The No. 1-ranked Gym Dogs were on the road on Friday night, traveling to Raleigh, N.C., to face North Carolina State. Despite turning in what was numerically its worst performance of the season, Georgia prevailed over the Wolfpack.
The Red and Black got off to a slow start on the uneven bars, as the first two gymnasts carded the visitors’ lowest scores in the first rotation. After that, solid scores from Gina Nuccio (9.85), Abby Stack (9.825), Grace Taylor (9.925), and Courtney Kupets (9.925) paced a 49.225 effort that eclipsed the 48.875 mark recorded by the Wolfpack in the vault.
The change of positions for the second rotation did nothing to alter the fortunes of the contestants. Scores of 9.15 by two of the first three gymnasts to mount the bars for N.C. State forced the home team to count Anna Kronenfeld’s 9.55. Only one Wolfpack competitor put up a score higher than 9.75, leaving the host squad with an even 48 for the event. The Georgia vault tally included a 9.8 from Cassidy McComb, a 9.9 from Marcia Newby, and a 9.95 from Kupets. The overall 49.125 gave the Gym Dogs a 98.35-96.875 edge halfway through the meet.
Although the Red and Black gymnasts were not at their sharpest in the floor exercise, they nevertheless continued their dominance in the third rotation. Newby stumbled backward into a 9.675, McComb took several steps back at the end to card a 9.65, and a low landing early in her routine left Kupets with a 9.5 to drop the visitors to 48.45 in the event. Falls from the balance beam by two of the five Wolfpack competitors who carded scores stranded the home team at 47.575, allowing Suzanne Yoculan’s club to extend its lead to 146.8-144.45.
Georgia began poorly on the beam in the final stanza, when a couple of wobbles and a step on the dismount by Paige Burns earned a 9.275. Subsequent miscues dropped the Gym Dogs’ scores but a 9.925 by Taylor and a 9.975 by Kupets salvaged a 48.2 for the rotation. Although this trailed N.C. State’s 48.7 in the floor exercise, the Red and Black’s cumulative 195 outpaced the Wolfpack’s 193.15.
While it was an off night for the Gym Dogs, they still found a way to win and Courtney Kupets once again captured the all-around title with a 39.35. The Red and Black will be back home for next weekend’s meet, a Saturday afternoon date with Auburn on February 7.