Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Walt Beazley)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - The No. 19 University of Arkansas gymnastics team (1-3, 0-3 SEC) travels to Auburn, Ala., to face the No. 15 Auburn Tigers (1-6, 1-3 SEC) in the team's second road match-up of the season. The meet is scheduled to begin 7 p.m.
Arkansas is currently ranked No. 17 on the bars in the Gyminfo Women's Gymnastics National Event rankings, as well as No. 22 on the beam and No. 23 on the vault.
Individually, junior All-American Katherine Grable is tied for seventh in the nation in the all-around (39.450), second on the floor exercise, and tied for 17th on the vault. Freshman Sydnie Dillard is tied for the No. 25 spot on the balance beam.
"We were a completely different team against Florida," co-head coach René Lyst said. "We were probably more of a team which we expect to be, which was exciting for us. Unfortunately, we had to count a fall on beam, which had been our most consistent event so far this season. That was a little bit shocking given the momentum of the meet up to that point. I think though, that we are really solidifying our vault line-up, ours bar routines were phenomenal, which is exciting to see and we finally competed on floor the way we know we are capable of."
Last week against No. 1 Florida, All-Americans Amy Borsellino, Bailee Zumwalde, Kelci Lewis, and Grable, junior Shelby Salmon and freshmen Erin Freier and Heather Elswick each picked up record marks for the No. 22 University of Arkansas gymnastics team in a loss to the top-ranked Gators 197.575-196.175.
Arkansas leads the all-time series with Auburn, 13-8. The Razorbacks are on a current win streak of five meets in a row dating back to January 2011, when Arkansas picked up a 195.325-195.150 win in Auburn over the Tigers.
Auburn is returning back to their home arena after three consecutive weeks on the road, including two straight season high scores and a SEC Freshman of the Week honor. Freshman Caitlin Atkinson posted the top performance of her young career and the best by an Auburn gymnast in 2013 with her all-around total of 39.525 in the win over Missouri.
"Auburn is always a tough place to compete," Lyst said. "They are testy, we always have a great competition against them. It will be really back-and-forth I think. You know we have to go out and do our jobs, we have to hit our routines, we are not just going to have to make them we are going to have to hit them. We have to hit our handstands, and stick our dismounts and have great presentation throughout the meet. All the intangibles that we have been working on in practice, we really have to hit them to get a good score to count for our regional qualifying score."
Fans can follow along during the meet with live results and interactive blog. Auburn will also feature a live stream on its website. Following the meet Friday, the Razorbacks will continue a two meet road swing, at LSU on Feb. 22.