The #5 Auburn Tigers were back in Auburn Arena to take on the Kentucky Wildcats after their 197.175 - 196.300 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs last Friday night. Kentucky came into the meet after a very close loss to the #3 Florida Gators 197.575 - 197.350 in Lexington. This turned out to be a truly incredible night for the Tigers.
First, they started on the vault while Kentucky was on bars. For Auburn, Sophia Groth started the Tigers off with 9.825, followed by Sara Hubbard posting a career high of 9.875. After her, Drew Watson scored a 9.875, Suni Lee scored a 9.825 and Gabby McLaughlin fished up the Tigers first rotation with a 9.775. For Kentucky on bars, Hailey Davis scored a 9.80, Jillian Procasky had a 9.900, with Cally Nixon following with a 9.900. After her, Shealyn Luksik had a 9.775, followed by Josie Angeny with a 9.925 and Raena Worley finished the rotation for the Wildcats with a 9.925. After the first rotation, the Wildcats were up 49.450 - 49.275.
On the second rotation, Auburn moved to the bars with Kentucky on the vault. For Auburn, Sophia Groth started it off for the Tigers by scoring a 9.875, followed up by a 9.850 from Adeline Sabados. After her, Cassie Stevens scored a 9.925 and after her came a 9.950 from Aria Brusch, who was back in the Auburn rotation after missing the past two meets. Gabby McLaughlin came next after Brusch and scored a 9.700. Finally for the Tigers, Suni Lee finished off the rotation by posting a 9.975 after completing a Nabieva, a very complicated skill that very few gymnasts have completed. For Kentucky on vault, Jillian Procasky scored a 9.80, Mackenzie Wilson had a 9.850, with Isabella Magnelli following with a 9.875. After her, Cally Nixon had a 9.800, followed by Arianna Patterson with a 9.925 and Raena Worley finished the rotation for the Wildcats with a 9.875. After the second rotation the Tigers took the lead with a score of 98.850 to 98.775.
For the third rotation, Auburn was on the beam while Kentucky was on the floor. For the Tigers, Olivia Hollingsworth started off the scoring with a 9.825, followed by a 9.225 from Piper Smith. After her, Cassie Stevens scored a 9.700 which Gabby McLaughlin with an incredible. However, the story and score of the night came after her as Suni Lee picked up her second collegiate 10, her first 10 on the beam as well as her first 10 at a home meet. For Kentucky on floor, Jillian Procasky scored a 9.725, Ashlyn Laclair had a 9.875, with Isabella Magnelli following with a 9.775. After her, Anna Haigis had a 9.925, followed by Hailey Davis with a 9.950 and Raena Worley finished the rotation for the Wildcats with a 9.950. After the third rotation, the score was all tied up at 148.250.
For the final rotation, Auburn was on floor with Kentucky being on the beam. Sara Hubbard led off the final rotation for the Tigers, posting an incredible 9.900, with Drew Watson following her scoring a 9.925. Next, Cassie Stevens gave Auburn a 9.900 off her routine, followed by Sophia Groth with a score of 9.750. Suni Lee followed up her freshman teammate with a 9.975 and to finish it off for the Tigers, Derrian Gobourne scored a 9.975, with many people saying she deserved a 10. For Kentucky on the beam, Shealyn Luksik scored a 9.950, Carissa Clay had a 9.125, with Isabella Magnelli following with a 9.875. After her, Arianna Patterson had a 9.875, followed by Raena Worley with a 9.950 and Josie Angeny finished the rotation for the Wildcats with a 9.250.
At the end of all this, the Auburn Tigers recorded their best score in program history, beating Kentucky 197.925 to 197.150. After the meet, Auburn head coach Jeff Graba said “I was really proud of the girls, the way they settled down and kept building throughout the meet...We’re going to look back on this and feel like this made us better.”
When asked about her Nabiana on the bars and continuing to critique and better her routines, Suni Lee said “It’s so fun for me,...I want people to not know what I’m going to do. I get to look back and say I made history.”
The Tigers next match will be next Friday night back in Auburn Arena to take on the #3 ranked Florida Gators in what sure will be a must see matchup at 7 P.M. on SEC Network +.