Georgia Posts Season-High Score to Beat LSU
ATHENS, Ga. - The No. 7 Georgia Gym Dogs (3-1, 2-1) set season highs on every apparatus en route to a season-high score of 197.250 and a win over No. 17 LSU Tigers (1-6, 1-2), in front of a sold out crowd of 10,224 at Stegeman Coliseum on Saturday.
"Our team finally did what we talked about doing," said head coach Jay Clark. "They stayed on message and stayed aggressive throughout the meet. They didn't let up and competed like they were getting confident. That's the encouraging thing. There are certain places they still need to tighten up, but we still have an opportunity to get a little more out of this meet than they got. I'm excited for them, I'm happy for them."
It was a night of highs for Georgia, as seven Gym Dogs set or tied a total of 13 season highs. Georgia also posted a season-high six scores of 9.900 or higher.
On vault, Georgia was led by Kat Ding and Noel Couch, who scored a 9.925 and 9.900, respectively. Couch set a season high and Chelsea Davis set a new career best at 9.875. The Gym Dogs posted a 49.325 on vault and the Tigers started their night on the bars with a 48.500.
"If you can execute early in the lineup, you can really force the judges to think about what they are doing," continued Clark. "When you execute well, they have no where to go. The vaults got bigger, we didn't stick all of them, but we stuck the first couple and that's tremendous. It creates an energy and a momentum that helps you move all the way through the meet."
On bars, the Gym Dogs were bolstered by Ding and Gina Nuccio, who recorded a 9.950 and and 9.900, respectively. Davis added a career-high 9.825 and Couch set a new season best with her 9.825 performance. Georgia scored a 49.325 on bars and LSU notched a 49.300 on vault as Georgia increased its lead to 98.650-97.800.
In the third rotation, Shayla Worley led the way on beam with a 9.925 and Earls set a new career best with her 9.875 performance. Couch and Ding set new season highs, scoring 9.850 each. Georgia posted a 49.350on beam and the Tigers scored a 48.975 on floor and the Gym Dogs entered the final rotation with a 148.000-146.775 lead.
On floor, Georgia was paced by season-high performances Nuccio, 9.900; Persinger, 9.875; and Worley, 9.875. The Gym Dogs scored a 49.250 on floor and LSU concluded its night on beam with a 48.975, bringing the final score to 197.250-195.750.
Next up, the Gym Dogs travel to take on No. 3 Utah at 9 p.m. on Feb. 3. Georgia returns home to host No. 1 Arkansas on Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Kentucky Gymnastics Posts Season-Best Score in Win Over UIC
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky women’s gymnastics team used season-high team performances on uneven bars and balance beam en route to posting a season-best team score of 195.05, earning its first dual-meet victory of the season 195.05-194.35 over Illinois-Chicago on Saturday in Chicago.
“We took another step in the right direction tonight,” said UK head coach Tim Garrison, who is in his first season with the UK program. “We still have a lot of work to do, but I am very proud of our athletes and the fight that they showed in the meet tonight.”
UK’s team score of 195.05 is the highest in a regular-season dual-meet since last year’s squad earned the same mark at Ohio State. Kentucky posted season-high scores on bars and beam, earning a 48.825 on bars to crush the previous season high of 48.5. On beam, Kentucky earned a team score of 48.975, which is tied for the 12th-highest beam score in school history and the highest since the 2009 team posted a 49.1 on March 15 in Alaska.
Individually, Kentucky (3-3, 0-2 Southeastern Conference) set or tied 17 season highs and 14 career highs in the meet. Sophomore Audrey Harrison paced Kentucky with a career-high score of 39.0 in the all-around competition, while setting a career high on uneven bars and tying a career high on floor exercise. Freshman Alexis Gross also earned a career high in the all-around competition with a score of 38.875. Gross posted career highs on vault, uneven bars and balance beam.
The Wildcats continued to use a youthful lineup in the meet as 19 of UK’s 24 routines were performed by freshmen and sophomores. Kentucky has now used 18 or more performances from underclassmen in every meet this season, including a season-high 20 last week against SEC foe Florida.
Amazingly all six gymnasts that made the UK lineup on beam set season highs in the meet, including five gymnasts that set of tied a career high on the event. Senior Storey Morris led the Wildcats with a career-high tying 9.85, which earned her the event title. The high mark for Morris was also a season high. Sophomore Holly Cunningham followed closely behind with a career-high 9.825 to finish tied for third on the event, while sophomore Kayla Sienkowski and Gross set career highs when each earned a 9.775. Harrison continued her consistency on beam with a 9.75, while freshman Shannon Mitchell completed the UK scoring with a career-high 9.65.
The Wildcats started the night on uneven bars, earning a team score of 48.825 behind sophomore Caitlyn Ciokajlo winning the individual event title with a season-high 9.825. The event title is the first of the season for Ciokajlo and the fourth and of her career. Gross, who set a career high on the event, and Morris finished tied for second at the meet with a pair of 9.775s, while Harrison set a career high with a 9.725. Senior co-captain Whitney Rose earned a season high on bars with a 9.725, followed by freshman Sara Shipley, who posted a 9.1.
Kentucky had a nice night on vault, led by three gymnasts earning career highs. Cunningham won her first career event title with a career-high score of 9.825 on vault, while freshman Kenzie Hedges finished second at the meet with a 9.8. Morris, who leads off the UK rotation on vault, got things going with a 9.775, followed by Harrison’s 9.725. Gross and fellow freshman Shelby Hilton earned career highs on the event when each scored a 9.6 to complete the UK rotation.
UK narrowly missed tying a season-high floor score by one tenth when it posted a team score of 48.525. Harrison’s career-high tying 9.8 led UK on the event, while Hedges tied a career high with a 9.725. Gross also earned a 9.725 on the event, followed by Sienkowski’s 9.675. Hilton and Hartley wrapped up the UK rotation with Hilton posting a 9.6 and Hartley an 8.3.
UIC’s Andrea Skala took home the all-around title with a score of 39.050, while Harrison finished second with a 39.0 and Gross third with a 38.875.
Kentucky will continue its two-meet road trip next Friday when it returns to SEC action against LSU in Baton Rouge, La. The meet is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET.