The No. 25 UA gymnastics team has a second shot at Brigham Young University and hopes to redeem itself from its first meet against the Cougars.
The Wildcats lost to BYU in their second meet of the season after scoring a mere 192.750, and they hope to improve that number on Saturday night at Smith Fieldhouse.
""We are a far different team, but so are they,"" said head coach Bill Ryden. ""We really felt like the last time we were in the state of Utah was in no way a representation of our team, so we are going there for a whole bunch of reasons.""
The 192.750 the team put up in its first encounter with the Cougars was the lowest point total of the season. Rankings are based on a team's regional qualifying score, the average of a team's six best regular season scores.
""We just need to come together as a team and rely on each other,"" said assistant coach Randi Acosta. ""They need to know that this is a team deal, this is all about them and doing it together.""
The Wildcats continue to struggle on the beam event, which they put a heavy focus on in practice this week. One of the team's best beam workers, Katie Matusik, urged her teammates to relax and stay focused.
""(On Tuesday,) we did team beam. It's like a competition,"" Matusik said. ""Everyone stops what they are doing, and they watch us, and it puts more pressure on us.""
The Wildcats are trying to pick themselves up after a letdown last week against the No. 2 Stanford Cardinal, when the team only put up 194.675, after several deductions.
""We just need to get back on track after a little bit of a stumble,"" Ryden said. ""It wasn't 100 percent a disaster. But the reality is, we weren't satisfied, and we want to come away satisfied.""
According to Matusik, practices have been very intense as the team tries to get back on track.
""We are excited for this weekend,"" Matusik said. ""We kind of have a chip on our shoulder, and we are ready to just kick some butt.""