No. 3 UF gymnastics falls at Bama
Published: Friday, February 3, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, February 4, 2012 at 12:23 a.m.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — After scoring the nation's highest team score in last week's meet, the No. 3 Florida Gators fell Friday night to the No. 6 Alabama Crimson Tide 197.725 to 196.9 on Friday night in Coleman Coliseum.
“I think it was a really wonderful environment for our team to gain experience from,” said head coach Rhonda Faehn. “Obviously we didn't perform to the best of our ability tonight, and I think maybe it was a little bit of a step down from the incredible performance of last week, but I think that's normal.”
The tone of the meet was set early when Alabama's Diandra Milliner scored a perfect 10 on the vault, which was the Tide's second 10 on vault this season. Additionally, Alabama's vault score of 49.6 was its highest of the season.
The Gators' start on the uneven bars couldn't match Alabama's start to the meet. Though the Tide won on the uneven bars by .025, its .35 lead off the vault gave it a solid foundation to continue the rest of the meet.
Florida struggled on the floor event with three gymnasts scoring a 9.775 and didn't get a single score above 9.875. For the whole night, the Gators' highest score was a 9.9, which happened once on vault by Kytra Hunter, once on the uneven bars by Mackenzie Caquatto and once on the balance beam by Ashanee Dickerson.
Going into the final event, Florida was down 148.275 to 147.575, which was too large of a deficit to come back from. However, Florida's highest score of the night came on the balance beam to end the meet with a 49.325.
“We were a little sluggish and we had quite a few landing errors or lower landings more than normal,” Faehn said. “But all in all, I'm really proud of the way they fought. They came back on beam just incredibly strong, and they showed a lot of heart. We walk away with a really solid road score, so that's important as well. It was a pretty good competition. No falls, and there were certainly some mistakes, but it wasn't ugly by any means.”
In the all-around, Alabama's senior Ashley Priess won with a 39.55. Alabama's Ashley Sledge and Florida's Kytra Hunter tied for second in the all-around, each with a score of 39.45.
Next week, the Gators return home for their Link to Pink breast cancer awareness meet against LSU on Friday night.
“Gymnastically, we're really looking to increase our endurance, getting the landings higher on all our tumbling passes and getting more stuck landings,” Faehn said. “I think we're just a little tentative on our some of our handstands on bars. Just really competing a little more aggressively on everything is what we're shooting for as far as a goal this week.”
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