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    Georgia Falls To Oklahoma In Season Opener

     

    ATHENS, Ga. - No. 11 Georgia led after the first three rotations, but fourth-ranked Oklahoma rallied to beat the Gym Dogs, 196.450-195.425 Saturday afternoon in Stegeman Coliseum.
     
    Juniors Cat Hires and Kaylan Earls each tied career-high scores on the night, and the Gym Dogs posted two scores of 9.900 or higher. Hires also competed in the all-around for the first time of her career.
     
    "It was very exciting," said first-year head coach Danna Durante. "I think we need to talk about the wins. So certainly the performers, Christa Tanella, Lindsey Cheek, and the vault squad as a whole did an unbelievable job. Bars was very good. I saw some things on beam that we've been talking about in practice that they came out and they did."
     
    On vault, Georgia was led by Hires with a 9.925, which tied a career-high mark. Freshman Brandie Jay posted the second-best score for Georgia on vault with a 9.875. The Gym Dogs posted a 49.300 on vault and the Sooners started their night on the bars with a 49.150.
     
    On bars, the Gym Dogs were bolstered by Chelsea Davis with a 9.875 and Lindsey Cheek with a 9.850. Hires also tied her career high on the event with a score of 9.825. Georgia scored a 49.150 on bars and Oklahoma notched a 48.900 on vault as Georgia increased its lead to 98.450-98.050.
     
    In the third rotation, senior Shayla Worley led the way for the Gym Dogs with a 9.900. Lindsey Cheek and Kaylan Earls each earned a score of 9.800 on the apparatus, as Georgia finished with an overall beam score of 48.975. Oklahoma scored a 49.200 on the floor, and the Bulldogs entered the final rotation with a slim lead over the Sooners at 147.425-147.250.
     
    In the final rotation, Earls tied a career high with a score of 9.850 on floor, while Tanella scored a 9.825, but the Sooners turned in a strong performance on beam by scoring a 49.200 to take the lead, and ultimately, the victory. Georgia notched a score of 48.000 on floor.
     
    "It was the first meet of the year, and it was a journey," said Cheek. "It's a process. We're not focusing on that anymore. The meet is over with and we're focusing on our next meet and the process for that. If we dwell on what happened today then we're not going to be successful later on in the season, so we just have to put it behind us and keep our minds towards the rest of the season."
     
    Next up, the Gym Dogs travel to take on No. 12 Arkansas at 8 p.m. on Jan. 11. Georgia returns home to host No. 13 Auburn on Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m.