Starting On Second 100 Vs. Auburn

The No. 7 Alabama gymnastic team looks to bounce back against No. 21 Auburn this Friday after its first loss of the season last weekend at No. 1 Florida.



"This is a perfect opportunity for us to come home and be on fire," Alabama Coach Sarah Patterson said. "We came back after falling to Florida on Friday and practiced on Saturday and Sunday, and even though our ladies were tired and disappointed, I thought the intensity level was great. I thought they really stepped up and did some amazing things."

For the Crimson Tide, Friday marks the Tide's first meet in Coleman Coliseum since the middle of January and while the Tide is looking to bounce back from its loss to the Gators, the No. 21 ranked Tigers are coming of a win against conference-foe Kentucky.

This week's meet is the 110th meeting between the two in-state rivals, and marks the first with Jeff Graba as Auburn's head coach. Graba is the fifth head coach for the Auburn program and follows Jeff Thompson's 11-year stint as the Tigers' mentor. Graba joined Auburn after a five-year stint as an assistant coach at Utah where he helped the Utes to three NCAA runner-up and a third place finish.

Alabama and Auburn last faced off at the Southeastern Conference Championships where the Tide was second with a 196.875 and Auburn finished fifth with a 195.575.The Tide has won the last 100 consecutive meetings between the two teams, dating back to the 1980 season.

Senior Kayla Hoffman and junior Geralen Stack-Eaton, who are ranked 18th and 20th respectively in the national all-around standings, lead the way for the Tide. Auburn is paced by junior Kylie Shields and senior Rachel Inniss, who are both ranked in the top-20 nationally on the balance beam, where Auburn is ranked sixth.

In addition to the usual vast array of prizes and giveaways up for grabs during Alabama meets, the Crimson Tide Rewards Program presented by Tuscaloosa Toyota will also be in full swing again this Friday. Members of the program earn points for designated athletic events throughout the academic year and are eligible for prizes after just 10 events. Fans who attend 50+ events will be entered into a drawing to win a 2011 Toyota Camry. Fans who haven't already received their membership can sign up at the meet.

Fans can also take advantage of the Family Fun Packs through the Alabama Ticket Office which allows fans to purchase four tickets, four hot dogs and four drinks for $30. Tickets are available through the ticket office (205.348.2262), located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum, and online at RollTide.com.

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