No. 4 Gym Dogs Post Season-High In Win Over No. 3 UCLA
Kat Ding wins the All-Around title for the third time this season.

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March 2, 2012

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ATHENS, Ga. ---- The fourth-ranked University of Georgia Gym Dogs (6-3) outpaced the third-ranked UCLA Bruins (9-2-1) 197.700 - 196.975 on Friday night at Stegeman Coliseum. 

Georgia was ignited by season-high team totals on vault and beam and tied its season-best on bars to post the highest overall team score since the victory over UCLA on March 6, 2010. Georgia now leads the country with 24 consecutive rotations of scoring a 49.0 or better.

"Today, there was something in the water," said head coach Jay Clark. "We all got up and we all commented about it. I was as calm as water that looks like grass. It was unbelievable. They had a sense of confidence. This morning when we all started getting around the gym you could just feel the buzz starting to come. They stayed on message really for the first time this year in that they competed from a really free, loose, aggressive mindset. They were having fun. They were out there joking around and having a good time."

Kat Ding won the all-around title for the third time this season with a score of 39.65, the highest all-around score for a Georgia gymnast since Courtney Kupets and Tiffany Tolnay at the 2009 NCAA Super Six. Noel Couch, who has competed in a school record 23-straight all-arounds, posted a career-high 39.550. 

"We've been working on this for the entire year," said Ding. "We've been talking about staying consistent but we needed to show some sort of a peak and this was a great night to start and we're going to keep going in that direction. This was a great ending to a rough week. The hard weeks mean so much more when you can work hard and have a positive outcome."

The Gym Dogs scored a season-high team vault total with a 49.450. Chelsea Davis, who led off on vault for the ninth time this season, sparked Georgia with a 9.85. Couch and Sarah Persinger followed by tying their season-highs, scoring 9.9 and 9.85, respectively. After Cat Hires 9.9 performance, Ding tied her career-best with a 9.95.

Georgia, who ranks second nationally on bars, tied their season-best score with 49.375 highlighted by Davis who scored a career-high 9.95. Gina Nuccio then tied her season-high bar routine with 9.9 to push the Gym Dogs to lead UCLA 98.825 - 98.750 after two rotations. 

The Gym Dogs posted a 49.475 on beam, the highest team total on beam this season. Couch and Laura Moffatt paced UGA by scoring career-best performances of 9.9 and 9.875, respectively. Ding kept Georgia on a roll, earning her career-high beam score of 9.925 followed by a 9.85 for Sarah Persinger, also a career-best. 

Persinger tied her season-high of 9.875 on on floor, followed by Ding's career-best 9.925. Nuccio posted a 9.875 while Couch finished with a 9.9 to give the Gym Dogs a team total of 49.400 on floor. 

Georgia will travel to Michigan next Friday before the regular season finale at Stegeman Coliseum against NC State for Senior Day on Sunday, March 11 at 2:30 p.m.

Team Results:

1. Georgia - (Vault - 49.450, Bars - 49.375, Beam - 49.475, Floor - 49.400)  

2. UCLA - (Vault - 49.450, Bars - 49.300, Beam - 49.025, Floor - 49.200)

Georgia's Individual Results

Vault (49.450): Chelsea Davis - 9.85, Noel Couch - 9.9, Sarah Persinger - 9.85, Kaylan Earls - 9.325, Cat Hires - 9.9, Kat Ding - 9.95)

Bars (49.375): Christa Tanella - 9.825, Noel Couch - 9.85, Shayla Worley - 9.725, Chelsea Davis - 9.95, Gina Nuccio - 9.9, Kat Ding - 9.85)

Beam (49.475): Noel Couch - 9.9, Laura Moffatt - 9.875, Kat Ding - 9.925, Kaylan Earls - 9.85, Sarah Persinger - 9.85, Shayla Worley - 9.925)

Floor (49.400): Kaylan Earls - 9.825, Sarah Persinger - 9.875, Kat Ding -9.925, Mariel Box - 9.75, Gina Nuccio - 9.875, Noel Couch - 9.9)



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