After scoring a 197.075 on Friday to advance to the Super Six round, the Tigers posted one of their lowest scores of the season on Saturday night, a 195.625. Florida repeated as national champion for a third consecutive season with a score of 197.850. Utah finished second at 197.800 followed by Oklahoma (197.525), Alabama (197.275) and Stanford (197.250).
“The experience was great for the team,” Auburn coach Jeff Graba said. “They grew a lot tonight. They learned how to be in the spotlight in one of these situations. They put themselves in amongst the top six teams in the country. I couldn’t be more proud of the team.
“It was a tough night for us,” Graba added. “(All-American) Caitlin (Atkinson) dinged herself and we had to pull her out of the last two events. M.J. (Rott) wasn’t full speed from last night. We only had about 18 hours to be ready for this and that took its toll. We put other people in, and they did a good job. You can’t ask much more of a team to keep going out there and fighting. I was pretty happy with them.”
Auburn opened the meet on the bars rotation and scored 49.250. All-American Megan Walker scored a career-high tying 9.925 to lead the Tigers.
On balance beam the Tigers struggled and had to count a fall to earn a team total 48.425. Freshman Abby Milliet and Walker led the team in the event with scores of 9.825.
The Tigers scored 48.875 on the floor and finished with a 49.075 on the vault.
On Sunday in the individual competition Atkinson will compete in the balance beam. Her score of 9.950 was the highest of any performer in the semi-final round.
“We couldn’t have been more excited to make it to this point,” Walker said. “We’ve accomplished incredible things this year and making Super Six is something only the best six teams can say they made it to.”
The finish was the second highest in Auburn history behind a fifth place in 1993.
“I don’t know where to begin with this team,” Graba said. “They broke records, then broke their own records, and it has just been such a wonderful year to be a part of this program. These girls have worked so hard and done so much. I can’t say I’ve been prouder or any team I’ve been a part of.”