Auburn Gymnastics Meet Review in Win over Pittsburgh
Feb. 28, 2011
AUBURN - The No. 22 Auburn gymnastics team defeated Pittsburgh 195.925-192.650 on Friday in Auburn Arena, after wrapping up its SEC schedule the previous week.
"I think we've been gaining confidence being on the road in those environments and doing a good job," Auburn head coach Jeff Graba said. "First off, being on the road in the SEC is tough enough, but for us to do a good job while we're doing that against the last two really quality opponents, I think that built some confidence in us. Our practices have been building confidence. We feel like the last three weeks, this team has been ready to do a night like that because they've been doing it a lot in practice.
"As a staff, we weren't overly surprised with it. We were just glad it happened because it's nice that they get to go through it, and we know they're capable of it. A lot of it is just the confidence coming through in front of our own fans and in front of the judges, more so than in front of your coaches at practice."
Auburn improved to 3-5 (2-4 SEC) while Pittsburgh fell to 3-8 (0-6 EAGL).
The Tigers had their highest score of the season as they took all five individual titles. Auburn also had a season high on vault, scoring 49.125, tied its season high on bars with a 48.950 and had a season high on floor, posting a 49.225.
"Vault went really well for us," Graba said. "It was great to start out the meet with that much energy, and I felt like we were energetic. We were doing it technically correct, which meant that we were doing it well in the air, and we were doing a good job landing. I thought we did that really well. We'd been working on trying to compartmentalize our events. I thought we did a great job of going to vault and then once that was done, restarting for bars.
"Bars are more of a technical event, and we thought we did a great job of mentally getting into that event. What we've been trying to work on bars in particular, but every event, is the little things: being sharper, looking better and hitting our landings a little bit better. I thought we did a better job doing that on bars, as well. We felt like after two events, we were right where we wanted to be.
After having to count a fall on beam, the Tigers moved to floor and received their highest score of the season.
"Again, we compartmentalized after beam, so even though we were a little frustrated, we went to floor and did probably our best set of the year," Graba said.
Sophomore Toi Garcia took home her second title of the season on vault with a career high 9.925, while Petrina Yokay received the bars title setting a season high 9.925. Junior Kylie Shields posted a career high 9.900 on beam and won her second beam title of the season. On floor, senior Rachel Inniss won her fourth title of the season on the event with a score of 9.925. Yokay also won her second all-around title of the season with her scores totaling 38.325.
The Tigers appear in this week's poll ranked No. 27 on vault, 22nd on bars, tied for 20th on beam and 23rd on floor.
Inniss remains at fifth on floor nationally for the second-consecutive week.
"It's been phenomenal to watch her on that event," Graba said. "She's just been so consistent with us, whether we've had a few numbers or a lot of numbers, she's been able to go and hit that routine. She has a lot of confidence in it, so that's part of the deal, but that's also what she's good at. She shows off, and she's a great dancer and lands her passes well. It's nice that we get to the end of the lineup and know that we have somebody who can knock it out of the park."
The Tigers return to action Friday as they travel to Provo, Utah, to face BYU at 9 p.m. CT. Auburn will then head to Cedar City, Utah, to take on Southern Utah on Monday at 9 p.m. CT.
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