No. 23 Gymnastics Travels to Missouri Friday
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The No. 23 Kentucky gymnastics team faces Missouri on the road for the second consecutive season Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET. UK looks to improve to 3-0 against the Tigers since MU joined the Southeastern Conference for the 2013 season.
#23 Kentucky at Missouri
Friday, Feb. 6 - 7:30 p.m. ET
Hearnes Center, Columbia, Mo.
UK Info: Meet Notes (PDF)
TV: SEC Network+
Live Results: MUtigers.com
Text Updates: Subscribe
The fourth conference meet in a row for the Wildcats in 2015 can be seen live on SEC Network+ from MU’s Hearnes Center. Live results can be found on MUTigers.com, while additional notes and behind-the-scenes updates from Columbia, Mo., will be available on Twitter at @UKgymnastics.
The Wildcats (2-3, 0-3 SEC) are coming off a season-best 195.625 in a home loss to No. 6 Alabama. The team’s annual DanceBlue Meet was highlighted by a season-best 48.925 on beam, followed by a 49.100 on floor, also a season high. The highest score in program history this early in the season, Kentucky moved up to 23rd in the national rankings and has been ranked in the top 25 in each of the first five weeks of the year.
Missouri (4-2, 0-2 SEC) scored a season-high 195.850 on Jan. 30 in a win over Lindenwood and host SEMO. MU gymnasts won four event titles, including the all-around at State of Missouri Meet.
Since Mizzou joined the SEC in 2013, Kentucky is 2-0 against the Tigers in dual meets after a 195.150-193.775 road win last season. UK travels to Columbia, Mo., for the second consecutive year.
IN THE RANKINGS
In addition to an average team score of 195.106 that is 23rd nationally, UK is in the top 25 on two events. Kentucky’s uneven bars average of 48.888 is 21st, while the Wildcats are No. 22 on floor with a 48.856. UK is also 28th on beam with a 48.556 and 31st on vault with a 48.806 average.
Four meets into the season, Missouri is ranked 33rd with a 194.425 average team score. The Tigers are in the top 25 on vault, tied for 24th with a 48.900 average. Mizzou is 32nd on bars with a 48.594, 38th on beam with 48.369 and 41st on floor with a 48.550.
Eight of UK’s 12 regular season opponents are ranked in the top 25, including each of the top three. The Wildcats opened the season against four ranked teams in their first four meets. The lone un-ranked team at the time they played UK was Washington, which is currently 17th.
|Click image for UK's Meet Notes (PDF)|
Missouri enters the weekend with a 4-2 record and an 0-2 mark in the SEC. The Tigers’ wins have come with a 193.900 over Kent State and Towson to open the year and at Southeast Missouri and Lindenwood on Jan. 30 to win the State of Missouri Meet with a season-best 195.850. Mizzou is represented twice in the individual top 25 rankings, with Shauna Miller 20th in the all-around with a 39.200 and Laura Kappler tied for 24th with a 39.175. MU is led by second-year head coach Shannon Welker.
SERIES HISTORY VS. THE TIGERS
Kentucky is 2-0 in the regular season against Missouri since the Tigers joined the SEC before the 2013 season. At the SEC Championships, UK finished ahead of MU in 2014 after being edged in the final standings in 2013.
In 2014 in Columbia, Mo., Kentucky had then-season high scores on three events en route to a 195.150-193.775 win. The Wildcats won their first three events, vault, uneven bars and floor. Individually, UK notched three event titles as fifteen career or season highs were set or tied. Audrey Harrison also won floor and tied two others, including Tiara Phipps, for the win on uneven bars and Amy Roemmele claimed first on balance beam.
In its first meeting as SEC foes, Kentucky came back on the final rotation to secure a 194.250-194.125 home win in 2013. The Wildcats trailed Missouri by 0.725 entering the last event, but UK scored a 49.050 on floor to secure its third SEC win of the season.
UP NEXT: PERFECT 10 CHALLENGE VS. OKLAHOMA, FEBRUARY 13
The Wildcats are back on the road on Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. ET at the Perfect 10 Challenge in Oklahoma City. The Wildcats face No. 1 Oklahoma, the defending co-national champions in a neutral site matchup in OU’s backyard. The contest will air on Sooner Sports TV, live on Fox Sports Southwest+ and Fox College Sports Central.
LAST TIME OUT: DANCEBLUE MEET VS. ALABAMA
Led by its seniors, No. 23 Kentucky overcame a slow start to record a season-high score of 195.625 in a 196.700-195.625 loss to No. 6 Alabama on Jan. 31 in Memorial Coliseum. The Wildcats broke the program record for team score in January, set two weeks ago on Excite Night. Before this season, UK had never scored above a 195.500 this early in the year, which it has now done twice in its first four meets of 2015. UK eclipsed 49.000 on two events, bars and floor, for the first time in one meet this year as six career-high or season-high scores were set.
UK opened with a 48.600 on vault, but responded with a meet-high 49.000 on uneven bars. A 48.925 on balance beam was a season-high for the Wildcats, as was their 49.100 on floor exercise. Alabama scored a 49.250 or higher on three events and posted individual high scores on each apparatus. Seniors Shelby Hilton and Shannon Mitchell both notched two team-high or team-high-tying scores, with Hilton’s being her first team-best totals of the year. Hilton led UK on vault with a 9.800, while Mitchell’s 9.875 on beam was just 0.025 shy of meet-high totals. Junior Marissa Beucler’s 9.850 on bars was a team high, and Hilton, Mitchell, junior Tiara Phipps and sophomore Taylor Puryear each scored a 9.825 on floor.
The meet was UK’s annual DanceBlue Meet, in support of UK’s Pediatric Oncology Clinic and the on-campus organization DanceBlue. The Wildcats wore special gold warm-ups, which will be auctioned off on UKathletics.com to support DanceBlue. More on the DanceBlue Meet is available at http://bit.ly/UKgymDanceBlueMeet.
UK WILL #COMPETEFORKYLIE IN 2015
This season, the UK gymnastics team will dedicate each meet to Kylie Rowand, who has stage 4 high risk neuroblastoma. Kylie is almost 3 and was diagnosed a year ago. Her mom was a gymnast for Tim Garrison when he coached in California. This season, the Wildcats will #CompeteForKylie in each meet, and have encouraged their opponents to join the fight as well. More information can be found on Facebook at Facebook.com/PrayersForKylie1.
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.