GymDawgs Nearly Upset Utes, Settle For Tie
Feb. 15, 2013
SEATTLE - It was an exciting and rare night at Alaska Airlines Arena as the No. 23 GymDawgs nearly pulled off a huge upset over No. 6 Utah, but the two teams ended in a rare tie with equal scores of 195.975 Friday night.
It was just the third time in school history that the Huskies had tied an opponent in the regular season, and odd enough, the first time was against Utah on March 4, 2001. It was a tri-meet also with Western Michigan and senior Mandi Klug for the UW had to score a perfect 10.0 on floor to tie the Utes and she did. It was the only 10.0 of her career.
Washington also tied Arizona on Feb. 20, 2004 in Arizona.
"I am always proud when our girls perform well and we get better," said head coach Joanne Bowers. "Utah is one of the top teams in the country year in and year out. I have never tied anyone in 20 years of coaching. If I am going to tie someone I rather tie a program like that. Granted, I would have rather won, but it was exciting for our team. It was just a lot of fun."
The meet was close throughout as the Huskies posted their best team score on vault since NCAA Regionals last season with a 49.075 to take the lead after the first rotation. Utah struggled on bars scoring 48.425.
The Utes rallied with strong vault scores of their own for a 49.375 and tied the meet at 97.750 after the second rotation. Washington posted a 48.675 on bars.
After three rotations, Utah took a slight lead with a 49.200 on floor, even though the Huskies posted their best season score on beam of 49.125.
With just one routine left for both teams on the final rotation, fans could tell the scores were close. Utah finished on beam first with a 49.200. Junior Aliza Vaccher (Eugene, Ore.) went last on floor for the Huskies, scoring consistently over 9.900 all season. Vaccher performed a near-perfect routine, scoring a career-high 9.925.
Washington knew they had a good meet and thought they might have pulled off the upset, waiting for the final scores to come though and the team celebrated. When it was time for awards, both teams were shocked and the crowd went silent when the tie was announced; that's how rare it is.
Senior Lauren Rogers (Plains, Pa.) shattered her career-high in the all-around to win her third such title of the season with a 39.275. She tied for third on vault (9.875) and third on floor (9.875) and posted a career-high of 9.800 on beam.
Vaccher won her third floor title of the year with her score and also posted a season-high on vault of 9.875 to tie for third.
Freshman Allison Northey (Sammamish, Wash.) competed in the all-around for the first time as a collegiate and placed third with a 39.075. She tied for second on bars (9.800) and beam (9.850).
Several other Huskies posted season and/or career-highs on the night helping the Huskies to another solid team score. McKenzie Fechter tied her career-high on beam and season-high on floor, Kiersten Graber set a new career-high on vault and Megan Whitney scored a 9.800 on vault, a new season-best against her former team.
The Huskies head to Tempe, Ariz., for a dual meet with Arizona State on Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. PT.
The meet was tape delayed on the Pac-12 Networks and can be watched on Feb. 17 at 10 a.m. PT.