On Friday evening, Jay Clark returned to the scene of perhaps his greatest disaster when the sixth-ranked Georgia women’s gymnastics team took on No. 20 Auburn in Auburn Arena in Auburn, Ala. The venue proved to be as redundant as the result when the visitors reasserted their historic dominance over the Alabamians, prevailing by a 195.975-195.6 margin.
The opening two rotations saw the Red and Black on the bars and on the vault. The Gym Dogs turned in a somewhat disappointing performance in the former event, as Georgia was compelled to count a pair of scores below 9.8. Thanks to Shayla Worley’s 9.85 mark, the Athenians’ team tally came to 48.975, which was enough to edge the Plainswomen’s 48.925 on the bars.
The Gym Dogs carded a trio of 9.825s, capped off by Kat Ding’s 9.9, in the vault, producing an overall 49.175 score that surpassed that earned by Auburn. Because the Tigers posted a cumulative 48.925 in that event, Georgia held a 98.15-97.85 lead at the midpoint.
The contestants split the last two rotations. In the floor exercise, the Gym Dogs counted three scores of 9.75 or worse, relying on a pair of 9.825s from Noel Couch and Christa Tanella to cobble together an overall 48.85, which trailed the Plainswomen’s 48.875 in the event. Fortunately, the Red and Black got the better of the Orange and Blue on the balance beam, where Chelsey Davis’s 9.875 paced a collective 48.975 effort that topped Auburn’s 48.875 mark on the beam.
In addition to restoring the natural order of the universe, which was thrown horribly out of kilter when the Gym Dogs crashed and burned in the so-called Loveliest Village two years ago, the victory caps off the Athenians’ Yellowhammer State road swing. Georgia will return to action in Stegeman Coliseum eight days hence for alumni night against LSU; the meet will get underway at 4:00 p.m. Eastern, encumbered by the ominous reality that the Gym Dogs’ final tallies have declined from one meet to the next in all three outings this winter.