The fifth-ranked Gym Dogs hosted tenth-ranked SEC rival Louisiana State at Stegeman Coliseum on Friday night and came away with a victory that began better than it ended.
The Tigers narrowly edged their hosts in the vault, carding an overall 49.25 to eclipse the 49.225 earned by the Red and Black on the strength of 9.85s put up by Cassidy McComb and Shayla Worley. Georgia made up the lost ground on the bars, using five scores of 9.85 or better (six, actually, but they could count only five) to notch the 49.3 that overwhelmed LSU’s 48.85.
The Gym Dogs’ weakest performance of the night came on the beam, where a fall on the front aerial by Kat Ding and a few early wobbles by Hilary Mauro caused the Classic City club to card a cumulative 48.95 despite 9.925s from both Courtney McCool and Grace Taylor. Louisiana State got the better of the Red and Black in the event by tallying a combined 48.975.
The Tigers duplicated that team score in the floor exercise, where the Red and Black used a 9.85 from Taylor and a 9.95 from McCool to put up the 49.1 that gave Georgia a 196.575-196.05 victory. The team was a bit off in the last two rotations---after continuing their recent surge with a 98.525 in the first half, the Gym Dogs dropped off and managed only a 98.05 in the second---but the Red and Black improved upon their season average of 196.161.
While not as encouraging as it might have been, or even as much as it appeared at first that it would be, the meet represented another step in the direction of restoring the Georgia gymnastics squad to its proper place atop the sport.