TEMPE, Ariz. — The top-ranked Utah gymnastics team faces Pac-12 foe Arizona State on Sunday at 2 p.m.
It is the first road meet for Utah since Jan. 8 when it opened the season with a loss to then No. 1 UCLA. Since that loss, the Utes have reeled off three straight home wins with each meet score exceeding 197.0.
"We are excited to go on the road for a number of reasons," said Utah co-head coach Greg Marsden. "Championships are not won at home so it's good to get comfortable outside of the Huntsman Center. We also really enjoy traveling with each other because even though we spend a lot of time together at practice, we don't get to see each other much out of the gym because of everyone's busy schedules."
Marsden is anxious to see how his team responds on the road after struggling in their first rotation at UCLA to start the season. He knows the Utes will need a strong start on bars to compete with the teams it will face in the upcoming weeks.
"Bars are tough to start on because you need to put away the adrenaline and calm yourself down. We didn't handle starting on bars well the first meet of the year. Hopefully we've settled down, have more confidence and handle it better," said Marsden.
A luxury Utah does have is its strengths lie in the third and fourth rotations with beam and floor. Utah is ranked No. 1 in both events, leaving a strong conclusion at bay.
"We are very deep in both beam and floor, but it is easier to finish on floor rather than beam. This will be another test for us," said Marsden.
Meanwhile, ASU is coming off its first loss of the season to No. 16 Arizona on Friday. The Sun Devils had cracked the Top-25 for the first time after beating their in-state rival and Utah State the week prior. Arizona State is led by senior all-arounder Beate Jones.
Utah has won the past nine meetings between the two teams, and hasn't lost to ASU since 2003. The two teams were rivals several years ago, and Marsden is happy to see Arizona State back on an upswing after dealing with some strange injuries over recent years. The Utes are led by Corrie Lothrop, who has a team-best six victories and is the reigning Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week.
Red Rocks meet
Utah (3-1) at Arizona St. (4-0)
Today, 2 p.m.
Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe, Ariz.
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