Alabama gymnastics opened the 2022 season on Sunday at Oklahoma, losing 197.4 to 195.875. Oklahoma scored back-to-back perfect 10s in the first rotation, putting Alabama in a deficit from which it wouldn't recover.
Here's what we learned:
Alabama unable to shake off slow start
The Crimson Tide showed rust, especially on floor exercise. Emily Gaskins, Shania Adams and Cam Machado all scored 9.575 or worse, extending the Oklahoma lead to 1.175 heading into the final rotation.
National event champions begin title defense
Both of Alabama's 2021 national event champions returned to action, and both made a statement to open the season.
Lexi Graber, the reigning national champion on floor exercise, closed the rotation with a 9.85. On balance beam, Luisa Blanco posted a 9.85 of her own. She won last year's NCAA individual championship on beam.
Freshman makes an impact
Jordyn Paradise made her Alabama debut, and the freshman did not disappoint. In the first rotation of her college career, Paradise stepped up with a 9.775 on vault.
Alabama will travel to Gainesville next Sunday to face Florida.
This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: What we learned as Alabama gymnastics drops season opener to Oklahoma