Jan. 13, 2006
AUBURN, Ala. - After finishing just .575 behind meet-champion Alabama at the Super Six Challenge, Auburn (2-4) opened its home slate with a convincing 195.300-188.125 win over West Virginia (0-1) on Friday at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum.
"We are really excited about where we are right now with our performance tonight," head coach Jeff Thompson said. "I don't think we could have done much better at this stage of the season than we did tonight. A month from now, we won't be happy with our steps on the vault, but right now the name of the game is staying on the equipment and trying to be consistent, and I think we did a great job with that.
Individually, Julie Dwyer tied her career high in the all-around with a 39.375, as she won three of four events and the all-around title. After posting two top-five finishes at the Super Six Challenge, Dwyer won titles on vault, beam and floor. The Bloomington, Ind., native won the titles with scores of 9.825 on vault, 9.90 on beam and 9.875 on floor.
Freshman A.J. Mills won her first event title, capturing the crown on bars with a 9.825. Mills also finished second on beam (9.850) and second in the all-around (38.950).
As a team, the Tigers collected the top-four finishes in three of four events, while improving their record to 18-1 under Thompson in non-conference meets.
The Tigers opened the dual meet on vault, scoring a 48.725 and finishing with the top-five individual scores. The score by the Tigers topped their mark of 48.675 scored at the Super Six Challenge. Leading the way for the Tigers was Dwyer, who finished with a 9.825, which tied her score at the Super Six Challenge. Lindsey Puckett and Karmen Pinckney each had scores of 9.750. After vaulting a 9.575 at the Super Six Challenge, Claire Seiffert landed a 9.725. Danielle Holtz opened the event for the Tigers with a 9.675. Lastly, Mills vaulted a 9.575.
On the second rotation on bars, Auburn recorded a 48.825. The Tigers' score on bars opened up a commanding lead of 97.550-95.775. Pacing the Tigers on vault was Mills, who matched her score at the Super Six Challenge with a 9.825. Aimee Goheen notched the second-highest score for the Tigers with a 9.800. Dwyer had the third-best score for Auburn, as she scored a 9.775. Shanna Somero scored a season-high 9.725, while Alicia Lenkiewicz tied her score at the Super Six Challenge with another solid 9.700. Rounding out the Tigers' lineup was Puckett, who finished with a 9.525.
Leading 97.550-95.775 entering the third rotation, the Tigers did not let up, as they put together their highest score of the meet with a 49.025 on beam. The Tigers' score of 49.025 tied their season high with last week's performance on bars at the Super Six Challenge. After Dwyer led the Tigers with a 9.725 on beam at the Super Six Challenge, four gymnasts topped her score against West Virginia. Dwyer topped the score by tying a career high with a 9.900. Both Mills and Puckett set new career highs with a pair of 9.850s, while Kayla Gies also topped Dwyer's mark at the Super Six Challenge with a 9.775. Opening the event for the Tigers was Somero, who set a season high with a 9.650. Lastly, Nicole Barnett finished with a 9.025.
Heading into the final rotation on floor, the Tigers led 146.575-142.075. After posting their lowest score on floor at the Super Six Challenge (47.975), the Tigers improved dramatically, posting a 48.725. Highlighting the event for the Tigers was Dwyer, who finished with a 9.875. Pinckney had the second-highest score for the Tigers, as she earned a 9.800. After having a difficult finish on floor at the Super Six Challenge (8.350), Puckett redeemed herself with a 9.750. Both Holtz and Mills finished with scores of 9.700, while Seiffert had a 9.500.
With the win, Auburn now holds a 5-3 edge in the all-time series with West Virginia. The Mountaineers' team score of 188.125 was their lowest since the 1995 season.
Auburn returns to action on Jan. 20 when the Tigers travel to Kentucky at 6:30 p.m.