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Alabama Gymnastics with a come from behind win against Georgia

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UGA_UAGym011The Alabama Gymnastics team fell behind early in the meet against its biggest rival, the Gym Dogs of Georgia.  But what makes this

more interesting for the Crimson Tide is that it was at Coleman Coliseum in front of 12,381 fans.  The last time Alabama has lost a home meet was in 2009 against LSU on Feb 13.

That home winning streak was in question tonight as Alabama was behind five-hundredths of a point going into the fourth and final rotation. But that is where the Tide turned to pulled out the win 197.500-196.825 against No. 5th ranked Georgia.

Coach Sarah Patterson knew the importance of the match as the “Gym Dogs” are a well prepared team and they know how to win. To help give the team a boost and a little more incentive former champions such as Penney Hauschild Buxton, Dee Foster Worley and Meredith Willard Luber, the Tide’s first three NCAA all-around champions, and more than 60 former Crimson Tide gymnasts were introduced as it was officially Alumni night in Coleman Coliseum. UGA_UAGym016

Diandra Milliner took the high score on the vault for Alabama with a 9.925 and both teams ended with the same score on the apparatus (49.300). Junior Kaitlyn Clark held the high score (9.925) on the uneven bars but Georgia took the overall point total with a 49,400).

The last two stations were where the difference came between the teams.  The Tide remained on pace for the night and on the season by posting a 49.225 on the balance beam. Clark and freshman Aja Sims both posted a 9.875 to help keep the Tide close as they went into the final rotation. While Alabama maintained a steady score on the beam, Georgia was lights out on the floor scoring 49.625 and giving the Gym Dogs the five-hundredths lead.

UGA_UAGym028The Bulldogs from Georgia didn’t fair too well on the balance beam however with two of their gymnasts during their routines giving them their lowest apparatus total score on the night with a 48.900.  This glimmer of light was all the Crimson Tide needed as Kim Jacob and Diandra Milliner scored 9.925s while sophomore Lauren Beers and Sarah DeMeo posted career best 9.925s giving Alabama the last push to take the match.

“I think for them to come in and step it up like this I think mentally that is what we need right now,” UA head coach Sarah Patterson said.

“I think we took a big step forward tonight,” Milliner said. “But I think we need to figure out how to start meets how we end meets, because we’re ending them really great. We just need to have the momentum through the whole meet.”

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The Tide returns to the road for it next two meets, traveling to Auburn, Ala., to take on the Auburn Tigers Friday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. and then to Oklahoma City to take on No. 2 Oklahoma, West VA, and Michigan in a quad meet on Feb. 21.

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