Despite their third consecutive loss to Pac-12 competition in Friday’s Pink Night — a meet intended to raise awareness for breast cancer — No. 24 Stanford women’s gymnastics showed improvement on the beam and floor, two events head coach Tabitha Yim said the team fell short on in last week’s meet against No. 3 UCLA. In a Friday night conference showdown, the Cardinal fell short to No. 12 Washington by a final score of 195.825-195.475.
“I felt like in the last meet [against UCLA] we made a lot of strides on vault and bars and this time we had some struggles on those two events,” Yim said. “[Tonight] we talked about after bars how we really needed to show a lot of grit and a lot of heart on the last two events, and I absolutely think that we did that.”
Stanford indeed showed a lot of heart as the team ended the night improving on beam and floor. The Cardinal’s performance in both of those events was lead by Kyla Bryant. The sophomore from Georgia nabbed the floor event title, scoring 9.925 in a performance that highlighted the highest score of the night. Bryant, who tied her career-best, was the only athlete to break 9.900 at the meet.
On the beam, Bryant, along with Taryn Fitzgerald and Wesley Stephenson, led the Cardinal, scoring 9.825. Despite Washington’s Evanni Roberson (9.850) taking the event title, the Cardinal outscored the Huskies in the event by 0.075.
“That’s one of the best beam performances that we’ve had all year,” Yin said. “I don’t know if the score reflects that, but that’s the truth.”
Yim also highlighted an exhibition performance by freshman Morgan Huang on the beam and emphasized the Texas native’s floor performance, which followed Bryant’s by half a tenth.
“It’s the first time she’s ever been up there and did amazing in that role,” Yim said.
The Cardinal opened the night with the vault rotation. Rachael Flam (9.850) and Aleeza Yu (9.825) recorded the top scores as the Cardinal came up short to the Huskies (48.750-48.875).
Friday’s performance in the vault (48.750) and bars (48.475) was notably lower than their performance against UCLA last week. Noticing the team’s varied performances lately, Yim believes it will take time for the team to maintain a steady performance across all four events from meet to meet.
“I think what we’re missing is that consistency piece where we fluctuate,” Yim said. “Sometimes we’re good on one event and sometimes in another, which is very indicative of a young team, but we’re making the right steps.”
The Cardinal will face Arizona State on Feb. 11 in Temple, AZ. They return to the Farm the following week to go up against Utah.
Yim said, “We just keep inching our way towards reaching our goals. Hopefully come Utah on the [Feb. 18 we’ll] notice a big jump.”
Contact Alejandro Salinas at asalinas ‘at’ stanford.edu and Julia Ingram at jmingram ‘at’ stanford.edu.