College roundup: Utes capture NCAA West Region championship

Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Feb. 25 2012 11:00 p.m. MST

Southern Utah moved to floor during the second rotation with Jaworski opening the lineup with a career-best 9.800. The mark was one of two career highs for Jaworski on the night as the freshman also tallied a 9.800 on vault. Fellow freshmen Brittney Jensen and Armijo were just behind Jaworski on floor with a 9.775 and 9.750, respectively. Jeffrey, making her first appearance in the floor lineup since injuring an ankle in the first meet of the year, scored a 9.650 with Bernier rounding out the team score of 48.475 with a 9.500. Bernier and Kennedy (9.475) each suffered mishaps during their routines, stepping out of bounds and leading to neutral deductions of one-tenth for each gymnast.

The Thunderbirds took their first lead of the meet after scoring a 48.500 on vault, going with a lineup composed entirely of freshmen. Jaworski's 9.800 was matched by Bernier and Jensen as both gymnasts also tallied a 9.800, respectively. Armijo and Carly Sigler followed with a 9.500 and 9.600, respectively. Cersosimo was originally slated to return to the vault lineup in the sixth spot, but Bauman elected to keep the senior out to prevent any chance of aggravating existing injuries and after a solid 5-for-5 showing by the freshmen lineup.

Southern Utah's team score grew to 145.400 after the third rotation, keeping ahead of BYU in second with a 145.275 after a 48.025 on beam and Utah State's 144.975 after a 48.675 on the floor exercise.

Following her pair of career highs, Jaworski suffered a fall leading off the Thunderbirds on the bars and finished the event with an 8.250. The pressure didn't phase the rest of the SUU lineup as the group finished the afternoon hitting its final five routines en route to its best team score of the competition with a 48.525. Alyssa Click, making her way back from a foot injury, led SUU with a 9.775 on the event only two days after being cleared to compete. Cersosimo finished the lineup with a 9.725 and was joined by a trio of 9.675's by Jeffrey, Bernier and Armijo for the final team score.

Armijo finished as the top Thunderbird all-arounder with a career-best 38.525. Jaworski, also competing in the all-around, finished with a 37.475 on account of her fall on the uneven bars.

Foe the Aggies, senior Rebecca Holliday tied for the beam win with a career-high tying 9.850 while freshman Susie Miller shared the floor crown with a 9.825, just .025 shy of her career-best.

COUGARS UPSET: At Provo, the No. 3 BYU men's volleyball team lost in a nail-biting five sets to No. 12 UC Santa Barbara after coming off a 3-1 win against the Gauchos on Friday.

"A lot of credit to Santa Barbara," said head coach Chris McGown. "They found some momentum in the third set and they kept going. They played really well, were almost mistake free and did a nice job."

For the first time this season, BYU had four players with double-digit kills. Robb Stowell led the team with 16, followed by 13 from Josue Rivera who also contributed a career-high 15 digs for his second double-double of the season. Senior Futi Tavana added 11 kills, and Russ Lavaja had a season-high 10 while adding a season-high two aces.

Senior Joe Kauliakamoa and freshman Jaylen Reyes both contributed eight digs. Kauliakamoa's were a career-high and Reyes' were a season-high.

The Cougars won the first set, 25-18, after not trailing the entire set. Stowell led the team with four kills on the set. Lavaja helped the victory with two aces in a row to take the set's largest lead at 15-7. Lavaja also had a team-leading three blocks in the set.

The Cougars were victorious again in the second set, winning by a score of 25-19. Redshirt freshman Rivera had a game-high six kills, with a .667 hitting percentage to lead the attack in the second.

UC Santa Barbara came out swinging in the third set with a 4-0 lead to begin the set. Dylan Davis had a perfect hitting percentage and four kills to help the Gauchos, 25-17. The UCSB momentum continued into the fourth set as they took it 25-19. Austin Kingi led the way with 7 kills for UCSB in the fourth.

In an exciting fifth set, the two teams battled back and forth, tying eight times. BYU led by as much as four with a 12-8 score but the Gauchos took back the momentum to win 15-13.

"We didn't make the swings we wanted to make at the times we wanted to make them," McGown continued. "I thought we really lost composure but I'm hoping that all of this is educational for us and that we can figure some things out, and we're better for going through it. I think we will be."

BYU will be back in action against No. 10 Pepperdine on Friday, March 2nd at 7:00 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse.

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