How Alabama gymnastics fell to Florida despite three rotation lead

·2 min read
Shania Adams vaults as the Crimson Tide hosted Florida in Coleman Coliseum Stadium Friday, March 5, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]
Shania Adams vaults as the Crimson Tide hosted Florida in Coleman Coliseum Stadium Friday, March 5, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

Alabama gymnastics began SEC play on Sunday and was on its way to a second consecutive upset win over Florida through three rotations. However, despite a 9.950 from Luisa Blanco to close the balance beam, Florida recorded back to back perfect 10s on the floor exercise to win at home, 197.000-196.925.

The two teams were tied through one rotation, but Alabama (0-2, 0-1 SEC) took a 0.150 lead after two. Alabama led by 0.350 heading into the last gymnast of the last rotation. However, Florida (2-0, 1-0) posted three scores of 9.925 or better on the floor.

The Gators had back to back scores of 10.0 from Ny Reed and Trinity Thomas. For Thomas, it was her second 10.0 of the meet.

Here's what we learned:

Alabama inconsistent

While Luisa Blanco, Makarri Doggette, and Lexi Graber each posted at least one score of 9.900, it was an up and down day for Alabama.

In addition to those three combining for four 9.9s, Shania Adams and Mati Waligora both posted 9.700s on the uneven bars and the balance beam, respectively.

Florida makes mistakes

Alabama still made plays when necessary to push Florida to the brink.

On the balance beam, Florida's Ellie Lazari fell, forcing the Gators to drop a 9.150. When Alyssa Bauman followed up with a 9.625, Alabama capitalized with a 9.850 from Lilly Hudson, a 9.900 from Blanco, and a 9.925 from Graber on the floor.

Season debuts

Three Alabama gymnasts made their season debuts.

Shallon Olsen, fresh off representing Canada in the Olympics, contributed scores of 9.850 on the vault, 9.725 on the floor, and 9.800 on the beam. 2021 All-SEC performer Kaylee Quinn began her 2022 campaign with a 9.825 on the vault. Freshman Lilly Hudson also added a 9.750 on the vault, a 9.850 on the floor, and a 9.875 on the beam.

What's next

Alabama will host Kentucky on Friday in the Crimson Tide's home opener.

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Alabama gymnastics unable to stop Florida comeback in final rotation

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