Feb. 23, 2014
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Kentucky completed a rare two-meet weekend with a 195.200 team score at eighth-ranked Nebraska’s 24th Masters Classic Sunday in the Devaney Center.
The team score gave the Wildcats two of its best three scores of the season within the last three days as UK scored a season-best 195.975 on Friday at No. 13 Arkansas.
Nebraska won the meet with a 196.850 team score, while UK (6-9, 1-4 SEC) defeated both Bridgeport and Wisconsin-Stout, as the two universities scored a 142.275 and 141.250 respectively.
“We had a solid start on floor and followed that up with a strong performance on vault,” head coach Tim Garrison said. “We had our struggles on bars and beam, but overall I was pleased with our performance on both of those events as well. We are leaving the weekend feeling more confident than when we started, and that is a positive. We clearly still have work to do, and will get back in the gym this week and continue working towards our goals.”
UK began the meet on floor exercise with a resilient team performance. After a 9.600 to open, a score that eventually was dropped, Taylor Puryear was able to help UK rebound, as the freshman completed a strong weekend with a 9.800 two days after her career-best 9.825 at Arkansas.
After Puryear, sophomore Tiara Phipps notched a 9.75 before junior Kenzie Hedges and senior Audrey Harrison each scored a 9.775. Redshirt junior Kayla Hartley anchored with a beautiful routine, which scored a 9.850.
The Wildcats finished floor exercise with a 48.95, and trailed Nebraska by 0.300 after the first rotation.
Senior Holly Cunningham got impressive amplitude on vault and stuck her landing to lead off with UK’s second 9.9 on the apparatus this season. Harrison also vaulted nicely, scoring a 9.825, which was the score junior Shannon Mitchell and Hedges also received. Hartley then got a 9.750.
Through two rotations, Nebraska led UK 98.550-98.075, while Bridgeport had totaled 93.925 and Wisconsin-Stout had 93.675.
Sophomore Amy Roemmele fed off the vault momentum when UK rotated to uneven bars, as she produced a career-best performance, which scored a 9.900. Hartley and Harrison each scored a 9.800 competing fourth and fifth respectively, and then sophomore Marissa Beucler anchored with a 9.700.
After the third rotation, UK trailed Nebraska 147.675-146.85 with the Wildcats on beam and Nebraska going to floor exercise.
The Wildcats were led on beam by senior Kayla Sienkowski, who recovered nicely from a disappointing bars routine with a 9.725 beam score, which tied her season-best. The next thee UK scores were a 9.625 from Roemmele, and 9.550 for Cunningham and a 9.600 for Beucler.
Shannon Mitchell picked it up in the anchor spot though, scoring a 9.85 after she tallied a 9.9 on Friday.
UK finished vault with a 48.350, and finished with a 195.200, which was the team’s third-best team score this season. The Wildcat’s season-best 195.975 came Friday at 13th-ranked Arkansas.
The Wildcats completed a weekend with two meets in three days for the first time this season. Kentucky will return to Memorial Coliseum for its next competition on Friday, Feb. 28, a Southeastern Conference dual-meet with No. 10 Auburn.
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