Priess

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Two-time defending national champion Alabama won its 28th NCAA Regional title to advance to the NCAA championships for the 31st year in a row in front of a boisterous crowd of 7,758 in Coleman Coliseum on Saturday night.

With the top two teams in each of the six regionals advancing to the NCAA championships, Alabama scored a 197.400 to win its ninth regional title in a row followed by Utah in second with a 196.400.

The Crimson Tide took the top two spots in the all-around with fifth-year senior Ashley Priess posting a 39.6 for the top spot while junior Kim Jacob was second with a  39.475. It was Priess’ first appearance in the all-around since the 2012 NCAA championships Super Six team finals.

Alabama started things off with a 49.350 on the vault paced by sophomore Kayla Williams’ winning 9.925 from the leadoff spot and Priess’ 9.9. After its first bye of the evening, The Tide moved to the uneven bars where it used a trio of 9.9s, which all tied for first place, from junior Kim Jacob, sophomore Kaitlyn Clark and Priess to score a 49.375.

Jacob tied her career-best on the balance beam, scoring a 9.95 to lead Alabama to a 49.200. The Tide rebounded from a fall in the second spot and a large wobble in the third position to close with a 9.85 from junior Sarah DeMeo, Jacob’s 9.95 and a 9.9 from Priess.

The Tide closed out the night with a string of 9.9 or better routines on the floor exercise, scoring a 49.475, led by junior Diandra Milliner’s winning 9.925 and 9.9s from freshman Lauren Beers, DeMeo and Priess.

The other teams slated to advance from the other regionals across the country include Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia, LSU, UCLA, Michigan, Minnesota, Stanford, Utah, Arkansas and Illinois.