Gym’Backs Lose At Home To Georgia
The No. 12 Razorback gymnastics team fell to the No. 11 Georgia Bulldogs by less than half of a point in the season opener in Barnhill Arena Friday night.
“We are exactly where we thought we would be,” co-head coach Mark Cook said. “We knew coming into today that our freshmen were going to play a big part in the meet.”
Arkansas is led by five All-Americans, but the team also features five freshman that will be expected to make significant contributions.
Senior Amy Borsellino started the Hogs off with a 9.8 on vault. The lowest score that counted toward the team score for the Hogs on vault was a 9.75 posted by junior Bailee Zumwalde. Junior Katherine Grable earned Arkansas’ highest score on vault with a 9.875.
After the first rotation, the Razorbacks led the Bulldogs 49.1 to 49.025. Two Bulldogs — senior Christa Tanella and sophomore Chelsea Davis — posted scores of 9.85 on bars, but two scores below 9.8 kept Georgia behind.
Georgia posted a meet-high score of 49.325 on the vault to surge ahead of the Razorbacks in the second rotation. Juniors Lindsey Cheek and Cat Hires each posted scores of 9.9 to propel Georgia to a 98.35 to 97.825 lead.
Arkansas did not perform as well on bars, posting a meet-low team score of 48.725. The highest score for the Razorbacks was a 9.775 posted by junior Shelby Salmon, Grable and Borsellino.
Borsellino opened beam competition for the Razorbacks with a shaky routine and a score of 9.650. The next Razorback on beam, freshman Erin Freier, took a fall and scored a 9.0. After Salmon provided a solid 9.75 routine when the Hogs needed it most, freshman Keara Glover provided another big boost with a 9.8.
Freshman Sydnie Dillard and Grable both posted scores of 9.875 to help the Razorbacks turn what could have been a very low scoring rotation into a 48.95.
“Katherine really stepped up for us tonight, and Sydnie had an excellent set of routines for us in her first meet,” Cook said.
Thanks to a few missteps by the Bulldogs on floor, the Hogs were able to gain a little on the Bulldogs and trailed 147.175 to 146.775 after three rotations.
In the fourth rotation, Grable scored a 9.925 on floor, but the team score for Arkansas was only a 49.0. Three scores of 9.85 or better gave the Bulldogs what they needed to not only hold, but increase their lead and get the win over the Razorbacks.
Grable won the all-around competition with a score of 39.450.
“It feels good to get the nerves out,” Grable said. “I feel like my events went well, but I could have been better on my bars routine.”
The Razorbacks will travel Lexington, Ky., to face the Wildcats Friday at 6 p.m.