After hosting a historic quad meet, and putting up an impressive season high score of 197.425, the Tigers are back in Neville Arena Friday night to host the Alabama Crimson Tide.
The excellent score from the Tigers moved their season average to 196.950, and their national ranking up to fourteenth.
The quad meet was highlighted by an emotional return from redshirt freshman Olivia Greaves, who would finish tied for second on bars with a 9.875. Back from injury, the former five star is ready to continue to make an impact in what should be a rowdy Neville Arena.
“I’m really excited,” Greaves said regarding the upcoming Alabama meet. “I came to the Auburn-Alabama meet here for an unofficial visit, and the energy was just insane. I’ve never been to anything like that.”
The Tigers will face tough competition in the form of the seventh ranked Crimson Tide, who average a score of 197.285. The Tide are anchored by graduate student Luisa Blanco, who has already been awarded SEC Co-Gymnast of the Week for the week of Jan. 16. Blanco was also dominant in 2023, bringing home First-Team All-American honors in beam, floor, and bars.
While Alabama offers some of the best competition the Tigers have faced this season, Auburn head coach Jeff Graba is confident his team can do what it takes to get the job done.
“We’re ready,” said Graba. “If we’re healthy and we have the right people available to us, we’re ready to beat any team in the country.”
If Auburn wishes to take down the Tide, they will need big performances from senior Gabby McLaughlin and graduate student Cassie Stevens. McLaughlin is coming off a tremendous performance on beam and floor in the quad meet, which resulted in an SEC Specialist of the Week honor. Stevens, who has been one of the best all-around gymnasts for the Tigers this season could also provide the Tigers with a boost against their rivals.
Auburn will look to earn just their fourth victory all time against the Tide when they take the floor Friday night. The meet is scheduled for the first rotation to begin at 8 p.m. CT, with live coverage on the SEC Network.