Auburn put up its highest score on the road this season, but was unable to defeat No. 10 Georgia, falling to the GymDogs 197.425-196.350.
“It wasn’t lack of preparation, I think it is lack of focus,” said Jeff Graba.
Graba and the team were disappointed to see a close matchup slip away from them on such a big stage. The Tigers have been unable to string together four events on the road this season, and that will be a big focus this week heading into the matchup with No. 13 Kentucky.
“Sometimes we lose a little bit of focus and momentum in there,” said freshman Cassie Stevens.
Against Georgia, the Tigers managed a 48.700 in the floor routine. Auburn is ranked No. 28 in the floor routine nationally.
Although the Tigers lost the meet, there were plenty of positive things to take away including the huge impact from freshmen. Cassie Stevens earned the first all-around title of her young career, putting up a 39.250. Junior Drew Watson was able to assist Stevens in the all-around scoring a 39.225
“That felt really great to know all your hard work in the gym is paying off,” Stevens said.
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Stevens also had a 9.8 in the floor routine, which complemented the 9.8 that fellow freshman Aria Brusch scored on floor.
For Auburn, the talent and drive are both there. It comes down to whether it can execute all four events on a high level on meet day, the Tigers said.
“We tend to lose focus in the middle, so we are focusing on how to start strong, compete strong and finish strong,” said senior Gracie Day.
Auburn starts a two-week homestand this week as it faces Kentucky this Friday and Florida Feb. 14. These will be two marquee matchups where the Tigers will have to be sharp on their routines while keeping their composure to beat top-tier teams.
“We are starting to be seen as a team who should be winning a lot of these things, but our girls are still feeling like they need to overachieve every time they go to an event,” Graba said.
Auburn will face Kentucky on Friday at 6 p.m. CST in Auburn Arena. Coach Graba and the Tigers are hoping to see a sold-out crowd in what could be a big momentum boost for Auburn’s season.
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