June 20, 2012
AUBURN – Auburn gymnastics will host a trio of 2012 top-25 teams in conference play, and also make a trip to a new conference opponent, as part of the 2013 schedule as announced by head coach Jeff Graba on Wednesday.
The 2013 schedule features 12 teams in 11 regular season meets. The Tigers will open the season on Jan. 4, with a tri-meet at the University of California that will also feature Arizona.
“Last year we had one of the toughest strength of schedules in the country, and this year will be no different,” Graba said. “We have the normal SEC competitors, with the addition of Missouri, as well as some great non-conference matchups.
“We will be competing against some of the best programs in the country on a weekly basis, but I think this is ideal for us. In order to fulfill our high expectations for this program, we will need to test ourselves constantly against the best teams in the country. Our 2013 schedule definitely accomplishes this.”
For seven straight weeks, Auburn will compete in one of the toughest conference schedules in the country, going up against each of the other seven SEC programs. The Tigers will take on Kentucky at home on Jan. 11, before a pair of challenging road meets at Georgia on Jan. 18 and Florida on Jan. 25.
Despite the addition of Missouri to the SEC this season, the team will travel to Columbia for the 23rd matchup between the programs on Feb. 1, before returning home to take on Arkansas on Feb. 8.
Auburn’s last conference road meet will take the team to Tuscaloosa to face defending national champion Alabama on Feb. 15. The Tigers close out conference competition at home on Feb. 22 against LSU.
“I feel we have a great SEC schedule next year,” Graba said. “We have Arkansas, who made the Super Six last year, as well as LSU who qualified for nationals, and Kentucky who finished ranked No. 25 in the country. The SEC is the only conference in the country where all of the teams finished the year ranked in the top 25. It is always a tough schedule in the SEC, and this year is no different.”
Auburn will finish the regular season with three non-conference matchups. The team will face Maryland at home on March 1, and then welcome Lindenwood University to the Plains on March 8. The Lions are a Division II program in their first season of gymnastics.
The last nonconference matchup will take Auburn to Pittsburgh on March 15.
The Tigers’ tough schedule features nine of 12 opponents who finished in the top 30 in 2012, including four teams all from the SEC who finished in the top 10 (Top-ranked Alabama, No. 2 Florida, No. 6 Arkansas and No. 9 LSU).
The 2013 SEC Championship will be held in North Little Rock, Ark., March 23, and the NCAA regionals will be held April 6 at the following sites: Oklahoma (Lloyd Noble Center), Oregon State (Gill Coliseum), Florida (O’Connell Center), Ohio State (St. John Arena), West Virginia (WVU Coliseum) and Alabama (Coleman Coliseum).
The 2013 NCAA Championships will be held April 19-21, at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion.
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2013 Auburn Gymnastics Schedule Jan. 4 at Cal-Berkeley with Arizona Jan. 11 KENTUCKY Jan. 18 at Georgia Jan. 25 at Florida Feb. 1 at Missouri Feb. 8 ARKANSAS Feb. 15 at Alabama Feb. 22 LSU March 1 MARYLAND March 8 LINDENWOOD March 15 at Pittsburgh March 23 SEC Championships (North Little Rock, Ark.) April 6 NCAA Regionals (TBA) April 19-21 NCAA Championships (Los Angeles, Calif.)