Jan. 20, 2009


Courtesy of Georgia Athletics

ATHENS, Ga. - The No. 4-ranked Georgia gymnastics team won a thrilling meet over the No. 3-ranked Utah Utes on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Stegeman Coliseum.

In front of a crowd of 8,731 on Monday, the Gym Dogs posted a 197.150-196.725 victory over the Utes.

Courtney Kupets posted a 39.600 to win the all-around for the third meet in a row as the Gym Dogs moved to 3-0 for the season.

The meet was tied at 147.775 apiece heading into the last rotation, which saw Georgia close on floor and Utah on beam.

"We really opened it up and tried to have a lot of fun on floor tonight and we all saw the result," Georgia coach Suzanne Yoculan said. "Utah is a tremendous program so we knew we would have to execute better, which is what we did. This was a great meet between two talented gymnastics teams, and a meet like this will make both teams better as the season goes on."

Georgia opened with a 49.3 on vault, with Lauren Sessler's and Cassidy McComb's 9.80s starting off the meet. Kupets led the Gym Dogs with 9.95, Tiffany Tolnay added a 9.90, and Marcia Newby had a 9.85. Utah started with a 49.4 on bars.

Georgia had a strong performance on the uneven bars scoring a 49.45, which proved to be its highest event score of the afternoon. The Gym Dogs got 9.825s from Gina Nuccio and Newby to begin and then added two consecutive scores in the 9.9s from Grace Taylor and Tolnay before Kupets anchored the event with a 9.975. With the Utes posting a 49.075 on vault, Georgia led at the halfway point, 98.750-98.475.

Georgia got a season-high score of 9.9 from Taylor to lead the Gym Dogs to a 49.025 on the balance beam. Hilary Mauro received a 9.825, with McComb and Kupets both adding 9.775s. Utah had a score of 49.3 on floor to make the overall score tied 147.775-147.775 heading into the final rotation.

The floor exercise opened with 9.875 by Abby Stack, a score that Mauro and Tolnay also achieved. Kupets pitched in a 9.9 and Georgia also got 9.85s from Taylor and McComb en route to a 49.375. Utah ended with a 48.95 on beam.

"It really comes down to us just sticking our routines, and we did a better job of that today," Kupets said. "We all know what we can do and what this team can achieve. We just need to keep working hard and getting better."

The Gym Dogs will face Alabama in Athens on Friday at 7:30 p.m.


Team Results
1. Georgia - (VT- 49.300; UB- 49.450; BB- 49.025; FX- 49.375; FINAL-197.150)
2. Utah - (VT- 49.075; UB- 49.400; BB- 48.950; FX- 49.300; FINAL-196.725)

Individual Results (Georgia competitors)
Vault: Hilary Mauro- 9.775; Lauren Sessler- 9.800; Cassidy McComb- 9.800; Marcia Newby- 9.850; Courtney Kupets- 9.950; Tiffany Tolnay- 9.900
Bars: Abby Stack- 9.750; Gina Nuccio- 9.825; Marcia Newby- 9.825; Grace Taylor- 9.925; Tiffany Tolnay- 9.900; Courtney Kupets- 9.975
Beam: Paige Burns- 9.150; Hilary Mauro- 9.825; Cassidy McComb- 9.775; Tiffany Tolnay- 9.750; Grace Taylor- 9.990; Courtney Kupets- 9.775
Floor: Abby Stack- 9.875; Hilary Mauro- 9.875; Grace Taylor- 9.850; Cassidy McComb- 9.850; Courtney Kupets- 9.900; Tiffany Tolnay- 9.875