gymnastics-women-nc flag | January 23, 2014

Georgia hopes to maintain momentum in meet against rival Florida

No. 3 Florida vs. No. 6 Georgia

Florida makes its first home appearance as the defending NCAA champions on Friday when it plays host to Georgia. Meet time is set for 7 p.m. ET in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

Florida opened league action Friday with a 197.075-196.225 win at No. 18 Auburn. Sophomore Bridget Sloan won at least a share of four event titles at Auburn, including using the nation’s leading total of 39.70 to win the all-around. Sloan shared her vault win when she matched her collegiate-high of 9.95. She and teammate Kytra Hunter were among a three-way tie for first on floor exercise at 9.90 and Sloan also claimed the uneven bars win at 9.925. Senior Mackenzie Caquatto anchored the Gators’ beam set with a team season-high of 9.95 to take her first win on the event this season. She also equaled her collegiate vault best of 9.925 to share third.

After starting the season with road losses at then No. 3 Oklahoma (197.70-196.50) and No. 9 Stanford (196.325-196.15), Georgia returned home to post a pair of wins. The GymDogs upset No. 2 LSU 197.175-196.875 on Friday and used the nation’s second-highest total so far to defeat Iowa 197.40-194.675 on Monday. A GymDog won at least a share of the bars, beam and floor titles versus the Tigers and swept the meet titles versus the Hawkeyes.

Six GymDog All-Americans return in 2014, including sophomore and 2012 Canadian Olympian Brittany Rogers who shared the 2013 SEC bars title with Sloan and also was among a three-way tie for the SEC balance beam crown.

Florida and Georgia last met in regular-season action for a sold-out Stegeman Coliseum crowd on the afternoon of Feb.16, 2013, with the Gators claiming a 197.30-196.175 win. The Gators trailed the GymDogs after each of the opening two rotations and the GymDogs owned a 0.150 lead at the midway point. A solid, but not spectacular, Gator performance in the floor exercise coupled with GymDogs troubles on the balance beam put Florida ahead for good. The Gators used consistent scores on beam to claim the win. Sloan won the all-around (39.60) and shared the uneven bars win (9.95).

No. 1 Oklahoma vs. Arizona

With the experience of two home meets under its belt, Oklahoma will take on a new challenge in its first road contest of the season this weekend. The No. 1 Sooners will take their 2-0 record on the road at No. 17 Arizona on Saturday in Tucson, Ariz. Head coach K.J. Kindler’s group will gain valuable exposure to a road environment this weekend as the team opens a stretch that will see the Sooners on the road or in neutral gyms four times over five weeks.

Oklahoma’s two strong outings this season have been bolstered by a pair of outstanding team performances on vault. The Sooners posted a 49.475 to open the season vs. Georgia before adding a 49.400 on the event against Iowa State last weekend. The team is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation on vault, marking OU’s top ranking on any individual event. Oklahoma has seen major contributions from every class on the event: senior Madison Mooring has served in the lead-off position, junior Erica Brewer has appeared in the No. 2 slot, Chayse Capps has taken over at the No. 5 spot as a true freshman and sophomores Maile’ana Kanewa, Keeley Kmieciak and Haley Scaman have contributed big scores throughout the lineup.

No. 2 LSU vs. Auburn

LSU will square off against Southeastern Conference rival and 14th-ranked Auburn in the SEC home opener at 8 p.m. ET Friday inside the Maravich Center.

LSU (1-1, 0-1 SEC) enters the meet against Auburn after scoring a solid 196.875 at Georgia last week, while Auburn (1-1, 0-1) is coming off a 196.225 effort at home against Florida.

No. 4 Utah vs. No. 8 UCLA

Utah (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) hosts UCLA (1-1, 1-0 Pac-12) on Saturday at 9:30 p.m. ET.

Utah and UCLA are two of the most successful gymnastics programs in the nation. Utah has qualified for a record 38-consecutive national championships with 10 national titles (nine NCAA), while UCLA has made the championships 31 times and has six NCAA titles. Both teams have qualified into the Super Six 18 times in its 21-year history.

No. 5 Michigan vs. Ohio State

Michigan (5-0, 0-0 Big Ten) will make its home regular-season debut on Saturday, hosting rival and No. 23 Ohio State (1-2, 0-0 Big Ten) for a 4 p.m. dual meet inside Crisler Center.

Michigan is fifth on floor exercise (49.325), tied for sixth on both vault (49.263) and uneven bars (49.163) and 10th on balance beam (48.913). Individually, Joanna Sampson is one of six U-M gymnasts in the individual national rankings, currently standing fourth in the all-around (39.475).

No. 7 Alabama vs. No. 10 Arkansas

Alabama is setting up a top-10 showdown with No. 10 Arkansas this Friday in Coleman Coliseum starting at 7:30 p.m.

The Tide is fourth on the vault and uneven bars, eighth on the balance beam and 11th on the floor exercise after week two of the season.

Individually, senior Kim Jacob is 13th in the all-around and 22nd on the uneven bars. Freshman Katie Bailey is also ranked in the all-around, checking in at No. 17. Senior Diandra Milliner is ranked No. 1 on the floor exercise and No. 4 on the vault.

No. 9 Nebraska vs. Iowa

Following an impressive victory at the Ozone Collegiate Classic last weekend against Alabama and Kentucky, Nebraska will hit the road again to face the Hawkeyes. The Huskers (3-0) and the Hawkeyes (0-3) will square off for their first Big Ten dual of the year in the Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday at 7 p.m. ET.

The Huskers are on the hunt for their fourth win of the season and their first conference victory this weekend. Nebraska holds a 19-3 regular season advantage against the Hawkeyes. In the last meeting between the two the Huskers defeated the Hawkeyes 197.675-194.950 on senior night last season in Lincoln.

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