No. 5 Gym Dogs Host Auburn In SEC Opener

By: UGA Sports Communications
By: UGA Sports Communications

Athens, GA - The University of Georgia gymnastics team (4-1) will compete for the third time in seven days as it closes out its three-meet homestand against Auburn (1-1, 1-0 SEC) on Friday. The Gym Dogs are coming off a 196.725-192.125 rout of No. 18 West Virginia on Monday.

UGA posted the second-highest score in the country this season to date, and also scored a 49.450 on bars, its highest score on the event since a 49.500 in the 2009 SEC Championshi

The meet marks the conference opener for the 16-time SEC champion Gym Dogs. Auburn opened its conference slate with a win over LSU last weekend at the new Auburn Arena. The Tigers are led by first-year coach Jeff Graba. Georgia’sJay Clark is in his second season at the helm of the Gym Dogs.


Georgia climbed one spot to No. 5 in the latest edition of the GymInfo Top 25 released Monday. The rankings were released prior to the West Virginia meet and do not include Georgia’s 196.725 against the Mountaineers. Rankings are based on highest average score.

In the team event rankings, Georgia is ranked fourth on the balance beam with a 48.913 average, seventh on vault (49.025) and bars (48.988), and tied for 15th on floor (48.763). Auburn is No. 9 on bea

Individually for the Gym Dogs, Gina Nuccio is tied for fourth on bars with a 9.900, while Kat Ding is tied for sixth (9.875). On beam, Shayla Worley is tied for sixth with a 9.850, Cassidy McComb is tied for eighth in the all-around (39.250), and Lindsey Cheek is tied for eighth on vault (9.888). The Tigers’ Rachel Inniss is also tied for sixth on balance beam.


Since records kept in 1980, Georgia is 65-1 against Auburn with the Tigers’ lone win coming last season at Beard Eaves Memorial Coliseum. In the 2010 SEC Championship, UGA finished third with a 196.825, while Auburn was fifth with a 195.575. Georgia won the last meeting between the two schools in Athens, 197.125-195.475, in 2009.


Fifth-ranked Georgia posted a season-high 196.725 – the second-best score in the country to date – in Monday afternoon’s win over West Virginia inside Stegeman Coliseum. The Gym Dogs had a quick turnaround this week, coming off Saturday’s home opener vs. Utah, but improved their team score almost a full point today to defeat the No. 18 Mountaineers 196.725-192.125. Georgia also improved its individual event scores from Saturday on every rotation but vault. In all, UGA saw seven scores of 9.9 or above, three of those belonging to senior Cassidy McComb who won the all-around with a 39.525.


Georgia was forced to count a fall in the final rotation on beam and No. 15 Auburn rallied for a 195.225-194.900 win over eighth-ranked Gym Dogs at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum. It was Auburn’s first ever victory over Georgia (1-3, 1-2 SEC) as the Gym Dogs had won all 64 previous meetings dating back to 1980. The Gym Dogs had increased their lead to 146.575-146.400 entering the fourth rotation, but The Tigers outscored Georgia 48.825-48.325 to win.


Georgia senior Cassidy McComb has won seven individual titles in three meets including the all-around in all three. The Henderson, Nev., native won the all-around with a 39.150 in the quad meet at Denver to open the season. Then against Utah on Jan. 15, she tied for first on beam (9.850), tied her career-high with a 9.925 on floor and won the all-around with a 39.350. McComb, the 2008 SEC Freshman of the Year, had perhaps the best meet of her career Monday against West Virginia as she matched or set new career highs on bars (9.9), beam (9.9) and floor (9.925).


Until the loss to No. 3 Utah by a tenth of a point on Jan. 15, the Gym Dogs had gone 34 straight regular season meets without a home loss. Following a loss to Alabama on Feb. 18, 2005, Georgia won its next 10 dual meets in Stegeman Coliseum until tying top-ranked Florida on Jan. 27, 2007. Since then, the Gym Dogs won 23 straight meets at home until the loss on Jan. 1


Ten of Georgia’s meets this season are slated to be on TV, including four on national television. The Auburn, Florida and Alabama meets will be shown on ESPNU, while the SEC Championship will air on ESPN2. When the 2011 season ends, 74 of the Gym Dogs’ 99 regular season meets over the last nine years will have been televised.


Georgia will hit the road for meets at Kentucky on Jan. 28 and Arkansas on Feb. 4 before coming home to face current No. 1 Florida on Feb. 12. Following today’s meet against Auburn, the Gym Dogs are halfway through their 2011 regular season home schedule.

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