By Ethan Brady
Auburn's 196.825 was the highest team score in program history at Alabama and the second-highest away score ever.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Season-high scores on vault and beam from No. 11 Auburn gymnastics wasn't enough as the Tigers fell to No. 6 Alabama 197.325-196.825 in Coleman Coliseum on Friday. Auburn's 196.825 was the highest team score in program history at Alabama and the second-highest away score ever for the Tigers.
"We're still not where we want to be," head coach Jeff Graba said. "Two season-highs is great for us. There's a lot of positives, and we're still putting the pieces together."
For the second week in a row, Lexus Demers led Auburn on vault with a personal best 9.925, earning her the event title. Caitlin Atkinson and MJ Rott each scored 9.900 on the event to help the Tigers to a team total of 49.325, a season-high.
"I'm completely ecstatic from that vault," Demers said. "I felt the meet was great, and the energy was up. I had a lot of fun, it was all smiles, and it was great to be here."
On beam, the Tigers scored a season-high 49.400 led by three scores of 9.900 by Atkinson, Demers and Megan Walker. The scores were part of a five-way tie for the event title.
"I loved that we came back hard on beam," Graba said. "It was fantastic to come back strong like that after floor."
Auburn began the meet on bars and scored a team total 49.075. Atkinson led the Tigers with a 9.875 on the event, followed by Kait Kluz's 9.850. Freshman Abby Millet had a strong performance in the first away meet of her career. She scored 9.850 on beam and 9.825 on bars.
"It was a lot of fun, and there was a ton of energy," Milliet said. "I felt that we all went out there and did our best. I felt I did really well for this being the first time I've been in an away lineup. I gained a lot of confidence, and it's only up from here."
A floor score of 49.075 gave Auburn a total of 147.425 heading into the final rotation. Rott led the Tigers with a 9.825 on the event.
"I felt like we were pressing a little hard, especially on floor," Graba said. "The energy events I felt like we were getting ahead of ourselves a little bit. We just have to calm down and do what we're good at."
A taped delay replay of the Auburn-Alabama meet will be shown on ESPN2 this Sunday at 11:3- am CT. Auburn will face No. 3 LSU next Friday at 7 p.m. in Auburn Arena live on the SEC Network.
Single meet ticket prices are $3 for groups of 15 or more, $5 and $8 general admission, and Auburn University students are free. Go to AubTix.com for ticket information. For the latest updates on Auburn Gymnastics, follow the Tigers on Twitter, @Auburn_Gym or like https://www.facebook.com/AUGymnastics
By Ethan Brady