"We clicked today," Alabama head coach Sarah Patterson said. "I thought we accomplished our goals today of improving upon our LSU, even in an adverse situation. To lose our top all-arounder on the first event was something we had to overcome."
Junior All-American Kristin Sterner sprained her ankle on the vault and had to be helped off the floor. She will be evaluated upon the teams return to Tuscaloosa.
"I had planned on giving Kristin a breather today, but little did I know that it would be sooner rather than later," Patterson said. She warmed up well on vaulting. It was unfortunate and we hope it will be just a sprained ankle. I think more than anything it scared her."
On the second event, senior Andree' Pickens raised the Tide's spirits with her second perfect score of the weekend. After scoring a 10.0 on the vault against LSU Friday night, the All American did the same on the uneven bars today. In addition to Pickens' 10.0, seniors Raegan Tomasek, 9.950, and Natalie Barrington, 9.900, paced the Tide to a 49.500 on the uneven bars.
"Andree' coming out on the uneven bars and lifting the team after Kristin's injury with 10, that's the kind of leadership you expect from a veteran team," Patterson said. "In fact, on the uneven bars, three of our seniors Andree', Raegan and Natalie did an outstanding job of carrying us through."
The Alabama squad cruised through the floor exercise with ease, scoring a 49.500, a tenth off its season high. All three of the Tide's freshmen contributed in a big way, roping in career-high scores and the top-three finishes in the meet. Shannon Hrozek pulled in a 9.90 in her first competitive floor routine, while Brion scored a 9.95. Michelle Reeser was near-perfect, scoring a 10.0 from one judge and averaging a 9.975. Sophomore Stephanie Kite and Martinez contributed to the final effort as well.
"To see our freshmen to step in for the upperclassmen and perform as well as they did was very heartening," Patterson said.
The Tide, paced by four season high marks, was particularly sharp on the balance beam, posting season high 49.250, bettering the mark they set on Friday against LSU. Pickens led the scoring with a 9.925. Tomasek opened up the scoring with a season-high 9.875, a mark echoed by Jeana Rice in the No. 5 slot. After a fall by Barrington, senior Alexa Martinez hit her stride, scoring a season-high 9.825.
To open the meet, the Tide scored a 49.000 on the vault behind a 9.900 from senior Andree' Pickens. Sophomore Erin Holdefer tied her season best vault of 9.825 which came on Friday against LSU.
"We still have a long road ahead of us and this is a short week for us before we travel to Georgia," Patterson said. "Obviously we'll be short handed without Kristin, but that's why you develop depth."
Alabama remains on the road next weekend, traveling to Athens, Ga. to face the No. 2 ranked Georgia Bulldogs Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Vault Bars Beam Floor All-Around N. Barrington -- 9.900 9.225 -- -- Alexis Brion -- -- -- 9.950 -- Tiffany Byrd -- 9.825 9.75 -- -- Erin Holdefer 9.825 -- -- -- -- Lauren Holdefer 9.700 -- -- 9.050 -- Shannon Hrozek 9.750 9.675 -- 9.900 -- Stephanie Kite -- -- -- 9.875 -- Alexa Martinez -- -- 9.825 9.800 -- Andree Pickens 9.900 10.00 9.925 -- -- Michelle Reeser -- -- -- 9.975 -- Jean Rice 9.825 9.825 9.875 -- -- Kristin Sterner 8.950 -- -- -- -- Raegan Tomasek -- 9.950 9.875 -- -- Alabama 49.000 49.500 49.250 49.500 197.250 Auburn 48.625 48.800 47.675 48.425 193.525