No. 3 Gymnastics Takes Second at Ozone Collegiate Classic
after posting its best opening score in school history, the No. 3
ranked Alabama gymnastics team experienced an off night at the Ozone
Collegiate Classic in Knoxville, Tenn., finishing second to Nebraska by
two tenth of a point and ahead of Southeastern Conference rival
Kentucky. Alabama posted a 196.050 to Nebraska's 196.250 while the
Wildcats scored a 194.650.
"This was definitely a different
environment for the team and while we had some great performances, we
struggled, not with falls, but with small errors that cost us in our
scoring potential," UA coach Sarah Patterson said. "It cost us a point
from last week. Our fourth event was our best event. We stuck five out
of six vaults and we're going take that and move forward into next
Freshman Katie Bailey led the way for the Tide with a 39.150 in the all-around.
Bailey was very consistent tonight and I think her performance was
every bit as good as last week if not better," Patterson said. "Nobody
was perfect tonight, but this team will use will use this to make us
better. The competition will continue to be this close throughout the
rest of the season."
"Overall, we had too many 9.775 scores
tonight," Patterson said. "We have to do the things that will add a
tenth to each score to put us in that 9.875 or 9.9 range."
Alabama was without All-American and NCAA vault champion Diandra Milliner, who was held out as a precaution after warm-ups.
missed Kayla Williams in the first meet and this week Diandra Milliner
pulled a muscle during warm-ups and was a little sore," Patterson said.
"I felt like from a strategic standpoint this was not the time to push
a nagging injury like that. We have depth and people stepped in."
struggling in spots through its first three rotations, the Crimson Tide
closed strong with a 49.425 on the vault led by sophomore Lauren Beer's
9.95 in the anchor position. Junior Kaitlyn Clark led the rotation off
with a 9.875, a score matched by senior Sarah DeMeo and Bailey.
scored a 49.000 on the uneven bars, led by a 9.875 from Clark. Bailey,
DeMeo and senior Kim Jacob all scored 9.775 on the bars while freshman
Amanda Jetter added a 9.8.
"Sarah led us off the uneven bars
routine with a great routine," Patterson said. "That was a bar routine
that she became an All-American with, but we were in a tight judging
environment. I think they were right on, they just started at a lower
point. That is why I always tell our athletes to focus on the
performance not the score. I think Sarah is a perfect example of that.
Her routine was better this week than it was last, but her score was
lower. Mentally, our ladies have to release that and focus on the
performance, that's something we're going to work on this week."
the balance beam, Alabama totaled a 48.850 led by a 9.825 from freshman
Aja Sims. On the floor exercise, Sims again led the way, scoring 9.8 to
pace the Tide to a 48.775 team score.
"Aja Sims did an amazing
job tonight," Patterson said. "She was our high scorer on the balance
beam and she stepped in on the floor exercise and was our high score
there. I can't say enough about her resilience, being a freshman and
stepping up to the plate like she has after being here less than a
Junior Lora Leigh Frost and Jetter both scored 9.775
on the floor, tying for the Alabama's second highest mark of the night
on that event.
"Amanda Jetter did a great job again tonight
stepping in on the balance beam and the floor exercise," Patterson
said. "And that was Lora Leigh's first routine of the season and she
led us off on the floor."