PROVO BYU gymnastics coach Brad Cattermole was thinking if his team could compete as well as it did in Cougars last match against Oregon State, they'd be in good shape against Southeast Missouri State University.
The Cougars didn't perform as well as Cattermole thought they could have, but he was still satisfied.
The Cougars got off to a quick start and never looked back as they defeated the Redhawks 194.850 to 194.225 at the Smith Fieldhouse on Wednesday evening.
"I think we're moving in the right direction," Cattermole said.
The Cougars started off well and built an early cushion by scoring 48.95 on the vault. Alethea Boon, who was the Cougars' lone all-around competitor for the evening, scored a team-high 9.9 in the event. Dayna Smart-Allen and Megan Donehue also had strong performances on the vault with scores of 9.875 and 9.8, respectively.
Donahue was able to successfully add a twist to her vault which helped to increase her score.
"That wasn't my first time doing that," she said about the twist with a slight laugh. "But I've been struggling with it."
After the meet, Cattermole stressed the importance of getting off to a quick start.
"When you get off on a good start, when it feels like things are going well, it makes you happy," he said. "It kind of relaxes you. It says this is going to be a good night. You can start out bad and come back. But when you start out well, everybody gets excited. It's just more fun to compete."
The Cougars weren't nearly as sharp on the bars in their second event, but were still were able to maintain a 0.5 point lead.
Cattermole was worried the poor performance on the bars would influence the Cougars in the third event. But the Cougars, led by Smart-Allen and Boon, rebounded for a score of 48.725 on the balance beam. Smart-Allen and Boon led the Cougars in the event with scores of 9.8 each.
"They got their heads back in the game," Cattermole said.
The Cougars put the Redhawks away for good in the final event with a score of 48.875 on the floor routine. Once again, Boon led the team with a score of 9.825. Hayley Jensen also had a score of 9.825 while Smart-Allen added a 9.8.
Although the victory was nice after the recent loss to Oregon State, Cattermole thinks his girls are capable of even better.
"I think we could go 196 but it's going to have to be a meet that we're getting after it," he said. "We can't be making the goofy little mistakes. Tonight might have been a 196. We almost scored a 195 counting a fall. So I see a big upside for us."
Redhawks coach Tom Farden said he thought anxiety was a factor.
"We started out on bars and our students were a little nervous," he said. "They were a little cautious."
The Cougars now have a week to prepare for their matchup with Southern Utah next Friday evening at the Smith Fieldhouse.