Feb. 5, 2013
ATHENS-----Sixth-ranked Georgia will travel to No. 18 Kentucky for a 7 p.m. meet on Friday. The Gym Dogs are coming off a season-high score of 197.500 in the win over Alabama last Saturday at Stegeman Coliseum. Kentucky dropped a home meet to LSU last weekend, 195.875-195.250.
The meet features two former Nebraska assistants now currently holding head coaching jobs in the SEC. UGA coach Danna Durante was an assistant at Nebraska from 2003-11, while UK coach Tim Garrison was an assistant for the Huskers from 2007-11.
This marks the 74th all-time meeting between Georgia and Kentucky with the Gym Dogs holding a 73-0 advantage. This is the eighth dual meet between the two schools in Lexington.
Last year, Georgia defeated Kentucky in Athens, 196.575-194.350, then again in the SEC Championship with a 196.575. The Gym Dogs beat the Wildcats 195.550-195.000 on their last visit to Lexington in 2011.
Couch Makes Big Return
Senior Noel Couch made her season debut last week against Alabama. The all-arounder competed on beam and served as the floor anchor, and scored a 9.875 on both events. The Towaco, N.J., native missed the first five meets of the season after she suffered a thumb injury leading up to the season opener against Oklahoma on Jan. 5. A four-time All-American, Couch competed in the all-around in every meet in 2011 and 2012.
Georgia posted season-highs on vault (49.475) and beam (49.425) last week against Alabama, and its 49.325 mark on floor was the second-highest score of the season...Georgia's 49.425 on bars at the Metroplex Challenge on Feb. 26 was its highest road bars score since a 49.425 at the 2009 NCAA Super Six in Lincoln, Neb...In each of the first five dual meets, Georgia has posted the highest team score on three out of four events...Cat Hires is the only Gym Dog to compete in the all-around this season. She was in the lineup on all four events in the season-opener against Oklahoma...Chelsea Davis has placed first on bars in the all six meets, including a 9.95 at Metroplex and against Auburn. That is the highest score on any event by a Georgia gymnast this season, equaling the marks set last week by Brandie Jay on vault and Kaylan Earls on beam.
Following its 197.500-196.950 win over Alabama Saturday afternoon, Georgia climbed two spots to No. 6 in this week's national rankings.
The Gym Dogs (5-4, 3-0 SEC) are ranked second in the country with a 49.279 bars average, third on vault(49.308), eighth on beam (48.971) and 15th on floor (48.933). Against Alabama, Georgia posted season-highs on vault with a 49.475 and on beam with a 49.425.
Individually, Chelsea Davis is ranked No. 1 on the uneven bars with a 9.908 average. The sophomore from Austin, Texas, has placed first on the event in all six meets this season. Freshman Brittany Rogers is tied for 13th with a 9.863. On vault, Rogers is tied with teammate Lindsey Cheek for 22nd with a 9.879 average, while Brandie Jay (9.875) is tied for 24th.
Noel Couch made her season debut on Saturday with a pair of 9.875s to tie for ninth nationally on beam and 16th on floor. Shayla Worley is ranked 11th on beam with a 9.871, while Kaylan Earls is ranked 16th with a 9.858. Earls scored a career-high 9.95 on beam in the win over the Crimson Tide. Senior Christa Tanella is ranked 22nd on floor with a 9.867.
Georgia will return home to face the top-ranked Florida Gators Saturday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. It will serve as the Gym Dogs' annual Pinkout Meet.