Feb. 10, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. -
The No. 2 ranked Alabama gymnastics team beat Kentucky 196.000-194.700 in Memorial Coliseum Friday night in front of 1,644 fans who braved the snow outside.
"This was one of those blue collar nights," UA head coach Sarah Patterson said. "The ladies weren't perfect, but we made some adjustments that will help us step forward."
Alabama was led by junior Ashley Sledge, who won the all-around with a 39.175. For the first time this season, the Crimson Tide was led by a different gymnast on each event. The Crimson Tide goes to 7-0-0 overall and 4-0-0 in Southeastern Conference competition, while Kentucky fell to 3-5-0 overall and 0-4-0 in the SEC.
"This was one of those nights that we worked really, really hard to get the score we had," Patterson said. "This is one of the times that I don't want the ladies to focus on the score, but just focus on our performance."
Leading by more than a point going into the final rotation, Alabama scored a 48.850 on the balance beam led by sophomore Kim Jacob's meet-high 9.85 to close out the win. Alabama started the night off with a 49.000 on the uneven bars led by senior Geralen Stack-Eaton's meet-best 9.85.
The Tide then posted a 49.1 on the vault led by a meet-best 9.9 from junior Marissa Gutierrez. Sledge posted a 9.875 in the anchor position on the floor exercise, leading the Tide to a 49.050 team score.
Senior Ashley Priess, who won the all-around last weekend against Florida, went on just two events against Kentucky after being limited in practice this past week due to illness. Other lineup shifts included sophomore Lindsey Fowler making her debut in Alabama's competitive lineup, leading off the floor lineup, and Stack-Eaton going on the floor exercise for the first time this season.
"We were able to move some things around a little bit and still come out with a Southeastern Conference win," Patterson said. "Now we just have to get on an emotional high again for Arkansas next week."
The Tide returns home Friday, Feb. 17 against Arkansas for the eighth annual Power of Pink meet. Tickets are available through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262) or online at RollTide.com.