April 4, 2009


Courtesy of Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Things got tight late in the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships being held in Coleman Coliseum. On the last rotation, host-team Alabama, needed a 48.975 to beat No. 9 Oklahoma and win its 24th NCAA Regional title and advance to the NCAA Championships. The Crimson Tide's first competitor on its last event, the balance beam, fell off the apparatus, meaning Alabama would have to hit its next five routines to beat Oklahoma, who was finished for the night with a 196.6 and sitting on a bye.

Alabama's next five did more than hit, scoring a 49.350, with three season or career-best scores, including freshman Ashley Priess' clinching 9.95. Oklahoma finished second and the pair will advance to the NCAA Championships. The Crimson Tide advances to its 27th consecutive NCAA Championships and will compete in Lincoln, Neb. April 16-18.

After starting the night on a bye, Alabama got off to a solid start on the floor exercise, posting a 49.325, led by junior Morgan Dennis 9.925. The Tide then came back with a 49.100 on the vault, paced by sophomore Kayla Hoffman's 9.9. In its third event, the uneven bars, Alabama scored a 49.225 led again by Hoffman who scored a career-high 9.95.