GymTiders travel to Dawg's house

For the third time this season, the Alabama gymnastics team will face-off with the Georgia Bulldogs in the nation's hottest gymnastics rivalry.

Having already met once on neutral ground and once in Tuscaloosa, the deciding meet in the regular season series takes place 7:30 p.m. Friday in Athens, Ga.

The score is now 1-1, with Georgia defeating Alabama at the Super Six Challenge and the Tide downing the Gym Dogs the following weekend in its home opener. Last year, each team won at its respective home venues, narrowly edging out the other by tenths of a point.

The last time Alabama defeated Georgia in Stegemen Coliseum was at the 2000 Super Six Challenge. The last time Georgia defeated Alabama in Coleman Coliseum was in 1999.

Alexis Brion on the floor exercise.

The Crimson Tide enters this meet as the No. 1 team in the nation in both the bars and the floor, while Georgia is No. 2 on the balance beam and vault. The Crimson Tide boasts the nation's No.2 vault and bar worker in senior Andree' Pickens, while the Bulldogs have the No. 1 floor competitor, Chelsa Byrd.

The Tide's three freshmen, Alexis Brion, Shannon Hrozek and Michelle Reeser, have been busy this season. While Hrozek has competed at least once on every event this season, Brion and Reeser have become staples in the floor line-up. Brion has been on the floor for every competition, scoring no lower than a 9.875, and Reeser made her Crimson Tide debut against Nebraska, scoring a 9.900.

The three led the competition on the floor against Auburn, with Reeser, Brion and Hrozek taking first, second and third, respectively.

Junior Kristin Sterner will be on the sidelines this Friday, recovering from an ankle injury suffered Sunday against Auburn. The All-American all arounder is expected to return to competition before the start of championship season.


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