Alabama’s first loss of the season came at the hands of rival Georgia.
The Crimson Tide had its best score of the season, but it wasn’t enough to fend off the Bulldogs in front of a sold out Stegeman Coliseum Saturday afternoon. No. 8 Georgia beat No. 5 Alabama by a score of 197.500-196.950.
Bama was led by Kim Jacob, who scored a 39.250 to win her fourth consecutive all-around.
The Tide started the meet shaky on the uneven bars, scoring a season-low 48.95. In additional unfortunate news, senior Ashley Sledge was pulled from the lineup after the first rotation after straining her shoulders on a handstand.
“We didn’t perform to the best of our abilities tonight,” said Alabama head coach Sarah Patterson. “We got a little behind the eight ball on the uneven bars and they were on fire on vault. When that happens, we have to really buckle down on vault and while we did a good job, we didn’t nail all our landings.”
Alabama scored 49.375 on the vault behind 9.9s from Kaitlyn Clark, Marissa Gutierrez and Diandra Milliner. But the Bulldogs owned the meet from the start, taking the lead at the halfway point after scoring a 49.475 on vault and a 49.275 on the uneven bars.
“I didn’t see all of Georgia’s routines, but what I did see told me that they were on fire tonight,” Patterson said. “I’ve said this before: From the time that coaching staff was hired, they had this meet circled in red on their calendar. We came in with a target on our backs.”
And Georgia got the best of their target.
Alabama’s best rotation of the night came on the floor, as it scored a season-best 49.475 behind career-high 9.95’s from Milliner and Jacob, and a 9.9 from Gutierrez.
The Tide closed out the night with a 49.150 on the balance beam. Ashley Priess led the way with a 9.875.
“Tonight the atmosphere was great and the environment was great,” Patterson said. “I think it made some of our ladies a little nervous, and we’re just going to have to learn how to deal with that next week when we go down to Gainesville.”
Alabama will face No. 1 Florida next Friday in Gainesville before retuning home to host Auburn on Feb. 15.
For more Alabama coverage, follow Laken Litman on Twitter!