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Tigers fall to Wildcats in Lexington, Stevens wins all-around

In a meet that had sophomore Suni Lee sitting out to rest, the Tigers could not keep up with the Wildcats on the road. 

The No. 9 Auburn Tigers fell 197.675-196.450 at the hands of the No. 12 Kentucky Wildcats.

“I thought the team fought really hard,” Auburn coach Jeff Graba said. “I was happy with the mentality. I felt like we came in and tried to get some things accomplished and we were in it all the way until the end.”

The first rotation saw Auburn on bars and Kentucky on vault. Senior Derrian Gobourne had the Tigers' highest score with a 9.900. Makenzie Wilson had the highest score for the Wildcats with a 9.975.

The second rotation saw the Tigers on vault and the Wildcats on bars. Senior Cassie Stevens held Auburn's high score with a 9.975. Kaitlin Deguzman held Kentucky's highest score with a 9.925.

“It was great to see Cassie start to vault like that again,” Graba said. “It’s nice to see her start to hit that vault like she’s capable.”

The third rotation moved Auburn to floor and Kentucky to beam. The high score for the Tigers was marked by junior Olivia Hollingsworth with a 9.900. Isabella Magnelli marked the high score for the Wildcats by hitting a 9.950. 

The fourth and final rotation put the Tigers on beam and the Wildcats on floor. Stevens held Auburn's high score again with a 9.850. Hailey Davis and Raena Worley co-led Kentucky, both earning a 9.950.

Stevens score of 39.500 secured the all-around title for her and the Tigers. Kentucky's highest all-around scorer was Worley with a 39.450.

“I think it shows what a quality athlete she is and the depth of our team,” Graba said. “If we get everybody on the same page like where Cassie is right now, we’re in really good shape.”

Auburn will be back in action at home in Neville Arena on Friday night for its final home meet of the 2023 season against the Penn State Nittany Lions. The meet is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. CT.

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