followed by Click (9.750), Anna Schumacher (9.725) and Chernoch with a 9.700. Ana Jaworski's 9.675 rounded out the team score. The performance gave Southern Utah a total of 96.975.

The Aggies maintained the lead following the second rotation with a 48.850 on bars, giving USU a team score of 97.425. The Broncos bounced back from the falls on beam and scored a 49.075 on floor behind a 9.900 from Amy Glass, pulling within .075 of Southern Utah with a team score of 96.900.

BSU actually took the lead after the third rotation, scoring a meet-high 49.150 on vault to bring its total to 146.050. Utah State was just behind with a 145.975 after scoring a 48.550 on the balance beam.

The surge left the Thunderbirds in third place despite their highest team score of the night coming on floor (48.875). Chernoch matched Boise's Glass on the event with a 9.900 for her second individual title of the season and was followed by Click with a 9.800. Jaworski, Kennedy and Jensen also contributed to the team score with a 9.750, 9.725 and 9.700, respectively. Kennedy's mark was a career best and was five-tenths higher than her collegiate debut on floor the week before.

Falls by Utah State and Boise State during the final rotation opened the door to a Southern Utah victory, which the T-Birds sealed hitting five vaults to finish the night. The rotation wasn't without its struggles as Click landed her vault on her back, scoring a 7.300, and was fortunate to avoid any injury. The team rallied with Jensen, Chernoch and Armijo wrapping up the lineup with a 9.750, 9.750 and 9.725, respectively. Kennedy began the rotation with a 9.675 and was followed by Bernier who led the team with a 9.775.

The closing 48.675 by Southern Utah pushed the T-Birds ahead of Utah State (194.050) and Boise State (193.525) as the Aggies finished with a 48.075 on floor and the Broncos with a 47.475 on bars.

Chernoch logged her first 39-plus all-around of her career, finishing second to Utah State's Sarah Landes (39.225) with a 39.050.

"Even though we struggled tonight, we are showing that we are getting better and better," Bauman concluded. "I'm so proud of the way that we fought all night."

Southern Utah will continue its season next weekend when the Thunderbirds travel to California to face Sacramento State on February 3 and San Jose State on February 5.