March 6, 2011
LOS ANGELES-----After trailing by more than half a point entering the third rotation, sixth-ranked Georgia rallied to win a tri-meet against No. 8 UCLA and No. 23 Arizona with a 196.175 Sunday at historic Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins finished second with a 195.750, and Arizona was third with a 194.125.
For the Gym Dogs (9-4), it was their second-highest road score of the season and their sixth win against UCLA in the last eight meetings. Georgia senior Cassidy McComb won her fourth all-around title of the year with a season-high tying 39.525. The Las Vegas, Nev., native also won the floor title with a 9.9, and Kat Ding had the top score on bars with a 9.925.
"It was not a pretty meet for Georgia or UCLA," said Georgia head coach Jay Clark. "We know UCLA is better than what they showed today, and we also know that we are better too. We'll take the win, but I told the team not to relish in it and not to celebrate it. It's good to win, but it's not where we need to be this time of year.
"It was good to see us fight back and close out the meet very strong, but at some point we have to quit having to fight back. We have to put together good meets, and championship teams do that."
The Gym Dogs started the meet on beam and scored a 49.200, their third-highest mark of the season. Shayla Worley, who missed most of practice this week battling sickness, tied her career high with a 9.9 in the No. 5 spot. Noel Couch scored a season-best 9.85 in the leadoff position, and Georgia scored higher than a 49.0 on the event for the eighth straight meet. UCLA posted a 49.325 on vault, and Arizona scored a 47.575 on bars.
Georgia then went to floor where it scored a 48.525, ending a streak of 14 straight rotations dating back to Feb. 4 where it posted a 49 or higher on each event. McComb led the team with a 9.9, her highest floor mark on the road this season. At the midway point of the meet, UCLA led with a 98.325, followed by Georgia's 97.725 and a 96.375 by Arizona.
In the third rotation, Georgia posted a 49.175 on vault while UCLA had to count three falls, and the Gym Dogs took a 146.9-146.525 lead. All six of Georgia's scores were a 9.8 or higher, including a 9.9 by McComb. It was the second straight meet she has posted a season-high 9.9 on vault.
The Gym Dogs sealed the win with a 49.275 on bars. Ding scored a 9.925 as the anchor, her fifth score above a 9.9 on bars this season. McComb posted her third 9.9 of the day in the No. 5 position, and Gina Nuccio had a 9.875 at the No. 4 spot. UCLA finished with a 49.225 on floor, and Arizona (10-7) had its highest score of the meet with a 49.300 on vault.
Georgia will return home for the regular season finale against Michigan Saturday at 4 p.m. Hilary Mauro and McComb will be honored as part of Senior Day festivities prior to the meet.
1. Georgia - 196.175 (Vault - 49.175; Bars - 49.275; Beam - 49.200; Floor - 48.525)
2. UCLA - 195.750 (Vault - 49.325; Bars - 49.000; Beam - 48.200; Floor - 49.225)
3. Arizona - 195.125 (Vault - 49.300; Bars - 47.575; Beam - 48.850; Floor - 48.400)
Georgia Individual Results
Vault (49.175): Cat Hires - 9.8, Noel Couch - 9.8, Lindsey Cheek - 9.825, Hilary Mauro - 9.825, Kat Ding - 9.825, Cassidy McComb - 9.9
Bars (49.275): Christa Tanella - 9.8, Noel Couch - 9.775, Cat Hires - 9.775, Gina Nuccio - 9.875, Cassidy McComb - 9.9, Kat Ding - 9.925
Beam (49.200): Noel Couch - 9.85, Lindsey Cheek - 9.8, Christa Tanella - 9.375, Hilary Mauro - 9.825, Shayla Worley - 9.9, Cassidy McComb - 9.825
Floor (48.525): Mariel Box - 9.525, Christa Tanella - 9.625, Noel Couch - 9.725, Gina Nuccio - 9.75, Cassidy McComb - 9.9, Cat Hires - 9