The ninth-ranked Georgia gymnastics team is set to host a NCAA regional on Saturday, starting at 4 p.m in Stegeman Coliseum.
The Gymdogs, fresh off a solid 196.850 performance at the SEC Championship, will host third-ranked LSU, No. 13 Oregon State, No. 22 Arizona, No. 27 George Washington and 36th-ranked Michigan State, as well as individuals from North Carolina State, North Carolina, William & Mary, Towson and Maryland.
The top two teams will advance to the NCAA Championship in Fort Worth, Texas on April 15 and 16.
“We’re the No. 2 seed in our regional and No. 9 in the country,” said Georgia head coach Danna Durante. “The other teams coming in are very good, but our goal is to continue to build on what we’ve been doing. It’s about continuing to put the pieces together. The last two weeks have been phenomenal in terms of taking the next step.”
Georgia, which ranks ninth in overall team RQS but was seeded 10th by the NCAA selection committee, boasts top-10 ranks in vault (third), bars (ninth) and floor exercise (ninth).
The Gymdogs’ trio of seniors earned All-America honors, announced late last week. Brittany Rogers was named to the first team on vault and bars, ranking fifth and eighth in the two events, respectively. Brandie Jay joined her on the first vault team, ranking fourth, and she also was named the second team for all-around performance, finishing 11th in the country. Mary Beth Box was named to the second team on both of her events, finishing 12th on beam and on floor.
The All-America announcement came on the heels of the All-SEC honors, in which Box, Jay and Rogers were joined by Rachel Schick on the All-SEC team. Sydney Snead was also recognized for her outstanding performance as a freshman.
Georgia is slated to start on beam on Saturday, followed by a bye, floor vault, another bye, and concluding on bars. While the rotations will be new, the Gymdogs have the advantage of competing on their own equipment in front of fans clad in Georgia red and black.
“It’s a blessing to compete one more time in Stegeman Coliseum,” said Gymdog sophomore Natalie Vaculik. “It’s going to be a packed arena and the familiarity will be an advantage. We’ve been practicing so well. I’ve been inspired in the gym each day with our intrasquad (competition). If we do what we’ve been doing every time in practice, there’s no doubt we’ll be top two.”
Georgia has already faced top-seeded LSU twice this season, defeating the Tigers in Stegeman Coliseum in February with a season-best score of 197.525. The two teams also collided at the SEC Championship.
Regional tickets are on sale now via the Georgia ticket office, easily available by calling 1-877-542-1231. The meet will also be televised on SEC Network +.