Semifinal: April 14 | 8 p.m. ET | St. Louis, Mo. (Chaifetz Arena)
Super Six: April 15 | 9 p.m. ET | St. Louis, Mo. (Chaifetz Arena)
Broadcast Information: ESPNU (Bart Conner – Play by play; Kathy Johnson Clarke – analyst; Laura Rutledge – reporter)
Semifinal Stream: WatchESPN
Super Six Stream: WatchESPN
Live Stats: CLICK HERE
The ninth-ranked Georgia Gymdogs are set to travel to St. Louis for the 2017 NCAA Gymnastics Championships. Georgia will compete in the second semifinal session on Friday, set to begin at 8 p.m. If the Gymdogs finish in the top three of the six-team meet, they will advance to the Super Six on Saturday at 9 p.m. Both meets will air on ESPNU.
The Gymdogs are joined by No. 2 LSU, No. 3 Florida, No. 5 Michigan, No. 8 Alabama and No. 10 Nebraska in the nightcap on Friday. The first session includes top-ranked Oklahoma, fourth-ranked Utah, sixth-ranked UCLA, seventh-ranked Denver, eleventh-ranked Washington and twelfth-ranked Oregon State.
”We’re obviously really excited to be moving on to the championship,” said Georgia gymnastics head coach Danna Durante. “I’m really proud of our team. I’m excited that we just kept clicking and excited for this team. It’s been a long year for us with injuries and illness, and we just keep coming back and keep bouncing back. We’ve got two more weeks of training and we’ll get to St. Louis.”
Georgia clinched its spot in St. Louis by advancing through the Gainesville regional, hosted by SEC rival Florida. The Gymdogs got off to a hot start and led at the meet’s halfway point before being surpassed by the third-ranked Gators in their home gym. Georgia finished second with a 196.775.
A year ago, Georgia was also seeded 10th entering the NCAA postseason before advancing to nationals after finishing second in the NCAA regional. The Gymdogs finished third in their semifinal session, earning an appearance in the team’s third Super Six in four years under Durante’s leadership.
Since the creation of the two-meet championship format in 1993, Georgia has advanced to 20 of 23 possible Super Six meets. The Gymdogs enter this year’s championships with a national-best 10 team NCAA titles.
Familiar Order of Competition
Georgia will start the second semifinal session on beam, the same rotation order as 2016.
The Gymdogs posted a 49.1125 in their first rotation a year ago, a solid start to a meet that saw Georgia finish third in the six-team semifinal. Ashlyn Broussard led the team with a 9.8625 in the event, followed closely by Mary Beth Box with a 9.85. The meet also saw Rachel Schick re-enter the beam lineup, where she scored a 9.8375 in the anchor spot.
Georgia will then move to a bye, floor, vault, a bye, and bars, respectively. In 2016, Georgia scored a 48.9625 on floor, 49.275 on vault and 49.375 on bars. The Gymdogs were never in a worse position than third in the meet and claimed national-championship-winning performances from Brandie Jay and Brittany Rogers on vault and bars, respectively, with a pair of 9.95s.
Semifinal II Snapshot
The second semifinal at the NCAA Championship will feature four Southeastern Conference teams — the same group that made up the SEC Championship evening session. Georgia will be joined by conference comerades LSU, Florida and Alabama, as well as Nebraska and Michigan for the semifinal nightcap on Friday, April 14.
Georgia has competed against Florida and LSU three times this season, going 0-3 against both teams. The Gymdogs have faced Alabama twice and hold an 0-2 record but claimed a season-best 197.325 against the Crimson Tide on March 5.
Georgia opened the 2016 slate at Michigan, a 196.925-195.200 defeat. The Gymdogs last saw the Cornhuskers in the 2014 Super Six, where Georgia finished fifth with a 197.050 and Nebraska came in sixth with a 196.500.
CLICK HERE for this weekend’s 2017 NCAA Gymnastic Championships meet notes.