Feb. 6, 2009

 

Courtesy of Georgia Athletics

ATHENS, Ga. - The third-ranked Georgia gymnastics team will return to Southeastern Conference action against No. 5 Auburn on Saturday at Stegeman Coliseum. The meet will begin at 4 p.m.

The Gym Dogs are 5-0 overall, including a 2-0 mark in the conference, while Auburn is 3-2 and 1-1.

“Auburn has been a very consistent team this season,” Georgia coach Suzanne Yoculan said. “They are a solid 196 team; they hit their routines. We have the potential to score higher than them, but will our team hit and be consistent? We’ve been all over the place or on the money. There’s no gray area with us right now.”

The Gym Dogs own the nation’s highest score this season at 197.175, but they are coming off a 195.000 effort in last week’s meet at North Carolina State.

“You study it, you learn from it and you leave it behind,” Yoculan said of the North Carolina State meet. “It’s not the score we wanted, and there were lots of reasons for the problems we had and unfortunately they multiplied. But I’m not overly concerned. Our coaches are going through each mistake, and we’ve got plans to remedy the problems.”

Georgia enters Saturday’s meet with a 62-0 all-time record against Auburn.

LINEUP AGAINST AUBURN

Here is Georgia’s lineup for Saturday’s meet against Auburn. As always, the lineup is subject to change.

Vault: Lauren Sessler, Kathryn Ding, Cassidy McComb, Marcia Newby, Courtney Kupets and Tiffany Tolnay. (This would be Ding’s collegiate debut on vault.)

Bars: Marcia Newby, Kathryn Ding, Gina Nuccio, Grace Taylor,  Tiffany Tolnay and Courtney Kupets.

Beam: Hilary Mauro, Cassidy McComb, Tiffany Tolnay, Grace Taylor, Courtney Kupets and Gina Nuccio.

Floor: Abby Stack, Hilary Mauro, Grace Taylor, Cassidy McComb, Courtney Kupets and Tiffany Tolnay.

NATIONAL RANKINGS ARE OUT

Georgia enters Saturday’s meet in the No. 3 spot in the GymInfo rankings, which were released on Monday. Georgia has an average of 196.320, trailing only Utah at 196.700 and UCLA at 196.480.

The Gym Dogs were ranked No. 1 in the preseason, stood eighth after one meet, were fourth after the second and third meets, reclaimed the top spot and then slipped to No. 3.

“We’ve been inconsistent because we have a lack of depth,” Georgia coach Suzanne Yoculan said. “We don’t have a lot of competition in the gym, and there’s no repercussions for making a mistake in practice. Our best teams have always had a lot of competition for you to maintain your spot. We feel like things will come around soon.”

The Gym Dogs will have senior all-arounder Tiffany Tolnay (foot) back in the lineup this week. Georgia also will gain the services of 2008 floor national champion Courtney McCool (foot) later this month.

As a team, the Gym Dogs rank No. 2 on bars, No. 5 on vault, No. 7 on beam and No. 8 on floor.

Georgia’s Courtney Kupets is No. 1 nationally in the all-around, bars and beam and 11th on vault. Tolnay is fifth on bars, seventh in the all-around and 17th on floor exercise. Grace Taylor is first on beam and sixth on bars.