Tide Wrecks Wildcats for First Win in Home Opener
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, may have been chilly on Friday but Coleman Coliseum was quite the opposite, as the No. 10 Crimson Tide gymnastics team picked up its first win of the season against the No. 9 Kentucky Wildcats 197.650-196.275.
"We had an idea of what OU was gonna look like for us. We fell short of what our goals were. Instead of having a pity party, the girls came in and they were on fire. They honed in on the details and did everything they had to do to get better," said Alabama head coach Dana Duckworth.
The Crimson Tide started its fierce routine with the vault. Freshman Jordyn Paradise's strong debut, scored a 9.875, and Makarri Doggette scored a career high 9.925 to give Alabama a total vault score of 49.225.
The Wildcats led off with the bars, scoring a 49.100 overall, after impressive performances by Raena Worley scoring a team high 9.875, and Cally Nixon's 9.85.
Each team switched areas, the Tide on bars and Kentucky on vault. The Wildcats started the vault off with a hat trick, three 9.85s from: Jilian Procasky, Nixon, and Isabella Magnelli, plus two 9.9s from Arianna Patterson and Worley to finish; however, it was not enough to take down the Tide. The Tide edged the Wildcats 49.550-49.275, after a 9.9, and two 9.925s from Cam Machado and Luisa Blanco, plus a team high 9.95 from Doggette to extend its lead 98.775-98.375 after two events.
Alabama's dominant statement came on the beams with three 9.9's or better: Graber and Blanco both scored 9.9s, and Hudson scored a 9.95, giving the Tide a team beam score of 49.250.
Kentucky's impressive floor performance got them within 0.325 points of Alabama with Worley and Magnelli scoring 9.95s, and Anna Haigis with a 9.9, but it was not enough for the Wildcats to overcome the Tide, Alabama maintaining the 148.025-147.700 lead after three events.
The Tide's terrific floor routine set them over the edge, with every gymnasts scoring a 9.8 or higher, including a hat trick of 9.95's from: Machado, Hudson and Graber. The Wildcats finished on the beam with a 48.575 score; unfortunately for them, Annie Reigert's 8.9 solidified the Alabama victory."
"This team is going to do everything they possibly can, and put every single practice into play to make progress," said Duckworth.
Alabama's next meet is the gymnastics Iron Bowl against the No. 7 Auburn Tigers, on Friday, January 28, 2022 at 8 p.m. CST in Auburn, Ala. It will be aired on ESPN2.