UF roundup: No. 5 Gators win at No. 17 Auburn

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University of Florida gymnast Alicia Boren lands her performance on the bars in a meet against LSU at the O'Connell Center in Gainesville. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

AUBURN, Ala. – No. 5 Florida gymnastics team won Friday at No. 17 Auburn in front of a Groundhog Day crowd of 6,391 at the Auburn Arena. The Gators’ 197.40 is their best road total of 2018. The Tigers’ 197.00 stands as AU’s high for the season.

“Today’s performance was a big improvement over any of our previous road meets,” UF coach Jenny Rowland said. “The team seemed to take a little more confidence on the road with us after our last home meet. We were able to build on each routine.

“We were resting some and others were coming back from illness so there were some new faces in the lineups.”

The Gators trailed by 0.025 after the opening rotation, but moved in front for good after equaling the nation’s high of 49.50 on vault. Florida turned in a solid 49.40 on floor exercise and closed with a 49.175 on balance beam.

Two Gators won event titles in consecutive rotations. First, Gator senior All-American Alex McMurtry won the meet’s uneven bars title, and then added the vault win on the next rotation. The first win came with a near perfect 9.975 on uneven bars. Then she posted a perfect 9.95 on vault, as she performed the Yurchenko full tonight (start value: 9.95).

In the meet’s second half, it was junior All-American Alicia Boren’s turn to be a multiple event winner – both with season-best marks. Boren equaled her collegiate best of 9.95 to take the floor exercise title. Then she finished her competition with a 9.925 for the balance beam win.

Boren added her third title of the day with a 39.55 in the all-around. Sophomore Amelia Hundley was second with a 39.375 in her 2018 all-around debut.

“We had some new faces on floor tonight. Rachel Gowey went out and had a great performance. I thought performances overall on floor were really good. We finished off with a solid beam rotation,” Rowland said.

TENNIS

Men, women compete together for first time

ORLANDO – For the first time ever, the men’s and women’s tennis teams will play alongside each other when Florida takes on Florida State in the Fresh From Florida Sunshine Showdown at 7 p.m. today.

The match between the in-state rivals is part of the College MatchDay event series hosted by the United States Tennis Association in order to promote college tennis. The combined men’s and women’s match will take place at the USTA National Campus and will be televised live on Tennis Channel and Tennis Channel Everywhere, becoming the first series of live college tennis programming Tennis Channel has aired, according to the station.

The No. 3-ranked Gator women (2-0) and No. 8-ranked Gator men (3-0) both enter their respective matches coming off home wins at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.

The Seminole women’s team (2-2) has already faced challenging opposition, most recently No. 2 Vanderbilt in the regional championship match at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. FSU won the doubles points before the Commodores took control in singles for the 4-1 decision in Nashville.

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