Upping the competition: Gymnastics faces stiff test Friday against Brigham Young

Junior Kirstin Stambaugh competes on floor on Jan. 3, 2015 at the opening meet against Temple University. The Chippewas beat Temple 193.425 to 188.900.

With back-to-back wins, the Central Michigan gymnastics team is gearing up for another Mid-American Conference Championship run. However, the team hasn't quite been tested by its opponents the way Brigham Young will Friday night.

BYU enters the meet with only one competition under its belt against Utah. The Utes defeated BYU, although the Cougars managed a 193.850. CMU's highest score of the season came last week, when it had a 193.6.

The Cougars rank 34th in the country this season, while the Chippewas are 38th averaging a 193.513 in their two meets. CMU broke the 194-barrier for the first time in 2015 in its third meet of the season, jumping to a 195.875 in a home meet against Eastern Michigan Jan. 17.

The biggest challenge facing the team will be filling the void of injured senior Kiki Petzold, who sustained an undisclosed career-ending injury. Head Coach Jerry Reighard said the team is in the process of developing other gymnasts to take her place.

"We really did not have a replacement for her, so on vaulting and floor that makes us a little weaker," Reighard said. "We are trying to train freshmen who we thought would have a season to prepare them with Kiki (Petzold) in the lineup. So now we're hustling, we've got to find that person."

CMU is familiar with BYU, having beaten the Cougars last year in Utah. The Chippewas scored topped BYU 196.15-194.4.

"BYU will be very competitive with us," Reighard said. "We beat them last year at their place, so there's going to be a little revenge factor coming to Mount Pleasant."

CMU hosts BYU at 7 p.m. Friday at McGuirk Arena. The meet will be broadcast on ESPN3.