Friday, February 11, 2005
TUSCALOOSA, AL -- Whatever the reason, when the No. 4 ranked Alabama Gymnastics team takes on No. 17 Kentucky in Tuscaloosa, it’s always a tight meet. Friday night, through three rotations, this year was no different.
Alabama actually trailed the Wildcats going into rotation four, but three falls from Kentucky on the balance beam shut down their bid for an upset. The Tide finished off the night with a 49.0 on the floor exercise to win 195.250 to 193.825 in front of 9,178 fans at Coleman Coliseum.
“We won but it wasn’t pretty. I think that sums it up,” Alabama head coach Sarah Patterson. “This meet was sandwiched between Auburn last week and Georgia next week. This is the fifth week of the season and I think it is obvious that the girls are a little tired. I didn’t even know if Rachel Delahoussaye would be able to go on beam until about five minutes before hand. We’ve been in this situation before, trailing going into our last event, and I feel like we’ll be in that situation again. I think that did more for us tonight, making us step up and perform well.”
Kentucky’s Michelle Gales won the all-around with a 39.050. Alabama junior Dana Filetti was second with a 39.000.
Alabama finished off Kentucky with a solid floor rotation despite resting both Ashley Miles and Shannon Hrozek. Filetti and junior Dana Pierce each recorded 9.775s to open the routine, sophomore Erin Rightley had a 9.875, junior Mari Bayer added a 9.825 and freshman Kaitlin White made her floor debut with a 9.75.
Kentucky reversed a .10 lead into an Alabama win during the same rotation when Kristen Kaufman, Kristen O’Shields and Lucy Burgin all fell off the balance beam en route to a 47.475 team score.
Miles used her big vault to punctuate the Tide’s opening set, scoring a 9.975, lifting the Tide to a 49.025. It was Miles’ third 9.975 or better on the vault in four weeks. She hasn’t scored below a 9.9 on the vault or floor exercise this season. Kentucky started the night out with a 48.675 on the uneven bars.
Alabama went for 49.000 on the uneven bars led by Humphrey’s 9.85. Filetti scored a 9.825 while Hrozek and sophomore Brittany Comeaux both scored 9.8s. Kentucky scored a 48.850 on the vault.
Two falls on the balance beam put the Tide at a season low 48.225. Humphrey scored a 9.85 in the final spot to lead the way while sophomore Rachael Delahoussaye started the rotation off with a 9.75.
After four home meets in five weeks, Alabama is set for an extended road tour, taking on Georgia, Arkansas and Stanford in consecutive weeks. Alabama’s final regular season home meet comes March 18 against UNC. Tickets are on sale through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.BAMA) or online at www.rolltide.com.