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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Aggies ground Falcons

Sometimes a truly amazing comeback can be recognized for more than just face value.

So was the case with the women’s gymnastics team as it headed into its final three routines with a 2.775-point deficit on Friday night at Seattle Pacific.

“Under everyday circumstances,” Lavallee said, “this situation makes a victory an insurmountable task.”

The Aggies were able to overlook everyday odds and focus on what they could control en route to a comeback win over the Falcons by a final tally of 188.825 to 188.400.

“We can’t affect what the judges will do,” coach John Lavallee said. “All we can affect is our performance. In gymnastics we can’t even put up a defense for the other team, so we focus in on the things we can control.

“We ended up squeezing out an incredible victory. It was an amazing example of Aggie pride.”

The Aggies fell behind right from the start and faced even more adversity as an injury forced one Aggie out of the second rotation.

In response, Lavallee moved senior Tanya Ho to the top on lineup to compete first on balance beam. Ho came in second on beam with a score of 9.700.

“It was the best day Tanya had had in a very long time,” Lavallee said. “Everyone watched her go up there and nail beam. It set the tone and lifted us when we really needed it.”

Ho also tied for second on uneven parallel bars with a 9.625 tally and fourth on floor exercise with a score of 9.700. These routines helped her final total of 38.675, which put her in first place in the all around.

Her score landed her just behind teammate Marcy Miller who took first on both beam and vault with scores of 9.750 in each routine. With those tallies, Miller had the best meet of her college career, according to Lavallee.

“Miller did a great job,” Lavalle. “She has transformed her gymnastics and become a really strong and mature competitor.”

Among other top performers was freshman Katie Yamamura, who was part of a three-way tie for first on floor exercise with a score of 9.725. She also tied for second on vault, leading her to second place all around with 37.250 points.

After an all around team performance to overcome an early deficit, Lavallee praised his team’s ability to comeback against a very competitive Seattle Pacific squad.

“It was neat to see this group pick themselves up and pull themselves together to do what they did,” Lavallee said. “[The Falcons] do their best against us every time we face them. We always know it’s going to be a competitive and hard-fought meet.”

The Aggies look forward to a solid week of practice as they prepare for the Causeway Classic against Sacramento State on Friday.

“We are ready to get ourselves prepared to rise up to an even higher level than where we’ve been,” Lavallee said.

GRACE SPRAGUE can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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