TUSCALOOSA, Ala. | Before Georgia’s season opener against Alabama, GymDogs coach Courtney Kupets Carter said she’d be examining how her squad bounced back after mistakes.
After a 196.525-194.525 loss at No. 4 Alabama (1-1) and a shaky rotation on beam, there will be some things to build on as the season progresses.
“We’ve been doing everything in the gym,” Kupets Carter said. “The attitude was great starting out, great bar rotation. It’s a little disappointing because they’ve been doing it in the gym. They need to find the fight within and that’s all it is. It’s in the mental capacity.”
Georgia (0-1) had five gymnasts compete on bars, leaving no room for a drop score. Senior Lauren Johnson opened with a 9.775 and the scores increased throughout the rest of the rotation, starting with freshman Marissa Oakley (9.8) and continuing with senior Natalie Vaculik (9.825), junior Sydney Snead (9.850) and sophomore Rachel Dickson (9.875).
The GymDogs posted a 48.950 on vault, led by 9.85s from Snead and Johnson. Sophomore Sabrina Vega (9.775), senior Gigi Marino (9.750) and Oakley (9.725) also contributed.
The GymDogs, already depleted due to injury, might have sustained their biggest loss of the night on floor. Marino, a staple in Georgia’s vault and floor lineups who tallied four consecutive 9.95s on floor to end the 2017 regular season, left with what appeared to be a leg or foot injury. She was attended to by trainers on the floor and eventually helped to the locker room. Marino anchored the floor lineup, which finished with a 48.450 after 9.825s from senior Vivi Babalis and Dickson, 9.8s from Vega and senior Jasmine Arnold, and a 9.2 from junior Sydney Snead.
Georgia had to count two falls on beam and finished with a 48.0. Vega paced the GymDogs with a 9.875. Babalis tallied a 9.8 and Snead notched a 9.7. Dickson finished with a 9.4 and Vaculik tallied a 9.225. Georgia dropped Oakley’s 9.175.
“We know what we’re capable of. Tonight was a little bit rough for us, a rough start,” Vega said. “Definitely back in the gym working what we need to work on.”
Georgia hosts No. 1 Oklahoma at 2 p.m. Monday.