Gym Dogs end season undefeated

ANN ARBOR, Mich - The No. 1-ranked Georgia Gym Dogs completed the sixth undefeated and untied regular season in program history on Saturday night with a 197.625-197.1 victory over No. 9 Michigan in Crisler Arena.

Georgia's regular-season schedule ends with a record of 15-0 which includes eight wins over programs ranked in this week's top 10, and four road wins over top-10 teams. Michigan drops to 11-2-1.

Gym Dog freshman Courtney Kupets continued her stellar year, winning the all-around competition for the seventh straight meet with a career-best 39.8. She tied career marks on vault (9.95) and bars (9.975), and set a career high with a 9.95 on the balance beam.

Junior Kelsey Ericksen and sophomore Katie Heenan also set season bests in the all-around, with a 39.6 and 39.5, respectively. Ericksen had a career-high 9.95 on vault and Heenan ended the meet with a career-high 9.95 on the beam.

"We started this year right where we left off in 2005," said head coach Suzanne Yoculan. "We've kept that championship feel throughout the season. Everything they learned last year was critical to what we're doing now, especially the positive attitude and hard work. I've never felt like we had freshmen out there.

"Courtney just gets better and better. There were places tonight where she could have earned a 10. We talked about zone moments before the meet and she certainly had hers tonight. And Katie and Kelsey keep getting better," Yoculan said.

Both teams were tied after the first rotation with scores of 49.35. For Georgia, Courtney Kupets was the high bars score of the night at 9.975 and Kelsey Ericksen added a 9.9.

Courtney Kupets and Ericksen posted matching 9.95s on vault as Georgia took the lead after two rotations at 98.825 – 98.55. Ericksen's score marked a new career high for the junior, who was competing in front of several family members who made the drive from her hometown of Cincinnati. Heenan and Ashley Kupets each scored a 9.875.

On the floor exercise Georgia extended its lead with a score of 49.375. Courtney Kupets led the way with a 9.925 and Tiffany Tolnay scored a 9.9.

The Gym Dogs had their best beam score of the year to end the night with a 49.425. Again it was Courtney Kupets and Katie Heenan anchoring the lineup with 9.95s with the meet still in doubt.

Georgia now takes a few days off for spring break, and will next competed at the SEC Championships in Birmingham on March 25.

"Confidence is high right now. This exactly how the story is supposed to read," said Yoculan.

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