|Friday, March 9||7 p.m. CT|
|#16 Auburn vs. #6 Alabama|
"We're really excited about going to Huntsville," head coach Jeff Graba said. "We've heard that the Von Braun Center is a cool place to compete at. Being on the podium is a great test for the young team prior to the SEC Championship and with Alabama as the opponent; it's going to really help us get ready for the postseason."
The Auburn lineup is full of youth against Alabama, as 14 of the 24 routines will come from five freshmen and four sophomores.
Auburn opens on to vault and are led by sophomore Gracie Day and freshmen Drew Watson and Jada Glenn. The trio are capable of putting together three-straight 10.0 vaults for the squad. Day has captured three event titles this year and ranks in the Top 30 nationally with a 9.870 RQS. Watson reached a career high vs. Alabama two weeks ago with a 9.9 is tied for 25th nationally with a 9.875 RQS. Glenn has anchored the event all season for the Tigers is in the Top 50 (9.845). Sophomore Katie Becker will lead off with juniors A'Miracal Phillips and Taylor Krippner following. Phillips set a season-best last week at LSU with a 9.825.
The Tigers move on to bars with Watson leading off. Sophomore Kendal Moss and Krippner follow with Day going fourth. Day is in the Top 10 in the Central Region in the even with a 9.855 RQS. Junior Samantha Cerio is set to go fifth for the squad. The Huntersville, N.C., product has a team-best four titles in the event and is also in the Top 10 regionally with an 9.855 RQS. Redshirt junior Abby Milliet is slated to anchor Auburn after earning a 9.875 at LSU last weekend.
Rotation four is beam where five of six Tigers are among the Top 25 in the Central Region. Freshman Allie Riddle will lead off once again with Cerio going second and classmate Meredith Sylvia going third. Riddle and Sylvia are both tied for 25th regionally, having a 9.81 RQS. Redshirt sophomore Emma Slappey follows, while Milliet and Krippner will close out the rotation. Milliet is among the nation's best in the event, ranking tied for 13th overall with a 9.9 RQS. Krippner holds a 9.84 score, while Slappey is at a 9.825.
AU will feature a youthful floor squad with two freshmen, two sophomores, and two juniors. Freshman Ashley Smith leads off for the 11th-straight meet and will be followed by Cerio and Watson. Watson is coming off two 9.875s and a 9.85 for the Tigers. Her RQS of 9.84 ranks tied for 21st regionally. Slappey and Day will follow and Milliet will anchor. Day is also tied for 21st in the Central Region (9.84), while MIlliet is once again among the nation's best at 9.885.
The Alabama Crimson Tide is sixth nationally with an RQS of 197.005. The team is 6-3 overall with a 5-2 mark in Southeastern Conference meets.
Alabama is coming off a 197.525 win at home vs. North Carolina last week.
The Crimson Tide are among the nation's best on bars (49.355) and beam (49.335).
Auburn takes a couple weeks off competition before traveling to St. Louis for the 2018 SEC Championship. The two-session meet is set for March 24 and will be held at the Chaifetz Arena.
|Auburn's Projected Lineup|
|1. Katie Becker||1. Drew Watson||1. Allie Riddle||1. Ashley Smith|
|2. A'Miracal Phillips||2. Kendal Moss||2. Samantha Cerio||2. Samantha Cerio|
|3. Taylor Krippner||3. Taylor Krippner||3. Meredith Sylvia||3. Drew Watson|
|4. Drew Watson||4. Gracie Day||4. Emma Slappey||4. Emma Slappey|
|5. Gracie Day||5. Samantha Cerio||5. Abby Milliet||5. Gracie Day|
|6. Jada Glenn||6. Abby Milliet||6. Taylor Krippner||6. Abby Milliet|
|Alt: Ashley Smith||Alt: Katie Becker||Alt: Drew Watson||Alt: Jada Glenn|