The Gym Dogs continue their winning streak as they defeated Kentucky on Friday Night in their annual “red-out” meet. Georgia won 196.500-196.150 narrowly defeating the Wildcats. This meet marks Georgia’s fifth-straight win and they remain undefeated against Kentucky 80-0-1.
The No.9 Bulldogs won three event titles and the all-around. Morgan Reynolds won the all-around on Friday night and won an event title on vault after posting a 9.875. She also posted a meet-best with a 39.400 all-around score. Georgia also won event titles on the bars with both Rachel Dickson and Natalie Vaculik scoring 9.900. The last event the Gym Dogs won an event title in was on floor. Sabrina Vega posted a 9.900 with a powerful performance that defined the win for Georgia.
Georgia came out strong in their first two events, with Reynolds leading the team off on vault with a 9.875. Rachel Dickson scored a 9.85 and a trio of 9.825s from Gigi Marino, Ashlyn Broussard and Lauren Johnson. These scores gave the Bulldogs an early lead of 49.200-48.925 after the first rotation. The bars were next for Georgia. Both Vaculik and Dickson notched a 9.900 and gave the team a strong momentum boost. The meet was Vaculik’s debut this season as she matched her career-best. Rachel Schick despite illness scored a 9.850. Morgan Reynolds notched down a 9.825 and Hayley Sanders a 9.800. The team scored a 49.275 on bars and continued their lead of 98.475-97.800.
Beam, however for the Gym Dogs was a struggle tonight. They scored a 48.650 during the third rotation narrowly keeping their lead against Kentucky. Reynolds did tie her career-high on the beam with a 9.825 for the second-meet in a row. Vega posted a 9.825 on the beam as well. The Gym Dogs went into the final round only with a small lead of 147.125-146.825. The Floor performances were crucial to Georgia to capitalize and win the meet.
The Gym Dogs impressed on the floor, posting a 49.375 as a whole. Vega made a statement with her performance as she notched down a 9.900. A trio of 9.875s came from Dickson, Marino and Reynolds. Vivi Babalis posted a 9.850 and Beth Roberts a 9.800 to clinch the win for the Bulldogs.
“I think the last couple of weeks have provided a lot of adversity for us,” head coach Danna Durante said. “Coming out of beam, we faced adversity there, and then rallied on floor and did a great job. I’m just so proud of them. They just continue to fight. We’ve got some places we can get better still. I saw a couple of places where maybe the polish was not quite there. But their fight is always there. That’s just something I’m so proud of. I’m just so excited for them. They never back down.”
Georgia will return to action next Friday as they travel to Gainesville, Florida to compete against the No. 3 Gators. The meet will be one of three road challenges for the Gym Dogs. The team will return home on March 5 to host Alabama.