On the same night that UCLA defeated Georgia in a battle of top 20 baseball teams, the Gym Dogs went on the road and beat Michigan, 196.575-195.3, in a clash of top 20 gymnastics squads in Ypsilanti.
Though the visiting Athenians were weakest on the balance beam, still they prevailed on that apparatus, 48.8-48.725, despite being forced to count a 9.425 by Christa Tanella that offset Kaylan Earls’s 9.85 and Laura Moffatt’s 9.9. Likewise, the two teams were dead even in the floor exercise, where both clubs compiled 49.225 tallies. In Georgia’s case, this was due to a pair of 9.825s, a 9.875 from Sarah Persinger, and a 9.9 from Noel Couch.
Where the Red and Black shined was on the uneven parallel bars, carding Tanella’s 9.875, Chelsea Davis’s 9.925, and Kat Ding’s 9.95 along the way to a cumulative 49.325 score that outpaced the 48.85 of the Maize and Blue. The numbers notched by Davis (9.85), Cat Hires (9.875), and Persinger (9.9) in the vault paved the way for a 49.225 performance in that rotation, well ahead of the 48.5 earned by Michigan.
Persinger’s all-around mark of 39.35 was the best among Bulldog gymnasts, due partly to the facts that Ding, due to a foot injury, competed only on bars, and that Gina Nuccio and Shayla Worley stayed behind in Athens, also due to injuries. Despite being shorthanded, the Gym Dogs performed ably, notching a solid win at less than full strength. Georgia will close out the regular season in Athens on Sunday afternoon before traveling to Duluth to compete in the SEC Championships on March 24.