Third-ranked Alabama earns second at Ozone Classic, behind Nebraska
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- A week after posting its best opening score in school history, No. 3 Alabama experienced an off night at the Ozone Collegiate Classic finishing second to Nebraska by 2/10 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.
Freshman Katie Bailey led the way for the Tide with a 39.150 in the all-around.
"Katie Bailey was very consistent tonight and I think her performance was every bit as good as last week if not better," coach 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."
After 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.
Alabama 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.
On 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 month."
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.