Coming off a season-high 197.425 team performance in the quad meet last week, Auburn looks to replicate its success against rival Alabama.
This is the second time these two will face off as the two met in the 2024 Super 16 Challenge, where Alabama outperformed Auburn 197.125-196.600.
A huge reason for Auburn’s performance during the quad meet last week was because of Olivia Greaves’ debut. Greaves missed the last two seasons in recovery for her two knee surgeries and missed the first month of the season coming off foot surgery. She finished tied for second in the bars event with a score of 9.875.
Looking ahead at 5-1-1 Alabama, it is coming off its first loss of the season to No.5 Kentucky, where it lost 197.600-196.975. This was the Crimson Tide’s lowest score of the season, so they are looking to get back to how they started this season against 4-5 Auburn.
Statistically, Auburn fares better than Alabama on the beam and floor events, however, Alabama has the upper hand in the vault and bars events. In the last meet between the two, Auburn scored higher on the floor event with a score of 49.475 to Alabama’s 49.250 as well as on the beam with a score of 49.425 to Alabama’s 49.075. Alabama won the bars event with a score of 49.525 to Auburn’s 49.300, and Alabama took vault with a score of 49.275 to Auburn’s 49.225.
Auburn’s biggest deficit in the last meet came from the bars event, so Greaves who just came off an impressive performance on bars in her first ever meet, could be a crucial factor to Auburn’s success against Alabama.
Alabama is top 10 in the nation in vault (No. 10), beam, (No. 10) and bars (No. 4). Some gymnasts to watch for Alabama include Makarri Doggette, who averages scores of 9.800 for vault and 9.900 for bars. Luisa Blanco, who averages scores of 9.905 for bars, 9.925 for vault, 9.850 for beam and 9.888 for floor, and Gabby Gladieux, who averages scores of 9.819 for vault, 9.819 for beam and 9.869 for floor are two other Alabama gymnasts to keep an eye on.
Auburn is top 15 in the nation in bars (No.15), beam (No.7) and floor (No.12). Gymnasts for Auburn performing extremely well on all four rotations include Cassie Stevens with a total score this season of 197.3, Olivia Hollingsworth with a total score 196.525 this season, and Sophia Groth with a total score of 195.875 this season.
The Tigers are seeking to end their five-meet losing streak against the Crimson Tide, when they last won in January 2022.
No. 14 Auburn is set to host No. 7 Alabama in Neville Arena on Friday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. CST. The meet will be televised on SEC Network.
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Tyler Cox is a sophomore from Atlanta majoring in journalism. He joined The Plainsman in fall 2023.