Tide Gymnasts Go For Title Tonight

LOS ANGELES – The Alabama gymnastics team won the second session of the NCAA Championship Semifinals in Pauley Pavilion Friday, advancing to the Super Six Team Finals, giving the Crimson Tide a chance to win its third national title in a row and seventh overall.

"Tonight was almost like being in the Super Six," Alabama Coach Sarah Patterson said. "It's gotten so competitive just to move on."

Alabama scored a 197.350 to win the session and advance to the finals for the 19th time since the Super Six format was instituted in 1993, more than any other team in collegiate gymnastics history.

  "For the University of Alabama the goal is always to be on the floor the last night of the season with an opportunity to win the national championship," Patterson said. "So for us to be moving forward … we are ecstatic."

  The Tide was led by junior Kim Jacob's 39.425 and senior Ashley Priess' 49.325 in the all-around.

  Oklahoma and host-school UCLA tied for second in the second semifinal session with 197.2s, and will join the Tide in the Super Six along with the Southeastern Conference trio of Florida, LSU and Georgia from the first semifinal session.

  The Tide scored a 49.45 on the floor exercise led by Jacob's 9.925 and junior Diandra Milliner's 9.95 before closing out the night with a  49.35 on the vault, led by a trio of 9.9s from sophomore Kaitlyn Clark, freshman Lauren Beers and Milliner.  Milliner's floor score was highest of either semifinal session on that event.

  Alabama started the night off with a 49.275 on the uneven bars led by junior Sarah DeMeo's 9.875 and Priess' 9.9. The Tide followed that up with another 49.275, with junior Kayla Williams setting the pace with a 9.9 and Milliner, DeMeo and Jacob all scoring 9.85s.

  The NCAA Super Six Team Finals get underway Saturday at 4 p.m. PDT.

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