Ordinarily in sports, a strong start coupled with a strong finish is a good combination for victory. In Coleman Coliseum Friday night, that wasn’t good enough for fourth-ranked Alabama against No. 10 Arkansas.
The Crimson Tide was a generous host, three breaks on balance beam too much for Bama to overcome as the Razorbacks took a 196.700-196.400 win.
Alabama returns to action next Friday in Gainesville against No. 1 ranked Florida. The meet will be broadcast on the SEC Network and will get underway at 6 p.m. CST.
“We talked about all week about being resilient,” Alabama Coach Dana Duckworth said following Friday’s loss. “There were a few elements in our resiliency that we missed tonight, but it was a team effort. We win together and we lose together.”
The Crimson Tide started strong in front of a crowd of 12,600 with season-best scores on both the vault and uneven bars. Alabama tallied a 49.400 led by sophomore Nickie Guerrero’s 9.9 and 9.875s from juniors Keely McNeer and Katie Bailey as well as sophomore Kiana Winston.
On the uneven bars, paced by Kiana Winston’s 9.9 and 9.875s from junior Amanda Jetter and sophomore Mackenzie Brannan, Alabama scored a 49.300.
The Tide then had three breaks in six routines on the balance beam, but also produced three scores of 9.85 or better, for a 48.325. Junior Aja Sims posted a 9.95, tying her career best, while Guerrero came up in the final spot, directly following two falls, and scored a career-best 9.9.
“Even when things don’t go our way we still push through it every second,” Guerrero said. “We fight for everything as a team.”
The Tide closed out the night with a 49.375 on the floor exercise, led by Jetter’s 9.925, and 9.9 from senior Lauren Beers and a 9.875 from Aja Sims, but it wouldn’t be enough to overcome the Razorbacks.