Struggles on vault and beam cost No. 12 Auburn its undefeated season.
Derrian Gobourne returned to her home state of Florida and put up confidence-boosting scores on all four events, but Auburn would lose to the second-ranked Gators 197.850 to 196.70.
Gobourne posted a 9.800 or better on every event on the night, she even tied her career high on vault with a 9.900 on her Yurchenko 1.5. Gobourne received scores of 9.875 on floor and bars and a 9.800 on beam. Despite another outstanding performance by the freshman, Auburn struggled.
Auburn started out with a solid performance on the bars, with the lowest score as a tie at 9.850 from Gracie Day and Taylor Krippner. The Tigers continued to put up big scores with a 9.900 from Abby Milliet and a 9.875 from Samantha Cerio, Gobourne, and Drew Watson.
After a confident start on bars, faced some costly mistakes on the vault.
Day fell after taking multiple steps backwards on her dismount and received a 9.225. Later, anchor Jada Glenn also stumbled on her landing and scored a 9.575. Having to count this score would set Auburn back early on.
Auburn tallied its highest team score on floor of the season with a 49.450. Milliet and Day led the squad with scores of 9.925.
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“Floor was a home run for us.” said Auburn Head Coach Jeff Graba. “We finally started to get the lineup that we think we need in, and they hit a home run. In this environment that’s great.”
Even with a quality floor showing the Tigers could never fully recover from their early setbacks. Going into the last rotation Auburn had accumulated nearly a half-point deficit. Auburn added more problems to the mix with two noticeable errors on beam.
Skyler Sheppard took some extra steps to regain balance on a connecting skill, requiring her to repeat the skill to receive the connection bonus. This is a deduction and bumped her final score to a 9.700. Up next, Krippner lost balance and fell of the beam after a long fight, resulting in a 9.100 score for the senior.
Simple mistakes were costly for Auburn. Florida was relentless at home, making it almost impossible for Auburn to redeem themselves.
“It just confirms all along what we’ve been saying,” said Senior Abby Milliet. “We can compete against anybody if we compete against ourselves. It’s not about who’s on the other side of the floor. It’s about what we can do.”
Auburn will need to recover against No. 22 Arkansas at home next week. The meet will begin at 7 p.m. CST.
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