The last time the pair met, Auburn came away with a loss, 196.500196.250.
Head coach Jeff Thompson said he noticed the Gators have two freshmen competing in the allaround, and hopes that will play to his advantage.
“A lot of times, freshmen let the environment dictate what they do, and so we’ll see how her freshmen do on the road here at Auburn,” Thompson said. “They’ve struggled here before a few times in my 11 years.”
The Tigers are coming off a 196.420-195.425 win against Kentucky. It was the first road win for the women on the season.
Thompson said seasons like this make it hard to win meets.
“The three teams that are most competitive or that we most resemble, are Kentucky, LSU and Arkansas, but to meet them on the road gives them a huge advantage,” Thompson said. “So for us to get a win at Kentucky was big because they’re good this year and then having Alabama, Georgia and Florida at home, it’s really hard to win a home meet. You could really go zero and six during that year.”
The Gators are coming off a close win at home against Georgia.
Junior Rachel Inniss competed in the meet against Florida last season.
Inniss said the key to tomorrow’s meet will be focusing on floor, the team’s strongest event, to close the scoring gap.
“Florida’s team has a lot more difficulty in some of the events than we do,” Inniss said. “But our main goal is trying to make ourselves clean and to do everything we can to make our scores even.” This season, the Tigers had an historical win over the five time defending national champion Georgia. The Bulldogs were ranked No. 8 at the time, and a crowd of 8,573 fans cheered the Tigers to a 195.225-194.900 victory.
Thompson said the crowds that show up this season are watching higher quality opponents.
“The great thing about our home schedule is there’s not a weak meet,” Thompson said. “It was a huge reason we were able to pull off the win against Georgia and it will be just as big of a factor.” Thompson said his main focus this season has been staying consistent and perfecting imperfections.
“The past two years we started off really hot, we stayed in the Top 10 all season and then fizzled toward the end,” Thompson said. “If we go to Ohio State and put up a 196, that gives us another huge score on the road and we could go from 16th to 8th in a matter of weeks.”
Freshman Petrina Yokay said she is looking for a win. “I think it would be really exciting for us to beat Florida, because it’s my freshman year and beating two major SEC teams in one season would be really exciting,” Yokay said. “It’s one of our last home meets and I know we’ll have a huge crowd.” Thompson said he is looking forward to having a couple of gymnasts compete this week who were injured, Yokay, on vault, and Toi Garcia on the floor routine. “At this point in the season, as a coach, you don’t really want to mess with your lineups, especially when they’re working,” Thompson said, “But we might try a few changes.”