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No. 11 UA home vs. No. 4 Georgia

BY ANDRES FOCIL
No. 11 UA home vs. No. 4 Georgia

FAYETTEVILLE – Following two consecutive road wins, Arkansas’ gymnastics team is back home this week when the No. 11 Razorbacks entertain No. 4 Georgia on Friday at 7 p.m. in Barnhill Arena.

Arkansas (2-2, 2-1) has wins at then-No. 27 Kentucky and then-No. 22 Auburn in the last two weeks. Last week at Auburn, Arkansas recorded a season-best point total of 195.325, and moved up from No. 12 in the country to No. 11.

In the individual events, Arkansas is No.11 on vault, No. 24 on bars, tied for No. 16 on beam and No. 7 on floor.

"Everyone is excited to be home and to compete against Georgia," co-head coach René Cook says. "We’re looking forward to testing ourselves."

Georgia is No. 9 in vault, No. 4 on bars, No. 2 on beam and No. 6 on floor.

Georgia leads the all-time series 18-0. One loss came in the 2009 NCAA Super Six and another in the 2006 NCAA Championship. Last year, Georgia claimed victories during the regular season in Athens and at the SEC Championship, but Arkansas finished the season ranked No. 11 in the country while Georgia was No. 13.

Individually, Arkansas is led by junior All-American Jaime Pisani. She’s won all-around titles the last three weeks and has eight individual event wins for the year.

Pisani is ranked No. 4 in the nation on floor, No. 22 on vault and No. 14 in the all-around.

Freshman Katherine Grable, who has two all-around titles, is No. 29 in the all-around and tied for No. 31 on floor.

Arkansas is performing in Barnhill for just the second time this season after spending three of the first four weeks on the road.

"Our confidence is up after the two road wins," Pisani says. "We’re ready to get out in front of our home crowd."

Arkansas’ scores have improved the last two weeks.

At Auburn, the Razorbacks went with a lineup of sophomore Amanda Siebert, sophomore Jordan Salsberg, Grable, freshman Scarlett Williams, Pisani and sophomore Kelci Lewis on vault. On bars, senior All-American Michelle Stout was first, followed by Salsberg, Grable, Pisani, sophomore Natalie Bohonsky and freshman Shelby Salmon. The beam order was Williams, Pisani, Salsberg, Salmon, Grable and senior Stacy Bartlett. On floor, Siebert was followed by freshman Bailee Zumwalde, Salsberg, Lewis, Grable and Pisani.

"We’ve changed our format in practice and changed assignments," Cook says. "Everyone is more critically evaluated. Our philosophy is demanding in practice and encouraging in competition. Everyone has bought in and responded."

The Georgia meet is being televised by FSN, which is Fox Sports Southwest in Arkansas. The tape-delay broadcast is scheduled for Feb. 12 at 8 p.m.

Following the UG meet, Arkansas is back on the road, going to LSU next week for a 7 p.m. meet Friday in Baton Rouge, La.



Sports Category : Gymnastics (W)