Jan. 8, 2011
DENVER, Colo.-----Seventh-ranked Georgia opened the 2011 season by winning a quad-meet against No. 16 Denver, Air Force and BYU Saturday at Magness Arena. The Gym Dogs scored a 195.575 to finish comfortably ahead of second-place BYU (193.225). Denver was third with a 192.925 while Air Force scored a 186.6.
Georgia gymnasts won individual titles on vault, bars, beam and floor, including two by junior Gina Nuccio on bars and floor. Senior Cassidy McComb won the all-around with a 39.150. Freshman Lindsey Cheek won the vault title, and sophomore Shayla Worley won the title on the balance beam.
"It was a good, solid start for us," head coach Jay Clark said. "We had some first meet jitters at the beginning, but we were able to settle down after that and get into a groove. I was proud of the way they handled themselves. It's a place we can grow from, and more importantly it's a road win and gets the monkey off our back."
Georgia led off on bars with a 48.775. Nuccio led the way with a 9.875, while McComb had a 9.8. For Nuccio, it was tied her second-highest score on bars dating back to the 2009 SEC Championship. At the end of one rotation, the Gym Dogs held a 48.775-48.475 advantage over Denver. BYU scored a 47.4 on beam, while Air Force posted a 45.825 on floor.
The Gym Dogs extended their lead to half a point with a 48.9 on the balance beam in the second rotation. Worley led the team with a 9.85, and at the midpoint of the meet, UGA was in first with a 97.675. Denver was second with a 97.175, followed by BYU with a 95.925 and Air Force with a 92.8.
Georgia again extended its lead in the third rotation with a 48.925 on floor. Nuccio led the Gym Dogs again with a 9.85, and Christa Tanella and Mariel Box posted career-highs of 9.8 and 9.775, respectively. Georgia entered the final rotation with a 146.6-144.8 lead over Denver. BYU was third with a 144.475 followed by Air Force with a 139.8.
Georgia wrapped up the meet on vault, where it posted its highest score of the night with a 48.975. Cheek, who joined the team this month, had the highest score with a 9.85. Seniors Hilary Mauro and McComb each had a 9.825 for the Gym Dogs.
The Gym Dogs won their first road meet since beating sixth-ranked UCLA in Los Angeles March 8, 2009. That meet was also the last time a Georgia gymnast had won the all-around on the road, which Cassidy McComb did Saturday night.
"We have a lot of work to do and the nice part is we get to go home," Clark said. "We are going to get better. It's going to be a gradual climb for us, but this was a solid start."
UGA improved to 45-9-1 in season-openers and remained unbeaten all-time against Denver (13-0), Air Force (3-0) and BYU (21-0).
Georgia (3-0) will return to Athens for its home opener against No. 5 Utah Saturday at 4 p.m., followed by a visit from West Virginia Jan. 17 at 2 p.m.
1. Georgia - 195.575 (Vault - 48.975; Bars - 48.775; Beam - 48.9; Floor - 48.925)
2. BYU - 193.225 (Vault - 48.55; Bars - 48.75; Beam - 47.4; Floor - 48.525)
3. Denver - 192.925 (Vault - 48.475; Bars - 48.7; Beam - 47.625; Floor - 48.125)
4. Air Force - 186.6 (Vault - 46.975; Bars - 47.0; Beam - 46.8; Floor - 45.825)
Georgia Individual Results
Vault (48.975): Noel Couch - 9.75; Mariel Box - 9.575; Hilary Mauro - 9.825; Cassidy McComb - 9.825; Lindsey Cheek - 9.85; Cat Hires - 9.725
Bars (48.775): Christa Tanella - 9.6; Cat Hires - 9.725; Noel Couch - 9.775; Gina Nuccio - 9.875; Cassidy McComb - 9.8; Shayla Worley - 8.8
Beam (48.900): Noel Couch - 9.775; Lindsey Cheek - 9.775; Christa Tanella - 9.575; Hilary Mauro - 9.725; Shayla Worley - 9.85; Cassidy McComb - 9.775
Floor (48.925): Lindsey Cheek - 9.5; Mariel Box - 9.775; Christa Tanella - 9.8; Noel Couch - 9.75; Gina Nuccio - 9.85; Cassidy McComb - 9.75