Wildcats Host No. 6 Alabama for DanceBlue Meet

Jan. 29, 2015

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The No. 24 Kentucky gymnastics team will host its second-annual DanceBlue Meet on Friday when UK faces No. 6 Alabama at 7 p.m. ET in Memorial Coliseum. In addition to supporting DanceBlue’s fight against pediatric cancer, the team will continue to dedicate each meet in 2015 to Kylie Rowand, who has stage 4 high risk neuroblastoma.

#24 Kentucky vs. #6 Alabama
Friday, Jan. 30 - 7 p.m. ET
Memorial Coliseum, Lexington, Ky.

DanceBlue Meet: More Info
DanceBlue Meet, #CompeteForKylie

Tickets: UKathletics.com/tickets
UK Info: Meet Notes (PDF)
Fan Info:
Gymnastics Gameday
TV: SEC Network+ (Live),
SEC Network (Feb. 2, 9 p.m.)
Live Results: UKathletics.com
Text Updates: Subscribe

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The top-25 contest, UK’s third SEC meet in as many weeks, can be seen live on SEC Network+ in addition to airing on the SEC Network on Monday, Feb. 2 at 9 p.m. Melissa Lee, Courtney Kupets and Suri Serano will be on the call from Memorial Coliseum. Live results can be found on UKathletics.com, while additional notes and behind-the-scenes updates will be available on Twitter at @UKGymnastics.

Friday’s DanceBlue Meet is in support of UK’s Pediatric Oncology Clinic and the on-campus organization DanceBlue. To join the fight against Pediatric Cancer, the Wildcats will wear special gold warm-ups and fans will have the opportunity to purchase flowers and ribbons and make cards for the children at the Pediatric Clinic. This season, the UK gymnastics team is also dedicating each meet to Kylie Rowand, who has stage 4 high risk neuroblastoma. Kylie is almost 3 and was diagnosed a year ago. The Wildcats will #CompeteForKylie in each meet, and have encouraged their opponents to join the fight as well, as Alabama will do on Friday. More on the DanceBlue Meet and #CompeteForKylie is available here.

The Wildcats (2-2, 0-2 Southeastern Conference) opened the season with a 194.975-194.325 win at then-No. 24 Washington on Jan. 12 before a second-place finish on Excite Night on Jan. 16 in Memorial Coliseum. Last week, Kentucky suffered a 196.975-194.225 loss at No. 10 Georgia.

Alabama (2-1, 1-1 SEC) is coming off a 197.400-196.800 win over then-No. 1 Florida at home on Jan. 23. The Crimson Tide are sixth nationally with a 196.600 average and are in the top 12 in the rankings on all four events.

In addition to an average team score of 194.933 that is tied for 24th nationally, UK is in the top 25 on two events. Kentucky’s uneven bars average of 48.850 is 20th, while the Wildcats are No. 24 on vault with a 48.875. UK is also 28th on floor with a 48.775 and 32nd on beam with a 48.433 average.

Three meets into the season, Alabama is ranked sixth with a 196.600 average team score. The Crimson Tide are in the top 12 on all four events, with the nation’s No. 1 floor routine with a 49.367 average, and UA is tied for second on vault with a 49.450 average. Alabama is also 10th on beam with a 48.842 and 12th on uneven bars with a 48.942.

Eight of UK’s 12 regular season opponents are ranked in the top 25, including each of the top three. The Wildcats have opened the season against four ranked teams in their first four meets including Friday vs. No. 6 Alabama. The lone un-ranked team at the time they played UK was Washington, which is currently 17th.

No. 6 Alabama, the defending SEC champions, is 2-1 on the season after a home win over No. 1 Florida, 197.400-196.800. The Crimson Tide opened the season with a 196.225-194.375 win over Arizona before a 196.325-196.175 loss at Arkansas on Jan. 16. Bama is led by first-year head coach Dana Duckworth. A two-time NCAA champion on beam for the Crimson Tide, Duckworth spent 15 seasons as an assistant for UA before longtime head coach Sarah Patterson retired last summer.

Bama is represented 14 times in the individual top 25 rankings. Lauren Beers is fifth in the all-around with a 39.500 average, while Katie Bailey is eighth with a 39.412. Beers is tied for ninth on bars and tied for 16th on floor. Aja Sims also is in the top-25 on three events, led by a 9.883 for fifth on beam.

The Wildcats are back on the road on Feb. 6 at Missouri. Competing in Columbia, Mo., for the second consecutive season, Kentucky will look to improve to a perfect 3-0 against the Tigers since they became the SEC’s eighth team in 2013. Action from Mizzou’s Hearnes Center is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on SEC Network+.

Click image for UK's Meet Notes (PDF)

Kentucky fell on the road to No. 10 Georgia, 196.975-194.225 on Jan. 24 in Stegeman Coliseum. The Wildcats recorded four season-high or career-high-tying scores against the Bulldogs, who scored a season-high team score in front of a sellout crowd of 9.957.

Junior Marissa Beucler and freshman Cori Rechenmacher each led or tied for the team lead on two events. Freshman Brittany Furuyama, sophomore Taylor Puryear and senior Kayla Hartley also tallied team-high-tying scores. Beucler, who had not competed in UK’s first two meets this season, was a late addition to the lineup after an injury during warmups. Beucler finished first or second on all three events she competed in.

UK began the meet on bars with a 48.900, the second-highest total on the event this season. The Wildcats added a 48.775 on vault before a 48.825 on floor, tied for the second-best score this year. On beam, Kentucky closed the meet with a 47.725. Georgia recorded at least a 49.100 on all four events.

For complete news and updates on the Kentucky Gymnastics program, go to UKathletics.com. Breaking news, behind-the-scenes updates, photos and more can be found on Twitter at @UKGymnastics and Facebook at Facebook.com/UKGymnastics.