Wildcats Headed to Auburn for SEC Showdown

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – Following the first win of 2016 in last week’s home opener against Ball State, Kentucky gymnastics will take to the road for its SEC opener with the Tigers of Auburn. 

Kentucky kicked off the 2016 season with a win on Excite Night last Friday, defeating the Ball State Cardinals, 194.825 - 191.650. Freshmen contributing early made up a large part of the narrative, as 17 of UK’s 24 spots were taken by freshmen. Freshman Sidney Dukes took the All-Around title, scoring a 39.125 on the evening while claiming both the vault and bars titles. Classmate Alex Hyland earned the beam title with a 9.875, while junior Taylor Puryear took the floor title with a 9.875.

The Wildcats hold a 19-15 record against the Tigers in regular season action all-time. The last time UK went head-to-head with the Tigers, the Wildcats pulled off an upset of the then-No. 9 team with a 196.575-196.325 win.

UK RANKED IN THE TOP 25 FOLLOWING FIRST WEEK

Kentucky remained consistent with expectations following the first week of competition, remaining at No. 21 in the country after being predicted to finish 21st in the preseason coaches’ poll. The Wildcats join the rest of the SEC in the top 25, as the only conference to have its entire conference represented in the top 25.

DUKES, HYLAND TOP 50 IN ALL-AROUND

Kentucky freshmen Sidney Dukes and Alex Hyland both rank among the top 50 in the nation in All-Around following the first week of action. Dukes ranks 24th following her 39.125 outing, while Hyland’s 39.025 is good for No. 32 in the nation.

SCOUTING THE TIGERS

Auburn enters Friday coming off a 196.175-195.425 win over No. 12 Oregon State to open the 2016 season last Sunday at Gill Coliseum. Auburn’s score was the second highest total in a season opener in program history.

LOOKING AHEAD: LSU

Following Friday’s matchup with the Tigers, Kentucky continues its road stand at No. 1 LSU on Friday, Jan. 22nd at 8:30 p.m. eastern time. The meet will be broadcast nationally on the SEC Network along with being available for viewing on Watch ESPN.

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