No. 6 Alabama Gymnastics Beats No. 14 Missouri, 197.175-196.050
The No. 6 Alabama gymnastics team opened its home and Southeastern Conference schedule with a win over No. 14 Missouri, 197.175-196.050, in front of 10,860 fans. The Crimson Tide is now 48-1-1 since 1979 in home openers while head coach Dana Duckworth goes to 2-0-0 when opening in Coleman Coliseum.
“Our goal for tonight was to have a better performance than we did last week and we were really able to accomplish that,” Duckworth said.
The Crimson Tide, which returns to action on Sunday in Birmingham at the Elevate the Stage meet against Auburn, used 12 gymnasts in its lineup Friday night, one more than it used in its season opener at UCLA. Freshman Ariana Guerra made her debut in the Tide’s competitive lineup while Angelina Giancroce, who opened her UA career last weekend, went on the uneven bars for the first time.
“We have been working together to do our best every day and it has paid off,” Guerra said. “It was very exciting and it was my first time being out in the arena, (or) even seeing a competition, so being a part of it was a great experience.”
After struggling on the vault at UCLA last Sunday, the Tide rebounded by .650 this week with a 49.350. Senior Lauren Beers led the Tide on vault with a 9.9 in the anchor spot while sophomore Kiana Winston and junior Katie Bailey both posted 9.875s. Missouri went 49.025 on the vault.
“I feel have made a great start by just rebounding from last week, having some incredible performances, finishing so strong on the floor exercise after coming from a balance beam set that isn’t our best,” Duckworth said.
Alabama also moved forward on the uneven bars, scoring a 49.175 paced by junior Amanda Jetter’s winning 9.875. Sophomore Mackenzie Brannan got the uneven bars rotation started with a 9.825 followed by a 9.85 from junior Keely McNeer. Bailey finished off the rotation with a 9.825 in the anchor spot. The Tigers scored a 49.050 on the bars.
On the balance beam, the Tide tallied a 49.150, just .025 off last week’s score, following 9.85s from McNeer and Beers. Mizzou was just a touch behind the Tide on beam with a 49.075.
Jetter closed out a strong night by tying her career best on the floor exercise with a 9.95. That mark was followed by a 9.9 from freshman Ariana Guerra and a 9.95 from Beers, pushing Alabama to a 49.500 on the floor exercise. Missouri score a 48.900 on the floor.
“It was so exciting, the crowd got into it after the first couple routines,” Jetter said. “I just love doing floor, it’s so enjoyable and I know all of the rest of the team looks forward to the floor routines because it’s so exciting and we just get so into it. I thought it was very cool.”
Already a bright spot in last week’s opener, the Tide improved two-tenths of a point since last week. In addition to scoring more than a point better than it did last week in the overall team tally, the Tide was also a point better than it was in its second meet in 2015.
The Elevate the Stage meet gets underway at 3 p.m. CT, in the BJCC Legacy Arena.