No. 1 Gym Dogs Win at Auburn

AUBURN - The No. 1-ranked Gym Dogs raced out to a huge lead over Auburn on Friday night at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum, but three falls on the balance beam made Georgia's victory of 196.55 – 196.15 the narrowest in the history of the series.

"I'm not going to read into (the beam rotation) too much," said Georgia head coach Suzanne Yoculan. "I'm proud of the fact that our other three events were so strong. There are not many teams in the country that can fall three times on beam and still win. I don't want to focus on the negatives because I think it was a fluke.

"To have Katie (Heenan) and Courtney (Kupets) anchor us with 9.9s the way they did says a lot for them," Yoculan said.

Courtney Kupets earned the win in the all-around competition with a career-high 39.675 and Heenan was second with her season best of 39.475.

Georgia (12-0, 5-0) opened the meet with the nation's top score on bars this season at 49.475. Courtney Kupets earned the top mark of the night with a career-high 9.975 and Nikki Childs posted a season-high 9.9.

On vault the Gym Dogs finished with a 49.5 behind scores of 9.925 from Kelsey Ericksen and Tiffany Tolnay. For Ericksen that set her career high on the event. Megan Dowlen and Brittany Smith each had season highs with a 9.875 and 9.9, respectively. Georgia's 49.5 was its second-highest mark this year on vault, trailing only a 49.55 against Arkansas.

The Gym Dogs built on their healthy lead on floor with a team total of 49.375. Tolnay, Ericksen and Courtney Kupets all scored 9.9s on the rotation.

Georgia led 148.35 – 147.025 through three events, and seemed to be on its way to a season-high total. After three falls on the balance beam, Courtney Kupets (9.925) and (9.9) anchored the lineup to hold on to the victory. The team's balance beam score of 48.2 was the lowest in over two years.

Georgia next hosts Kentucky on Fri., March 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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