Jan. 11, 2013
AUBURN –No. 13 Auburn gymnastics fell to No. 25 Kentucky, 195.525-194.250, in the home opener for the Tigers and the SEC opener for both teams Friday in Auburn Arena.
“We either go a big score or a fall,” Auburn gymnastics coach Jeff Graba said. “We are not a mediocre team gymnastically. We are just a very inconsistent team right now. I think our youth is showing through. We’ve got so many new people and we are throwing some big elements. It’s hard to know who is going to do what. I think our youth is showing through a little bit.”
Auburn led off on vault and trailed slightly after the first rotation, as the Tigers posted a 48.750 to Kentucky’s 48.900 on bars. Bri Guy and Toi Garcia led Auburn, each posting scores of 9.800. Petrina Yokay added a 9.750, while Kait Kluz and Brittany Webster each earned scores of 9.700. Kentucky’s Kayla Hartley led on bars with a 9.825.
In the second rotation, the Tigers struggled early on two of their first three routines, but quickly bounced back with three quality routines from Megan Walker, Caitlin Atkinson and Yokay. Yokay led and tied her career high with a 9.950, while Walker tied her career high at 9.875. Atkinson bested her mark from the season opener with a 9.875.
Auburn finished with a 48.775 on bars, having to count one fall, while the Wildcats earned a 48.975 on vault and led by more than three tenths going into the third rotation. Kentucky’s Hartley led again for the Wildcats on the apparatus with a score of 9.825.
The Tigers had a solid rotation on beam, posting a 48.900 and besting its previous meet score by more than four tenths. Walker and Atkinson led with scores of 9.825, tying the career high for Walker. Guy added a 9.800, while Yokay posted a 9.775. Auburn was able to narrow the scoring margin, as Kentucky posted a 48.875 on floor, but the Auburn trailed by more than three tenths going into the final rotation.
Despite strong routines from senior Toi Garcia and Atkinson on floor, it wouldn’t be enough to hold off Kentucky, as Auburn was forced to count its second fall of the evening in the final rotation. Garcia posted a season-best 9.850, while Atkinson added a 9.800. Sophomore Lexus Demurs also added a quality routine with a 9.750.
Kentucky finished strong on beam with a 48.775, led by Audrey Harrison’s 9.800. Harrison won the all-around with a score of 39.200. Caitlin Atkinson narrowly finished second with a 39.150.
The Tigers return to action Friday, Jan. 18, as they travel to Athens, Ga., to take on the Georgia Gym Dogs. The meet is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. CT.
All-Around: Caitlin Atkinson – 39.150, Brianna Guy – 38.200