Wildcats Set Season-High on Beam in Loss to No. 3 Georgia
Feb. 13, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky gymnastics team (2-5 overall, 0-5 Southeastern Conference) grabbed the win against the Centenary Ladies, 195.150-187.350, despite being outscored by the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs' (8-0, 4-0 SEC) 196.975, in Memorial Coliseum Friday night.
UK had begun the night on vault, its best event this season ranking 11th in the nation. Sophomore Jasmine Minion led the Cats on vault for the second consecutive meet with a 9.825. Minion averages a 9.842 on the apparatus, never scoring below a 9.800 this season. Freshman Whitney Rose also scored a 9.825, a mark placing her and Minion third overall.
Senior Natalie Rubinstein led the Wildcats for the fifth time this season on the uneven bars with a 9.825. The Hollywood, Fla., native holds an average of 9.830 and is top-25 on the event. UGA's Kupets took the uneven bars title with a 9.950.
The third rotation held an event the Blue and White have struggled with all season, the balance beam. But on Friday the 13th, Kentucky found no bad luck and grabbed a season-high 48.575 on the event. Anchored by Hite's team-leading 9.800, the Wildcats hit six-for-six on the beam. Green earned a season-high 9.750, while fans witnessed the return of junior Emilie Rymer to the line-up. Having been out for six weeks due to injury, Rymer contributed a solid routine and score of 9.650.
When asked about the return of the Medina, Ohio, native, head coach Mo Mitchell said, "Emilie's leadership alone is remarkable. She is someone we can count on to stick their routine. When you get more people you can count on to stick routines on a daily basis, you can start really building your confidence."
The Wildcats finished the night strong in their typical fashion. Junior Hillary Ferguson nailed her routine, securing a season high-tying 9.900, good for the event's title, tying with Courtney Kupets of Georgia. Senior Heather Hite came in second with 9.850 while junior Emily Green took third with a season-high 9.825. UK's overall score of 49.050 was just shy of UGA's 49.150. Kentucky is ranked 20th nationally on the event.
"We took a big step forward tonight," Mitchell said. "We didn't count any falls and only had minor mistakes on the beam and one fall on bars. Our goal was to not count any falls so that is definitely a step in the right direction."
The Wildcats continue to hold an undefeated record, 10-0, against non-conference teams in the regular season. Kentucky's next non-conference duel is scheduled for Fri., Feb. 27 when the Cats welcome four teams, Ball State, Illinois, UNC and William & Mary. UK must hit the road first to close out its conference slate in Auburn, Ala., taking on the No. 6 Tigers Friday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. ET.